Deontay Wilder gives Parker advice in how to beat Joshua
By Tim Royner: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has given WBO champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) some valuable advice in how to send IBF/WBA champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) down to his first defeat of his career on March 31. Wilder has noticed that Joshua is carrying around a lot of muscle weight that negatively impacts his flexibility inside the ring during his battles.
Wilder wants Parker to stay on the move, use head movement, and punch while in motion. Wilder doesn’t want the 26-year-old Parker to be a stationary target for the 28-year-old Joshua to tee off on when the 2 heavyweights meet inside the middle of the ring on the 31st of March at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Joshua fights at a higher level when the crowd starts cheering him. That can be good and bad, as we’ve seen Joshua’s career. The pro-Joshua crowd had Joshua whipped into a frenzy in the 2nd round in his fight against Dillian Whyte in 2015, and he promptly gassed out from throwing more punches than his 245 pound frame could handle. We saw the same thing from Joshua in rounds 5 and 6 against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. When Joshua’s boxing fans started cheering him like mad in those rounds, he responded by throwing a storm of punches that caused him to fade. The cool and calm Wladimir, who never fought to the noise of the crowd, jumped on Joshua and landed heavy shots while he was helpless from fatigue.
“He is going to have to continue to punch while he moves and keep his head moving. If he can do that, he will see openings and see some of the weakness Joshua has,” Wilder said to Newshub about what Parker can do to defeat Joshua on March 31.
It sounds like good instructions from the 6’7” Deontay. He’s seen how vulnerable the 6’5” Joshua in his fights. Parker is quite capable of punching on the run. We saw Parker do that against Carlo Takam in his 12 round decision win over him in May 2016. Parker will likely need to do a little more than just punch and move for 12 rounds if he wants to get the ‘W’ against Joshua. The location of the Joshua-Parker fight favors Joshua in a big way, and that means Parker might need to knock him down at least 2 times if he wants to get a decision. It would be best for Parker to look for a knockout, because he might not be given a decision period. This fight is going to take place in front of 80,000 boxing fans at the Principality Stadium, and most of those people will be cheering for Joshua. The judges might get caught up in the noise being generated by Joshua’s fans, and we could see them give rounds to him that he doesn’t deserve. That’s why it’s important for Parker to go for a knockout once he spots fatigue in Joshua. Parker can’t leave it to the judges to score the fight and hope they give him the decision win.
“Just because a person looks more muscular and looks like they have it all down pat doesn’t mean they are going to destroy everybody,” Wilder said. ”I tell people that I would rather be the part than look the part, looking the part isn’t going to get me nowhere. I’ve seen many people look the part but when it’s time to perform in a place where it really matters, they can’t pull the trigger,” Wilder said.
Joshua has problems with guys that move. He struggled against Wladimir and Carlos Takam. Joshua probably wouldn’t have scored a knockout against Takam if there was a referee working the fight that wasn’t hasty in jumping in and stopping the action in the 10th round. Takam had Joshua gassed out in the later rounds. In the 10th, Joshua suddenly got motivated by the crowd and threw a handful of punches. The jumped in and stopped it at that point even though Takam didn’t look hurt. What Parker can learn from that is don’t let Joshua land more than 2 punches in a row, because if he puts 3 to 5 consecutive shots, the referee might hastily jump in and stop the fight. Parker needs to not Joshua get his shots off in sustained combination, because we’ve seen how referees can suddenly stop the fight at a moment’s notice.
“I think Parker is good at where he is to be a little bit slender, not having too much muscle because when you start bulling too much muscle mass your flexibility starts to decrease,” Wilder said.
Joshua is carrying around 254 pounds on a frame that is probably designed to carry 225 pounds comfortably for athletic events. A person’s heart doesn’t know the difference between an extra 30 pounds of muscle or 30 pounds of fat. With the extra weight that Joshua has packed since turning pro, he’s forcing his heart to work harder in his fights it’s responding with him laboring. Joshua lacks flexibility like Wilder points out, but the main thing he’s having problems with is his ability to fight hard without exhausting himself. It’s probably too late for Joshua to trim down to 225 lbs. He’s carrying all that extra muscle mass for the last 3 years since he started hitting the iron hard, and if he were to lose the muscle he might end up like Roy Jones Jr. We saw how Jones was a shell of himself after he came back down from heavyweight after defeating WBA World heavyweight champion John Ruiz by a 12 round unanimous decision in March 2003. Jones struggled to win his next fight against Antonio Tarver by a controversial 12 round majority decision, and then he promptly lost his next 3 fights. Jones’ career was never the same. If Joshua loses 30 pounds of the muscle weight that he’s put on since he turned pro in 2013, he might end up too weak to win his fights. I still think it would be good for Joshua to lose the muscle weight because he would be less likely to gas out in his fights, but he seems to like being big, so I don’t see him ever taking off more than 10 lbs. at the most.