Joshua’s trainer wants his weight at 247 or 248 for Parker
By Scott Gilfoid: Trainer Rob McCracken is planning on getting IBF, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s weight down from 254 pounds to 247 or 248 for his unification fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) in their fight on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
McCracken seems to want Joshua to be at the same weight he weighed for his fight against Eric Molina in December 2010. Joshua weighed 249 for that fight, and he easily blew out Molina in 3 rounds. However, Molina looked terrified to throw punches, and he was little more than a punching bag on the night. We don’t know how Joshua’s body would have held up if Molina had forced him into a brawl. Who knows?
Joshua might have gassed out against Molina just like he did against Wladimir, Takam and Dillian Whyte. For Joshua’s fight against Whyte, he weighed in at 245, and yet he still was exhausted after just 2 rounds. McCracken needs to be mindful of that. Joshua is no better off when he’s at 245 as he is when he’s in the 250s.
What McCracken should be doing is having Joshua trim his weight dramatically by getting him back to 220. In looking at Joshua’s amateur fight with Whyte in 2009, he was lot faster in that fight and he didn’t look at all tired at being forced to fight at a fast pace. 220 is probably the best weight for Joshua in my view.
Joshua has been looking sluggish recently in his last 2 fights against Carlos Takam and Wladimir Klitshko. Joshua weighed in at 254 for his last fight against Takam on October 28, and 250 against Klitschko on April 29. In both of those matches, Joshua looked exhausted in the later rounds, and he was hurt. Joshua did not look good in those fights. It didn’t look like Joshua was trained right.
Joshua looked he was well-trained for a bodybuilding competition, but not for a boxing match. As such, Joshua gassed out early in both fights and was lucky that he had fighters that shot themselves in the foot in the fights by making the wrong decisions. Wladimir blew it by not trying to KO Joshua after he had him hurt in round 6, and Takam made the mistake of trying to box instead of push the pace to tire AJ out.
Joshua seems to be really into lifting weight since he turned pro. He might be better off walking past the weight room and going to the track instead to run some of his useless muscles off of him. Joshua was so much better before he bulked up after turning pro. When he was in his 220s, he wasn’t nearly as muscle-bound as he is now. The 6’6” Wladimir Klitschko typically weighed in the mid-240s for his fights, but he didn’t look bulky at that weight. Of course, Wladimir wasn’t bulking up to the 250s like Joshua has been doing.
“Ideal world, AJ would like to come in around 17st 9lbs or 17st 10lbs,” McCracken said to Sky Sports News about Joshua’s weight. ”We’ll work out an optimum weight for him. But at the moment my feeling, and his feeling, is 17st 9lbs or 17st 10lbs. We’ll see how he feels doing the sparring, doing the longer rounds, and we’ll work out an optimum weight for him,” said McCracken.
Parker wants to come into his fight with Joshua in the low 240s. That’s a good weight for him, because he’s not muscle-bound like Joshua. The 26-year-old Parker has functional muscles that work for him in his fights. He doesn’t have the useless beach/bodybuilding muscles that Joshua possesses. I know it’s got to be tough for Joshua to give up all the muscles that he’s packed on his frame since he turned pro 5 years ago.
It probably took countless hours of training in the weight room for Joshua to pack on the muscles that he’s put on his frame over the years, but he’s got to realize that he’s no longer facing power puff opposition. Parker is a next level fighter, who can punch, move and box. Parker isn’t one of the typical fodder opponents dragged into the ring by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn for him to pad his record with and impress the casual boxing fans in the UK. Parker can fight. Joshua needs to recognize that from this point forward, he’s going to be facing guys with talent now, and that means he’s got to get serious about his boxing career. In other words, Joshua’s useless beach muscles need to go out the window in place of more functional muscles used for boxing.
Joshua, 6’5”, will have a couple of inches in height over the 6’3” Parker, but that’s not really an advantage, because he doesn’t have the flexibility in his upper body to fight on the outside. Joshua is forced to fight at medium range because of his bulky physique. As such, both fighters are basically the same size in terms of height and reach. Parker moves a lot better around the ring than Joshua though.