A blockbuster Heavyweight title fight is set to take place this Saturday, March 31, 2018, live on Showtime from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, England, as Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) will put his WBA and IBF titles on the line against WBO titleholder, Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) with the winner taking sole possession of all three belts.
Joshua, one of the sports biggest stars, has yet to fight in the United States, but he’s put together quite an impressive career thus far nonetheless. After winning a gold medal representing Britain in the 2012 Olympic games, Joshua turned pro in 2013 and has since amassed a 20-0 record with all 20 of those victories coming by way of knockout.
His most notable victory to date took place in April 2017 when he scored an emphatic 11th-round knockout victory over the legendary, Wladimir Klitschko.
Stylistically, Joshua is known first and foremost for his tremendous punching power, but he’s also extremely athletic, has solid speed and moves well for a man of his size. Standing 6’6” with a reach of 82 inches, Joshua has a large frame that has likely helped him succeed as well.
It’s also important to note that Joshua is a patient and calculated fighter. Yes he’s powerful, but he typically doesn’t become too wild with his punches.
Moving on to Parker, the 26-year-old is also undefeated, possessing an impressive 24-0 record with 18 of those victories coming by way of knockout.
He won the WBO title with a majority-decision victory over Andy Ruiz in 2016 and has successfully defended it twice since, scoring a unanimous-decision victory over Razvan Cojanvu in May 2017 and defeating Hughie Fury by majority decision in his last fight this past September.
Stylistically, Parker packs some power of his own, but his best tools are his jab and his movement. He has solid speed and formidable footwork as well. In terms of size, he’s a bit smaller than Joshua, standing 6’4” and owning a reach of 78 inches.
Ultimately, I see this as Joshua’s fight to lose.
The Brit was dropped in his fight against Klitschko, but I’m not sure Parker will be able to do the same. Parker’s best route to victory would likely be to use his speed and footwork to out-work Joshua and drag the fight into the later rounds. Once again, however, I have trouble seeing that happen.
I simply feel as if Joshua is the superior fighter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he adds another finish to his resume in this fight.
Header photo by Esther Lin/Showtime