By Jeff Aranow: Joseph Parker is off to a fast start in hyping his March 31 unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight Anthony Joshua by saying that he suspects that he might be using steroids. Parker says he’s not accusing the heavily muscled 28-year-old Joshua of using steroids. He says he’s heard word about Joshua and steroids, and he’s not sure whether he is or he isn’t.
The 6’5”, 254 pound Joshua is known for having huge muscles that gives the appearance of a bodybuilder. Joshua started his pro career out at 230 pounds 5 years ago in 2013, and he’s put on 24 pounds since then to fill out to 254 lbs. The huge muscles have seemingly hurt Joshua’s performances in his last 2 fights against Carlos Takam and Wladimir Klitschko.
It’s believed that Joshua will reduce his muscle size for his next fight against WBO champion Parker, but it also thought that he’d takeoff weight for his last fight against Takam and he failded to do so. Joshua gained 4 pounds from 250 to 254 for the Takam fight.
”’They call me the king of pies, but I call him the king of steroids,” Parker said to the Radio Sport Breakfast via newshub.co.nz. “Who knows, if you are that big and that muscly, there’s something wrong.”
Hopefully, Parker takes the high ground after this interview and keeps the Joshua talk on boxing, and not on drugs and his suspicions. It would taint the Joshua-Parker fight if the fans hear 2 ½ consecutive months of steroid talk by Parker. If Parker’s goal is to get Joshua hopping mad to the point that he’s seeing red by March 31, he may succeed if he keeps trash talking him all the way up to the fight.
Joshua has always been heavily muscled since his amateur career. The difference was Joshua was lighter when he was competing in the amateurs. He was fighting in the 220s. Since Joshua turned pro, he’s packed on the muscles steadily and now looks quite big for a heavyweight. In comparing Joshua to how he fought in the amateurs, you can’t say the extra muscles have helped him.
Joshua seemed faster when he was fighting in the 220s in the 2012 Olympics in London, and he wasn’t exhausting himself from throwing punches like he is now. Joshua has turned his physique into a Primo Carnera type of physique with his huge muscles, and the results haven’t been entirely positive. He’s slower, and he’s gassing out quickly at times.
”I have heard word, I have looked at him and I have seen. He has been very close with Klitschko… he has been a reigning champion for a long time,” said Parker in continuing to talk about Joshua and steroids. “So I don’t know… it may be true maybe not. I am not accusing him of using steroids, but I am saying it is a possibility. There are a lot of ways you can dodge drug testing,” said Parker.
Parker will be fighting Joshua on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The venue is a large 78,000 seat stadium that Joshua sold out completely for his last fight against Carlos Takam on October 28 last year. Parker isn’t worried about fighting in front of a large Joshua crowd. He feels he’s going to knock him out after he hits him with a big shot.