Monday, 19 March 2018
Cardiff showdown: I will stop Parker by Rd 8--Anthony Joshua
WBA and IBF champion Joshua takes on WBO champion Parker in Cardiff on April 1 in a world heavyweight title unification fight.
Joshua is unbeaten over 20 fights as professional, winning all by stoppages for the perfect record.
"Joseph Parker is dedicated. He's going to come 50 per cent better than I've ever seen him before," AJ told Sky Sports in the UK as the build-up intensifies.
But Joshua said he has also been working harder than ever before. Both fighters have been eager to lose weight to improve mobility and Joshua is feeling the rewards.
"What I've learned is that boxing is simplified when you incorporate your feet. Even though it's a game of punching people, your feet get you in and out of the way," Joshua said.
"So if I can transform what I've worked on in the gym for the last 10 to 11 weeks into the ring then hopefully I can get him out of there between six and eight."
Parker has been given little chance by the bookmakers or by Joshua's fans. But he has only really come into their public consciousness over the last year or so when Team Parker started targeting the British audience in the hope of getting some fight time there.
Consequently their view of Parker has been clouded by watching his two worst performances that came in the last year when he struggled his way past Razvan Cojanu and looked ponderous in trying to catch Hughie Fury, frustratingly winning both fights by points.
Not even the plucky win over Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO title could convince them that Parker was a genuine threat to their British hero.
Joshua's homework goes deeper than that and he will be aware of the speed and power Parker displayed in shaping himself as a genuine title contender in an impressive run towards that Ruiz fight in late 2016.
Meanwhile, Italian Giuseppe Quartarone has been named the referee for the fight where the winner will go home with the WBO, IBF and WBA titles.
The three-man judging panel will be made up of Scott from Wellington, a Brit and an American.
Anthony Joshua (right) deals with Dominic Breazeale, during their heavyweight bout.