Monday, 20 May, 2019

'Sniper' Anthony Joshua sets his sights on Joseph Parker

Britain's Anthony Joshua celebrates victory over New Zealand's Joseph Parker left after their WBA IBF WBO and IBO Heavyweight Championship title bout in Cardiff Wales late Saturday 'Sniper' Anthony Joshua sets his sights on Joseph Parker
Shannon Reynolds | 31 March, 2018, 14:16

Joshua's IBF and WBA world titles will be on the line, as will Parker's WBO belt, in the first heavyweight unification bout held on British soil.

But Parker, two years younger at 26, also has a flawless professional record with 24 wins, 18 by way of knockout.

So far, so good with 20 wins, all by knockouts, and two world titles.

"Even though I'm the champion of the world, in my mind I'm a challenger".

The fight this weekend against Parker is expected to be a much trickier fight, with the New Zealander also undefeated and a world champion, and in preparation AJ has come in at his lightest in ages, weighing on at just 17st 4lbs, with Parker at 16st 12 lbs.

“These wins are creating history, ” Joshua said.

He took significant punishment from Klitschko, and at one point in the bout looked like he might collapse from exhaustion. I have watched him train for the last week or so.

Saturday's fight will be the first time two undisputed heavyweight champions have met for the title in Britain and should move the victor closer to a bout against Deontay Wilder, the American who holds the World Boxing Council's version.

Murphy thinks the incident was "a godsend" for Joshua who was 21-year-old at the time - and believes if the police hadn't have caught him he may not be where he is today.

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He also believes American boxing legends do not support them but revealed that Evander Holyfield for predicted that he will one day be heavyweight champion. It's about performance, not just about going in there, looking for him and going "Bosh" and hoping he flies out of the ring.

"I can assure you, Parker and his coach - they're not going to leave the ring after this fight and hear the things everybody said after Wladimir Klitschko".

Surgery on both elbows late past year poses the question whether Parker will have rediscovered his power or lost his edge. Parker will want to get in close, do some damage and dance back out, but he will have to get past Joshua's jab first.

Parker, the WBO champion, weighed 236 pounds, nine pounds lighter than his last fight against Hughie Fury in September.

Parker represents a big threat to Joshua's seemingly unstoppable rise to the status of undisputed champion of boxing's most glamorous division.

"I'm for a great struggle, I'm for warfare", he declared. If Parker gets a chance like that, he must make the most of it.

"I'm young, hungry, fit and strong".

Given Mayweather preceded Joshua as the world's leading fighter during a run in which he rarely won inside the distance, the Briton told Press Association Sport: "You can't always be trying to please people, because you're never going to win". Parker may boast an undefeated record and a 75% knockout ratio, but make no mistake about it; Parker can give you a headache.

His team say the operation has helped him punch 20% harder and there is no doubt Parker will need improvements on recent displays if he is to defy bookmakers, who make Joshua a heavy favourite.

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