Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker preview: Late stoppage beckons
Views and predictions ahead of the big fight
Anthony Joshua faces fellow champion Joseph Parker in a huge heavyweight unification bout in Cardiff on Saturday night.
The pair clash at the Millennium Stadium with both fighters putting up their straps and unbeaten records. It’s an intriguing fight and one of the biggest match-ups in the division.
But who comes out on top? The Coral News Team cast their eye over the bout…
Can AJ avoid complacency?
After the biggest fight of his career against Wladimir Klitchscko, Joshua was brought back down to earth with a bang against Carlos Takam. The IBF, WBA, and IBO heavyweight champion was expected to easily beat the French-Cameroonian fighter.
But it took until the 10th round for AJ to finish him off – which maybe wasn’t to be unexpected. Takam, after all, is known for his durability and toughness.
There’s an argument there to suggest that AJ may have been on a slight comedown. Takam was a replacement for the injured Kubrat Pulev, and he’d just come off a euphoric win against Klitchsko.
He was slightly sluggish in the early rounds against Takam until he began to find his range later in the fight. Will he take any chances with a fellow world champion? It’s unlikely.
Is Parker the real deal?
When Joseph Parker first burst onto the scene a few years ago, he was touted as someone who could rival Joshua for heavyweight supremacy.
However, despite winning the WBO strap vacated by Tyson Fury, Parker has flattered to deceive since. He struggled to a unanimous decision win over Razvan Cojanu last summer. And then he defeated Fury’s cousin, Hughie, in Manchester last September.
Fury was supposed to be a tough match-up for the New Zealander. But the Mancunian never really turned up.
Parker’s stellar reputation was built on a bedrock of domestic performances back in his home country. But he’s struggled to replicate that form in the international arena.
He’s still a talented, unbeaten heavyweight champion. And that must be respected.
An immovable object meets an unstoppable force at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday night.
Unbeaten records and world title belts are on the line. Joshua has a 100% knockout record from 20 fights. Only Kiltschko has come close to stopping him.
Parker, on the other hand, is up against an elite heavyweight fighter for the first time in his career. He’s struggled – but got the job done – when up against Takam, Andy Ruiz Jnr., Cojanu, and Fury.
But AJ is on a different plain. It will be intriguing to see how Parker handles the step up in class.
The Briton has a 2in height advantage and a 6in bigger reach. So expect Joshua to plug the Kiwi with that stiff jab in the early phase of the fight.
The Coral News Team reckons this could be a case of accumulated damaged put on Parker and then a late-ish stoppage.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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