By Scott Gilfoid: British heavyweight Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) had better keep an eye out for unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker (17-0, 15 KOs), because the 23-year-old fighter is very interested in getting in the ring with Joshua in the future and testing his power shots out on the Brit’s chin.
While Parker admires the opportunities that Joshua has for big fights in the UK, he doesn’t lack for confidence to want to get inside the ring with the 6’6” Joshua so that he can try bouncing some of his power shots off his chin. Parker obviously saw how Joshua was recently hurt in the 2nd round of his last fight against Dillian Whyte in December.
You can try and whitewash that little incident anyway you want to, but the fact of the matter is Joshua was hurt and ready to be knocked out if Whyte hadn’t blown out his shoulder while landing that big left hand.
“I believe if we keep doing well and we keep winning, probably in the future we can meet up somewhere. I definitely have a lot of respect for him and his team. We are taking the same paths in what we’re doing in our careers,” Parker said to skysports.com.
Parker, 23, has a six-fight knockout streak going for him. He’ll likely be extending that KO streak this month when he faces Jason Berman on January 23rd.
The advantage that Parker has over Joshua is that he’s younger, he hits harder, and he’s better at slugging on the inside. Joshua’s whole game is fighting at medium to close range, and he can’t fight on the outside to save his life. That works well for Parker, because he’s not a very good outside fighter either, so we’d be seeing Joshua fighting Parker’s game and fitting in with his strengths.
“It will definitely be explosive and you have to feel that if I fight with Joshua, we’ll definitely put in the work, train hard and it’s a big fight for both of us, but I believe it’s a fight that can happen in the future,” Parker said.
Joshua is currently ranked #5 by the IBF, and Parker #7. This suggests that we could be seeing a fight between those two fighters in the near future at some point, because it’s pretty clear that Joshua is targeting the IBF title rather than the WBA, WBC or WBO straps.
Joshua is heading towards trying to get a fight against the winner of the Vyacheslav Glazkov v. Charles Martin fight. The #2 spot is not rated, and the #4 IBF Erkan Teper is dealing with a suspension. That leaves Joshua in a good position to fight the winner of the Glazkov-Martin fight or at least be the next guy in line for a shot at the mandatory spot. I imagine the winner of the Glazkov vs. Martin fight will likely take a couple of voluntary defenses of their title before facing Joshua.
I see Parker beating Joshua when the two of them eventually clash in the future. The only way I see Joshua winning is if he becomes mobile and less flat-footed, which I don’t think he’ll ever be able to do.