Joshua: I’ll knock Wilder the spark out
By Jim Dower: Anthony Joshua is saying going to “spark out” that last world champion Deontay Wilder following his closer than expected 12 round unanimous decision win over Joseph Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday night in their unification fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
Joshua added Parker’s WBO heavyweight title to his collection of IBF and WBA straps. The win for the 28-year-old Joshua, which far from impressive, seemed to have bolstered his confidence to another level, making him vow to defeat Wilder. Perhaps Joshua should have checked things out with his promoter Eddie Hearn before he made the comment to the boxing public, because immediately his promoter talked down the likelihood of a fight against Wilder by saying that the American doesn’t wish to fight him.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) says he doesn’t care whether he faces Wilder or former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury next. He’ll take either one. Unfortunately, what Joshua will likely get is a fight with Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, as that’s who Hearn wants him to fight next, and he’s the guy that picks out his opponents for him.
“Wilder, or [Tyson] Fury; either one,” Joshua said when asked who he wants to fight next. ”What would I have to do to beat Wilder? Get him in the ring and I knock him spark out.”
Joshua’s promoter will be the one that makes the call for who he wants to fight. If Wilder does get the fight, he’s going to need to accept whatever lowball offer Hearn gives him. When you have a promoter that isn’t eager to make a fight, they give low ball offers. It’s that way in life. Hearn obviously saw what a lot of people saw tonight with how shaky Joshua looked. He looked very beatable, especially when he was getting backed up by Parker. Fortunately for Joshua, the referee would step in and stop Parker when he was attacking him.
If Wilder saw tonight’s fight, he might not want to come to the UK to fight Joshua. Dealing with Joshua is hard enough, but to have to battle a referee too. Its possible Wilder will tell Joshua to forget it unless he agrees to fight him in a neutral venue.
Joshua should consider giving Parker a rematch in New Zealand where he might have a better chance of winning the fight. The referee that worked the Joshua-Parker fight tonight appeared to play a big part in Joshua’s victory. If you look at the social media sites, there’s a lot of talk about how Joshua was helped out by the referee tonight with the way he stopped Parker from fighting on the inside, and how he pulled him off Joshua when he had him hurt in the 6th.
Joshua wants to bring Deontay over to the UK so he can put his WBC title on the line. I don’t think whatever chance Joshua had of luring Wilder over to the UK for a fight went down the drain tonight with the combination of the judging and the referee. On one hand you had a referee that was pulling Parker off Joshua constantly, and then you had the judges turning in these bizarre scores: 118-110, 119-109 and 118-110. Joshua did win the fight. He deserved a win, but not by those crazy scores. Those were ridiculous scores. Parker won at least 4 rounds, possibly 5. I gave him four. So, the scores should have been 116-112 x 3. What this means for Wilder is if he comes over to the UK and has the same judges and the same type of referee working the fight, then he’s going to have to knock Joshua cold with a long right hand to the head. If Wilder lets it go to the scorecards, there’s a chance he could wind up losing a controversial decision. Moreover, if he fights in close, you never know if the referee will be pulling him off of Joshua while he’s nailing him with shots.
“I take these chances. You know the old saying, ‘No risk, no reward.’ We’ll see what happens, late 2018,” Joshua said about a fight with Wilder.
You have to ask why Joshua is talking about wanting to fight Wilder in later 2018. Why isn’t he interested in making that fight in the summer? I mean, that’s when Joshua intends to fight next. Why is he betraying himself by saying that MAYBE the fight with Deontay will happen in late 2018. See, it’s stuff like this that makes you doubt that Joshua even wants the fight with Wilder.
“No, all these years, the UK fighters had to go to America, everyone had to spend a heap of money to go to Vegas,” Joshua saying about him not wanting any part of fighting Wilder in the United States. ”We can do it in London, Wembley, Cardiff – it’s local. We’re staying right here. What would I have to do to beat Wilder? Get him in the ring and I knock him spark out,” Joshua said.
If Wilder is desperate for money, then he should take the fight with Joshua in the UK, but I don’t know if that would be a wise move on his part. To make the Joshua-Wilder fight fair, they should stage in a neutral country like Canada or Germany. One of those countries would be fine, as long as there’s quality officiating working the fight. Look at Wladimir Klitschko. He fought Joshua in London, England and wound up losing the fight. Why did Wladimir? Well, I think the huge pro-Joshua crowd helped him come back and win the fight. Without their cheering and without Wladimir making the bumbling decision to try and beat Joshua on the scorecards, I think he would have won the fight easily in the 7th round.
“Joseph Parker stated this would be a war. I stated this would be boxing finesse, and I stuck to my word and I controlled behind the jab, the counter punches,” Joshua said. “The main thing we cannot forget – I am the unified heavyweight champion of the world.”
This was Joshua’s first true unification fight, even though Hearn is saying it’s his second. Joshua’s fight with Wladimir was against a non-champion last year in April. The World Boxing Association made their WBA vacant title on the line for that fight. Tonight was Joshua’s first real unification fight with WBO belt holder Parker, and it was a mess because of the referee over involving himself in the fight.