the big one

Hardly a shocker, but Joshua and Parker predict knockouts ahead of titanic clash

The pair square off in Cardiff on Saturday night.

ANTHONY JOSHUA IS preparing for a 12-round battle with Joseph Parker in Cardiff on Saturday but the British fighter is confident he can finish the bout early.

This weekend’s heavyweight unification fight sees two unbeaten records go head-to-head at the Vitality Stadium, with Joshua 20-0 (20KOs) and Parker 24-0 (18KOs).

Joshua acknowledges stopping the New Zealander – who holds the WBO belt and is renowned for a strong chin – will not be easy, but he still expects to come out victorious.

“I am definitely preparing for a 12-round fight, that is not a problem,” he told today’s conference.

But if I have got £20 in my pocket, I believe Anthony Joshua will knock Joseph Parker out for sure.

The winner of the hotly anticipated heavyweight bout will then have a chance to unify the division, but Joshua insists he is solely focused on Parker rather than what may happen in the future.

“One fight at a time: a lot of talk has happened about Joshua-Wilder, but you need to be realistic, I’m looking at Joseph Parker,” he added.

“He’s a champion for a reason, a lively challenger.

“If I become victorious then I can look at future plans, but I am looking at Saturday and not beyond that moment.”

When asked to analyse his next opponent Joshua was full of praise, and sees Parker as an important part of his boxing journey.

“He’s quick and can take a punch,” added the WBA and IBF champion. “That’s what I’ve heard.

“Every fight is a blessing, every fight has a reason in the long run. He’s a champion, he’s done well.

“He is someone who will add something to my life journey.”

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker - Press Conference Bryn Lennon Bryn Lennon

The Kiwi WBO champion, meanwhile, is confident he can beat Anthony Joshua on Saturday and leave Cardiff’s Vitality Stadium with four heavyweight titles.

“I’m going to beat him,” said Parker. “I’ve not decided how I want to beat him yet, I’ll see how I feel on fight night.

These belts are mine. I feel it is my time, I am young, fast, strong and determined to win. I am not here for a payday, I am here to be part of history.

“He’s a great champion, we respect him and what he has achieved. We love challenges, we see this as a big challenge which is why I want to fight him.

“I am the best Joseph Parker there is. I am ready, confident, sharp and my movement is better than ever.

“I’m taking those belts back to New Zealand and Samoa.”

Ireland’s Ryan Burnett defends his IBF World bantamweight title versus Yonfrez Parejo on the Joshua-Parker undercard this Saturday.

- Omni

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