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Joseph Parker vs. Razvan Conjanu confirmed

Anthony Joshua Joseph Parker Wladimir Klitschko

By Scott Gilfoid: It’s now academic that WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) will be defending his title against the big punching #14 WBO Razvan Cojanu (16-2, 9 KOs) on May 6 at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau City, in New Zealand. The 6’7 ½” Cojanu is a fine replacement for the previously scheduled #1 WBO mandatory challenger Hughie Fury, who pulled out of the fight with Parker because of a back ailment.

Parker and Hughie could still end up facing each other later this year unless Hughie comes down with another injury that keeps him from crossing the finish line to make the fight. I’m hoping that Hughie doesn’t keep getting injured because at some point the World Boxing Organization will need to select another #1 contender to have Parker fight.

“I’d like to thank Hughie Fury for pulling out,” Cojanu said via “I’m not taking the fight for the money. I always said if I got a title shot [anywhere] I’d say ‘yes’,” said Cojanu.

I like the little dig Cojanu gets in about the 22-year-old Hughie pulling out of the fight with Parker. He left the spot open for Cojanu to get the fight. Without Hughie pulling out of the fight, it’s unclear whether Cojanu would ever get a title shot.

Cojanu has major league punching power with either hand. If he catches Parker with a good shot, he could be seeing stars. I’d hate to be Parker if he gets hit by Cojanu.

The only thing not to like about Cojanu is his punch resistance. It failed him completely in his fight with Donovan Dennis (12-3, 10 KOs) in April 2015. Cojanu was knocked out by a huge left hand from Dennis. I don’t know if Cojanu was quite comfortable with Dennis’ southpaw stance in that fight, because he was getting nailed with straight lefts from the opening bell. Cojanu was like a fish out of water, looking totally out of sorts.

Instead of using his boxing skills to until he got comfortable, Cojanu stood in front of the big hitting Dennis and tried to beat him in a war. Dennis recently was knocked out by Jarrell Miller and Andrey Fedosov in back to back fights. That kind of tells you a little about Dennis’ talent level. However, Dennis does have HUGE punching power, so you can’t entirely fault Cojanu for being knocked out by him.

If you don’t have your defense iron tight against the 6’4” Dennis, he’s going to knock you out. Dennis was bouncing big left hand bombs off the chin of Jarrell Miller. Those shots were scary looking. To Miller’s credit, he was able to take the punches without going down like Cojanu did.

“I’ve come to prove I can knock Joseph Parker out. Their team is one of the most professional I have met, but I know him and his strategies from our training camps where I’ve only ever gone at 50, 60 or 70 per cent,” said Cojanu.

The good news for the 30-year-old Cojanu is that the 6’4” Parker is there to be hit. Parker can move around a little, but he always comes forward looking to land his big power shots. Cojanu won’t have to come looking for Parker on May 6, because he’s going to be there looking to take him out quickly.

You can bet that Parker will have watched Cojanu’s loss to Donovan Dennis and he’ll be sure to load up with his power shots from the 1st round. Cojanu will need to be ready to take some big power shots right off the bat from Parker, because the New Zealand fighter is going to be looking for a quick knockout. Parker knows that he’s got a fringe contender on his hands, so he’s going to be swinging for the fences from the word go.

Anthony Joshua says he can make Wladimir Klitschko miss for 12 rounds

Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) isn’t known for his defensive ability to make his opponents miss with their big power shots, which is why it’s hard to believe that he thinks he can make former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) miss for 12 rounds to beat him by a decision this Saturday night in their fight at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Joshua believes he’s got the defensive skills and overall boxing ability to out-box the 41-year-old Klitschko to get the victory.

Joshua figures that age will play a part in the fight on Saturday due to his opponent Wladimir being old enough to be his dad. Technically, yes, Wladimir is old enough to beat Joshua’s dad, but he would have had to have been a very young dad at age 14. There’s an age difference between the two giant heavyweights, but not a HUGE age difference to where Wladimir can’t pull off a victory in this contest. At 41, Wladimir can still punch with a lot of power. This isn’t going to be a cakewalk for Joshua. If he gets hit hard by Wladimir, it could be lights out on Saturday night. If Joshua is smart, he’ll be focusing on his boxing in the early going to make sure that he doesn’t get clipped by a big power shot.

Age plays a role. He said himself he’s old enough to be my dad,” said Joshua via Fight News. ”I won’t let that be the reason I win, though. He’s going for his legacy, he wants his title back and it’s an amazing opportunity for me. I can box Klitschko for 12 rounds, make him miss, make him pay, don’t get hit — I can deal with him, trust me.”

I cannot see Joshua boxing Wladimir for 12 rounds to win a decision that way. I know the 6’9” Tyson Fury was able to out-box Wladimir a couple of years ago in 2015. That was because Wladimir couldn’t land his jab in that fight due to Fury’s height and reach advantage. Without being able to land his jab, Wladimir was forced to throw right hands, because he couldn’t connect with anything else. Joshua will be playing into Wladimir’s hands if he uses his boxing to try and beat the aging Ukrainian fighter instead of his brute strength.

Joshua got to this point in his career by jumping on his opponents and taking them out with flurries. It’s a style that has worked for Joshua at the pro level against the guys lined up for him to mow down by his promoter Eddie Hearn of Machroom Sport. That style of fighting didn’t work for Joshua in the Olympics, because he really struggled when he tried to slug with Roberto Cammarelle, Ivan Dychko and Erislandy Savon.

Those fighters were able to land a lot of power shots against Joshua, and they appeared to beat him in my view. The judges didn’t give the win, but Joshua definitely had major problems against each of them. If Joshua tries to go away from his basic brawling way of mixing it up, I think it could be a disaster for him against Wladimir, because he’s a much better boxer than he is.

“All the pressure is on the other side, not on me,” said Klitschko.” I don’t need to defend my titles, I don’t need to [worry about] losing a winning record. I just want to enjoy myself in the ring, enjoy the atmosphere, and enjoy my performance. I want to impress myself, and my knowledge of what I am capable of doing.”

Whether he wants to admit it or not, Wladimir is going to be feeling pressure in this fight on Saturday. Fighting in front of 90,000 boxing fans at Wembley Stadium is going to make Wladimir feel pressure. Most of those fans will be cheering for Wladimir. I don’t think Wladimir is the type of fighter that does well fighting in front of hostile crowds. I think he’s going to be unnerved by the experience, and not fighting at his best. Wladimir isn’t one of those self-contained type of fighters like his older brother Vitali Klitschko used to be during his career.

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