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Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker preview and prediction

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Weigh In Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

A bevy of heavyweight titles get unified this Saturday when IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua takes on WBO champ Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales. Both men are young, unbeaten, and have a history of brutal knockouts, making this an A+ matchup.

The card will also see WBA Bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett defend his title against Yonfrez Parejo and Alexander Povetkin demolish David Price. I know that sounds premature if you don’t know who those guys are, but trust me on this.

The big deal is, of course, the main event, so let’s have a look.

Name: Anthony Joshua

Age: 28

Record: 20-0, 20 KO

Last Five Fights: Carlos Takam (TKO-10), Wladimir Klitschko (TKO-11), Eric Moina (TKO-3), Dominic Breazeale (TKO-7), Charles Martin (KO-2)

Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Dillian Whyte


Name: Joseph Parker

Age: 26

Record: 24-0, 18 KO

Last Five Fights: Hughie Fury (MD), Razvan Cojanu (UD), Andy Ruiz Jr. (MD), Alexander Dimitrenko (KO-3), Solomon Haumono (TKO-4)

Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Carlos Takam


It’s certainly been interesting to watch these two develop as their respective countries’ great hopes.

Joshua, who won gold in the 2012 Olympics, had everything he needed to be a superstar: mind-numbing power, a jaw-dropping physique, and a strong pedigree behind him. Still, Britain’s previous heavyweight gold medalist, Audley Harrison, had flamed out in spectacular fashion, so success was no guarantee.

After disposing of rival Dillian Whyte, Joshua smashed Charles Martin for the IBF title and defended it against the overmatched Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina before stepping up to face the great Wladimir Klitschko. Joshua showed his durability, cardio, and power by surviving Klitschko’s vaunted right hand and ultimately finishing him in the eleventh. A subsequent win over Carlos Takam wasn’t near as impressive, but Joshua had thoroughly proved that he was no “Fraudley.”

Parker, meanwhile, is New Zealand’s greatest boxing export since David Tua and looked to have some of “Tuaman’s” destructive potential early in his career, thrashing most comers with speed and fluidity one would not expect from a man his size. Once he entered the world stage, however, things got a bit dicey. He barely defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. for his belt, looked mediocre against glorified sparring partner Razvan Cojanu, and struggled mightily against Hughie Fury last September.

You can probably tell who I think is going to win.

It just doesn’t look like Parker’s power works against the elite, and while Joshua isn’t a masterful technician, he can at least hold his own enough for his power to come into play. Joshua also has the more proven chin and carries his power late, meaning Parker cannot afford to slow down as the fight progresses.

The persistent threat of Joshua’s destructive capabilities and Parker’s inability to impress against higher-level opposition have me leaning the Brit’s way. Joshua starches him late and sets up a blockbuster showdown with Deontay Wilder later this year.

Prediction: Joshua by eighth-round knockout

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