Anthony Joshua has the chance to pick up a fourth heavyweight belt when he battles New Zealand’s Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on the night of March 31.
Joshua, 28, puts his unbeaten record on the line alongside his three titles against reigning WBO strap holder Parker. The 26-year-old New Zealander of Samoan heritage has also yet to taste defeat in the pro ranks, so something’s got to give when this pair clash in the Welsh capital this spring.
All 20 of Joshua’s professional fights have been stopped, so he boasts a 100 percent knockout record besides an undefeated streak. That means the Briton is a firm favourite with bookmakers to extend his winning run and end Parker’s flawless fighting record.
Watford native Joshua saw five of his first 14 professional bouts end in his favour during the opener, while 16 of 20 fights since joining the paid ranks have all been stopped inside three rounds. As he’s stepped up the quality in opposition, however, having his encounters stopped early on has become rarer.
Joshua’s penultimate fight when he won the WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles from Wladimir Klitschko, saw both fighters get knocked down at some point. The Briton got back up, however, and finally dethroned the Ukrainian boxing legend.
No professional fight involving Joshua has yet gone the distance, but each of Parker’s last three bouts have. Plenty of permutations on how the fight will pan out are available among the latest Joshua Parker betting offers where a variety of outcomes feature.
Parker’s own knockout record is still a hugely respectable 75 percent from 24 fights, but more recent victories and six in total have come by decision. That shows he has the stamina to go all the way, but whether he can push Joshua to the limit remains to be seen.
Both men have battled Carlos Takam in the last two years with the Cameroon-born French fighter stepping in late to deputise for the injured Kubrat Pulev in Joshua’s last bout, which also took place in Cardiff back in October.
Parker’s fight with Takam in May 2016 went to the judges, who unanimously awarded the New Zealander victory, yet Joshua stopped this French opponent in the tenth round. That form line suggests Joshua is perhaps entitled to be favourite.
The powerful hitting of the Briton against the nimble and arguably more mobile Parker has all the makings of a memorable unification contest – the first true one in the heavyweight division for almost eight years.
Both men are well underway with their preparations for the fight, with the training regime of Joshua already the subject of mind games from the New Zealander and his camp. We’ll soon find out who has prepared best for the fight when a new unified heavyweight champion is crowned in Cardiff come March 31.