Joshua expects to be faster, sharper against Parker
By Jim Dower: Anthony Joshua will be coming into Saturday’s fight against Joseph Parker 12 pounds lighter than his previous match against Carlos Takam on October 28. Joshua weighed in at 254 lbs. for that fight, and he won by a 10th round knockout.
On Friday, Joshua weighed in at 242 lbs. and he looked a lot leaner. Joshua expects his lighter weight to help him fight with more speed and be a lot shaper than he’s been in a while.
Parker isn’t surprised that Joshua is coming in lighter for this fight, because it shows that he’s taking the fight seriously. Joshua had to do something after he had problems with his endurance in his last 2 fights against Takam and Wladimir Klitschko.
”I feel better. Training is all about rehearsal and so is sparring, but it has gone well,” Joshua said to skysports.com. “You will see I will be a lot sharper. My reflexes will be sharper and my speed will be much sharper.”
Joshua, 28, will be the way he normally has been in the past. He’s fast at times, and powerful, but he gets hurt when hit hard and he doesn’t thrive in fast pace fights where he’s getting hit back. If Parker can get Joshua into an exchange and clip him with something, he could hurt him in the same way Klitschko and Dillian Whyte did. Mihai Nistor hurt Joshua when slugging with him in their fight in 2011. Joshua was out on his feet and the fight had to be stopped. The was the last time Joshua lost an official fight, although some boxing fans believe he was beaten twice in the 2012 London Olympics by Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon.
“He looked good, but I would expect that from a world champion,” Parker said about Joshua. “You will be in for a good, good fight tomorrow night, believe me. Us being close in weight makes me think he is taking it seriously. We are similar; we will both be fast tomorrow and throwing bombs,” Parker said.
Parker has got to throw bombs in this contest for him to have a chance of winning. He’s not going to win a boxing match like he did against Carlos Takam, Andy Ruiz and Hughie Fury. There’s a big difference in fighting Joshua than from fighting Takam, Ruiz and Fury. Joshua is a lot more popular, and if the close rounds will all likely go in Joshua’s favor because he’s the star, he’s fighting in his own country and he’s the A-side. Parker’s trainer and management need to let him know that it’s extremely important for him to give it all he’s got to try and knockout Joshua if possible. Letting the judge decide the final outcome could be a mistake for Parker.
Parker, 236 pounds, is coming into Saturday’s contest 9 lbs. lighter than the 245 lbs. that he weighed for his last fight against Hughie Fury last September. Parker won that fight by a 12 round majority decision, but it was a hard fight because he was forced to chase after Hughie for most of the contest to get him to mix it up. Parker won’t have to go after Joshua in the same way because he’ll be looking to slug with him at every opportunity. Even if Joshua does decide to use movement, he’s not likely to be able to move quick enough to stay away. When Joshua gets tired, he’s still there to be hit. He doesn’t get on his bike the way some heavyweights do to try and stay out of harm’s way.
Parker will have the quicker hands, but his shots won’t have much power on them unless he puts everything he has in them. For Parker to hurt Joshua, he’s going to need to move less and sit down on his shots a lot more than what he did in the Takam fight. Parker has to make up his mind if he wants to try and win a decision, which may be hard to do, or if he’s going to go after a knockout against Joshua. The only fighter that was able to win rounds against Joshua was Wladimir Klitschko, and that was because he hurt him in the 6th. It took Joshua several rounds for him to come back. Wladimir thought he could win a decision over Wladimir, and for a while there it looked like he was going to do that. Joshua caught Wladimir with a big uppercut in the 10th round that hurt him. Joshua then got his second wind and went on to stop Klitschko in the 11th. Parker should be thinking knockout all the way on Saturday night for him to try and get a victory.
“I saw he is confident, I’m expecting a really good fight,” Parker said. “The first few rounds could go either way, depends who follows their game plan better – I’m ready for anything. I’m here for war, you’ll have to do everything to beat me.”
If Parker is there for a war, then he needs to not use so much movement against Joshua. Parker was supposed to have been going to war against Takam, and he failed to do so. Parker treated Takam like he was afraid of him, and that made the fight a lot harder than it should have been if he’d stayed in the pocket and went after his chin the way Joshua did. Parker got the 12 round decision, but he was fighting at home in New Zealand, and it might not have gone his way if the fight had taken place in another country.
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