Boxing preview: Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker

Date: Saturday, March 31st

Joshua aiming to secure unification match with Wilder

Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) puts his WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles on the line when he meets New Zealand’s Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31.

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Punters can back Joshua at 1/8 at William Hill to win the fight, with Parker available at 11/2. The draw is on offer at 28/1, but the British star looks a banker bet to emerge victorious.

The unbeaten Kiwi (24-0, 18KOs) is the current WBO champion and the winner of this fight is almost certain to face Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) for the WBC belt further down the line.

Joshua’s epic victory Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last April catapulted him to superstardom and he is a heavy favourite to secure a mega-money match-up with Wilder.

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His gutsy performance in coming back off the canvas against the legendary Ukrainian cemented his status as a world class fighter and Parker hasn’t looked up to that level in his most recent fights.

The 26-year-old has failed to stop three opponents since moving up to world level and Joshua’s power could cause him plenty of problems.

However, the Kiwi can take heart from the fact that he has never been on the deck during his boxing career, while doubts over the strength of Joshua’s chin continue to circulate.

The Brit did well to recover from Kiltschko’s straight right hand during their battle at Wembley, but it’s debatable whether Parker possesses the skills to land a similar blow.

He won the vacant WBO title by majority decision over Andy Ruiz in 2016, giving New Zealand its first ever heavyweight champion, but he has been unimpressive in his last two fights against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury.

Parker has undergone surgery on both his elbows since his last fight which may explain those laboured performances, but Joshua’s solid jab should keep Parker on the back foot and lead him to his 21st career victory.

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