Leaner and lighter Joshua still outweighs Parker on the scales

Jo Caldwell
April 1, 2018

One of the biggest fights of the year goes down Saturday at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, as IBF and WBA heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KO's) takes on WBO title holder Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KO's) in a highly anticipated unification bout.

"There are more questions to be asked of Parker than there are of AJ".

Parker has shown he has good speed and some admirable footwork. Both undefeated heavyweights come into the fight with huge national backing, but the superstar of the sport of boxing, Anthony Joshua, is the clear favorite coming into the bout.

Boxing experts Steve Bunce and Mike Costello have both backed Joshua to knockout his New Zealand opponent - but have admitted it won't come easy.

"Training camp is all about rehearsal, sparring is rehearsal, so when I put this weight into the real thing, if everything goes to plan you'll see I'll be a lot sharper and my reactions and timing will be a lot better".

"The Klitschko fight taught me that it takes more than one person to stop me in my tracks".

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"Takam was game, he was a lot shorter, he was in great shape".

I can see this going the distance.

"Unless I take care of my business, no one's going to want to interview me anyway, so I have to make sure I stay focused on the job at hand". He, however, believes his team is good enough for him.

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Joshua's weight had been a significant talking point in the build-up and, as expected, he came in much lighter than he had been for his most recent fight. He's too big and too strong.

"I am 100 percent ready". "But I'm trying to be a sniper". That's what I'm going for and that's what my mindset is.

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Joshua made a fifth defense of his IBF title and second of the WBA strap on a night that reportedly earned him £13 million and Parker £7 million. Should Parker upset Joshua, there is a contractual obligation for a rematch.

British Boxers Dillian Whyte and David Price are picking Anthony Joshua to win by knockout. "Your promoter [Eddie Hearn] said I need to raise my profile. You'll have to do everything to beat me". What better way to hype that this fight is finally going to happen? "I just want to secure that win one way or another". The people want to see the best fight the best in the heavyweight division.

Neither fighter was knocked down and Parker managed to avoid most of Joshua's big bombs, although he finished the fight with a cut around his left eye after catching an elbow in the 10th round. In the Rumble in the Jungle, Ali defended on the ropes, moved around the ring, let Foreman tire and caught him on the counter many times. That's the case for all Parker fights.

The 26-year-old makes the third defence of his WBO belt after claiming the vacant title against American Andy Ruiz in 2016.

Higgins, who has become something of a personality in Britain, eventually calmed them down and concluded: "It's a close, close fight".

Joshua has certainly shown his own vulnerabilities in the departments of chin and stamina. That bout was a majority decision win, and it was arguably not even a win for him.

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Considering how unimpressive Parker has looked of late and taking into account what's at stake for the victor, punching power and heart could prove to be the most important intangibles.

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