It is official: Anthony Joshua, the biggest name in British boxing right now, will take on Kiwi Joseph Parker in what is set to be a massive heavyweight unification fight at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
Joshua will be putting up the WBA Super title, as well as the IBF belt and IBO crown whilst Parker’s WBO championship is also up for grabs.
On paper, this looks like a very exciting bout for boxing fans – even if Joshua is the clear favourite. At the time of writing, the Brit is as short as 1/12 in 888sport’s boxing markets to emerge victorious and it would take a brave man to back against him.
After all, Joshua is a freak of nature, winning all 20 of his professional bouts inside the scheduled distance.
This marks Joshua’s second successive fight in Cardiff, having defeated Carlos Takam by TKO in the 10th round in front of an expectant Welsh crowd back in October.
Anyone looking at the result without watching may have been shocked but Joshua was in control from start to finish; two judges had the fight scored at 89-81 and the other a perfect 90-80 at the time of the stoppage.
And then we have Parker. Two years Joshua’s junior, the WBO champion is also undefeated – winning 18 of his 24 fights by KO/TKO.
He has failed to secure a knockout victory in each of his last three bouts, defeating Andy Ruiz by split decision before picking up a unanimous win against Romanian Razvan Cojanu in May 2017.
In his most recent fight, Parker travelled to Manchester for a fight with Hughie Fury – cousin of undefeated heavyweight star Tyson Fury. The 26-year-old won by split decision, although two of the judges scored the fight 118-110 in his favour.
Fury did land a few good punches during the fight but Parker got through more work and was the deserving winner.
Unlike Joshua, Fury couldn’t get past Takam inside the scheduled distance though and that may sway punters to look past the Kiwi; Parker is priced at 6/1 to come out on top.
Writing him off completely would be foolish, he has the speed and power to cause problems for the Brit. Joshua’s supposed “glass chin” will be tested on March 31st – there will be no hiding places in the Principality ring.
For those interested in specific round betting markets, Joshua to win in rounds 7-9 is available at 13/4.
He has the power to blow Parker out of the water but the New Zealander is no slouch and this may go into the latter stages, an early knockout looks unlikely.
For now, it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy the pre-fight talk. Parker and his team have been quite vocal in recent months and it will be interesting to see whether Joshua will take the bait at some point.
The British public will be expecting another blockbuster performance from their heavyweight hero and Anthony Joshua can take a major stride towards greatness in Cardiff.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*