Wilder: Joshua-Parker will go the distance
By Jim Dower: Deontay Wilder doubts that IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be able to score a knockout against WBO champ Joseph Parker in their unification fight. Wilder states that Parker’s mobility and his strong punch resistance will make it very difficult for Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) knock him out.
Parker’s co-promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank stays the Joshua-Parker fight will be taking place on March 31. He says they’re close to getting the fight finalized for that date.
“Parker vs. Joshua is definitely a 12 round fight,” said Wilder to Yahoo Sports News. “The thing about Parker, he moves well. We’ve seen he can take some good punches.”
Joshua will be trying his best to knockout Parker, but if he’s not careful he could run into one of his hard right hands. We saw what happened to the 6’7” Alexander Dimitrenko when Parker hit him hard. Dimitrenko was taken out quickly. Joshua’s punch resistance might not be any better than Dimitrenko’s, especially when he’s tired.
Joshua has fought only 1 guy in his career that had good mobility, and that Wladimir Klitschko. Joshua did eventually stop Wladimir in the 11th round, but it wasn’t easy. It would have been a lot easier if Wladimir had stayed in front of Joshua the entire fight. The movement that Wladimir used seemed to tire Joshua out. Joshua looked dog-tired by round 6 of the fight.
It was all Joshua could do to stay on his feet from rounds 6-10. Wladimir kept Joshua in the fight by not trying to finish him off after he had him tired at the midpoint of the fight. If Parker can move around long enough to get Joshua fighting on fumes, he can then take the fight to him when he starts huffing and puffing. Joshua recently showed video of himself using movement in training. Joshua looked trimmed down from the 254 pounds that he weighed in for his last fight
”We know that Jacobs’ last opponent, Takam, Parker beat him,” said Wilder. ”We know Joseph can take a great punch, but we haven’t seen him fight against a guy that strong. We haven’t seen Parker take a nice punch on the chin. I think it’s going to be a long drawn out punch. Parker is going to try and stay out of the way of Joshua. Joshua is going to try and come and make a statement and try and redeem himself from the last fight and try and get him out of there,” said Wilder.
It’s hard to know if Parker or Joshua will be able to take each other’s power. Parker is going to need to stand his ground and let his hands go at some point. In his fight with Takam, Parker stayed on the move for most of the fight, and his power wasn’t nearly as good. Parker might have been able to knockout Takam if he’s been willing to trust himself by standing and fighting.