Joshua predicting knockout of Parker in 8 rounds
By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua says his quick feet are going to help him knockout WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker within 8 rounds later this month in their fight on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is not known for his quick feet, however. He’s always looked heavy on his feet, slow and not able to move much in any direction without getting tired out. Joshua has trimmed a little for the Parker fight, and he could come into the contest as low as 245 pounds. That would be 9 lbs. lighter than the 254 lbs. that Joshua weighed in his last fight against Carlos Takam last October.
Joshua’s weight was 245 lbs. for his fight with Dillian Whyte three years ago in 2015, and he still gassed out after just 2 rounds in that contest. It could be that Joshua simply isn’t cut out to be a fighter that can fight hard and at a fast pace without him quickly fading and being at the mercy of his opponents.
Parker and IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Joshua will be fighting in a unification match on the 31st of March on Sky Box Office in the UK and on Showtime Boxing in the U.S. The winner of the Joshua-Parker fight will hold 3 of the 4 heavyweight titles in the division. They still won’t be able to proclaim themselves as the best fighter in the heavyweight division, because WBC champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) would still be out there and he has a better professional record than Joshua and Parker.
”He’s going to come 50% better than I’ve ever seen him before,” Joshua said of the 26-year-old Parker to skysports.com. But what I’ve learned is that boxing is simplified when you incorporate your feet. Even though it’s a game of punching people, your feet get you in and out of the way. So if I can transform what I’ve worked on in the gym for the last 10 to 11 weeks into the ring then hopefully I can get him out of there between six and eight.”
Parker will be in top form for the Joshua fight on March 31. If Joshua gets hit by Parker as much as he did against his last opponent Carlos Takam, we could see him being the one that’s knocked out within 8 rounds. Takam was putting hands on Joshua last October. Takam made a mistake of losing too much weight going into the fight. Takam normally weighs close to 250 lbs. for his fights. For the Joshua match, Takam trimmed down to 235 pounds and he lost a lot of his punching power.
Parker, 26, is already in London, England after having arrived earlier on Saturday for the Joshua fight in two weeks from now on March 31. Both fighters will have their unbeaten records at stake in this fight. Parker has already done the hard work of his training camp in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada with his training team. Parker says he wants to hand Joshua his first career defeat.
“I’m young, fast, strong, my movement is good, I have a great team behind me, and I have my two nations behind me,” Parker said to skysports.com. ”We’re looking forward to putting on a great display.”
Deontay Wilder will be at ringside on March 31 to watch the Joshua-Parker fight live at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Wilder will be part of the Sky Sports team on the night to talk about the action inside the ring. Wilder is expected get inside the ring after the fight to call out the winner in front of the millions of boxing fans that will be watching the fight live in the UK, U.S and worldwide. Wilder wants to take advantage of the attention on the fight to call out the winner and start the process of gaining interest in the fight.
Parker says he’s only focused on Joshua. He doesn’t want to discuss the potential of a fight against Wilder. It’s understood that if Parker beats Joshua, the two of them will face each other in an immediate rematch. Wilder won’t get a shot until Joshua and Parker fight each other twice if there’s an upset in the first fight on March 31.
Since turning pro in 2013 after capturing an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, Joshua, 28, has always relied on his height, size and punching power to win his fights. For a big guy, Joshua has good boxing skills. He has decent hand speed for a fighter his size, and punching power is quite good. He’s not as big of a puncher as Wilder or fighters from the past like Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, but he punches hard enough to do the job against his smaller opponents.
The main weaknesses that Joshua has are his slow recovery time after he tires out, and his punch resistance. Joshua fades quickly in his fights, and sometimes as early as the 2nd round. If Parker is able to stand in the pocket and connect with his solid right hands, he could knock Joshua out. Parker didn’t look good in his last fight against Hughie Fury last September, but he had an opponent that was using movement and clinching to keep him from landing his shots. It’s understood that Hughie came to survive only and not to win the fight against Parker. Joshua doesn’t move his head, and he’ll be vulnerable to Parker’s right hand power shots if he stands and fights.
What could hurt Parker’s chances of winning the fight is if he uses too much movement like he did against Takam in their fight on May 21, 2016. Parker is normally a powerful puncher, but against Takam, he had nothing on his punches because he was moving around the ring for the full 12 rounds. When Parker did stop to throw shots, he was tired and unable to get full power on his shots. If Parker fights like that against Joshua, he might be throwing away his only chance of winning. Parker is a much better fighter when he uses an in and out attacking style. If Parker is still around late in the fight, he’ll have a good chance of knocking out Joshua if he’s able to attack him in an all-out assault.