Joshua won the IBF title in 2016 when he knocked out Charles Martin and then proceeded to win the then-vacant WBA title when Joshua knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in front of a record-setting crowd at Wembley Stadium.
An angry Anthony Joshua says Joseph Parker lacks respect and he won't shake his hand after he "whoops" the Kiwi in their world heavyweight unification fight. Of Samoan extraction, Parker is the first fighter born in New Zealand to win a version of the world heavyweight title.
The bout that will pit two of the biggest stars at heavyweight is now official, taking place on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales, the site of Joshua's last fight back in October.
"I'm looking forward to it".
Asked how he thought Joshua would respond to the drugs suggestions, Parker said: "I don't know how he will he respond. he may be angry or upset at what we have been saying". Talks had previously stalled over how the purse would be split but a compromise was reached last month which will see Parker, 25, earn 30-35%.
Parker himself is looking to extend his own undefeated streak, with the WBO Heavyweight champion now 24-0 in his professional career, coming off a successful defence of his Heavyweight championship against Hughie Fury at Manchester Arena in September. "A couple of months ago I heard him say, 'Why should I be anxious about this little kid from New Zealand?' Well, now he's about to find out".
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"Well, now he's about to find out". And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch.
Joshua will be returning to the venue where he fought his most recent fight, scoring a 10th round TKO of late sub Carlos Takam. "It's a classic match-up between two young, fast, undefeated belt holders and it's going to be an explosive fight".
Parker has continued to question Joshua's "glass jaw" and "robotic" fighting style and Parker's boss David Higgins has fuelled the flames by suggesting Joshua could be the next British sporting "choker".
They staged a news conference in November featuring clips of Joshua being knocked down in his amateur days and offered £20,000 to anyone with footage of him being floored.
The Duco Events boss says Parker has a mental edge over Joshua. Although it figures that Parker will feel right at home in a rugby stadium (Polynesians have dominated the sport), Joshua will go to post a substantial favorite.