Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set for huge showdown




It looks like it will be a scintillating couple of months for fans of elite boxing. There is the prospect of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the conclusion of the highly successful World Boxing Super Series and the long-awaited fight between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.

However, none of those stellar bouts has caught the attention of the media and the casual boxing fan in quite the same manner as Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker’s heavyweight title unification fight, which is set to take place in Cardiff, UK, on 31st March. The fight will be held in front of an expected crowd of 78,000 at Cardiff’s spectacular Principality Stadium.

Joshua’s perfect record is under threat in Cardiff

The bout will see Joshua, who holds a perfect record of 20 wins and 20 KOs in his professional career, put up his IBF, IBO and WBA (Super) heavyweight titles against Parker’s WBO belt. The winner will then make a bid to become undisputed heavyweight champion by targeting the winner of the Wilder v Ortiz fight (3rd March, NYC).

The prospect of crowning the heavyweight division’s first undisputed champion in almost twenty years has added plenty of sub-plots to the match, with many UK fans hoping, if all goes to plan, that Joshua will face Wilder in the summer. He must get past the undefeated Parker first however.

Joshua should not take Parker threat lightly

Joshua’s easy-going nature and meteoric rise has made him a potential ‘golden boy’ of the division. However, he has also got the weapons to back up the hype. The former Olympic Gold medallist has rarely been troubled in his 20 professional fights so far, but also showed he can tough it out when coming under pressure in recent bouts against Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam.

Joshua is, as expected, a massive favourite with the bookmakers to win the fight. The current odds from major betting companies see him priced at around 1/10 to win the fight by any means. Odds for a KO/TKO/Disqualification victory are 1/4 generally, with a decision victory for Joshua available at 9/2.

Parker has critics, but also plenty of supporters

Parker, meanwhile, is not so favoured by the odds-setters, although he does seem to have plenty of backers. He can be found at odds of 6/1 to win the fight, 9/1 to win by stoppage and 33/1 to win on decision. There is a wide range of betting markets and specials available for this huge fight however, so check out the complete betting guide to Joshua vs. Parker before you bet.

The huge interest in the fight has added to a renewed sense of interest in boxing’s heavyweight division overall. Having four undefeated fighters (Ortiz and Wilder have also never lost professionally) go up against each other in the space of a few weeks has really spiced up the division.

Heavyweight division seems in really good shape

How it will all pan out remains to be seen. The way things are going we should see an undisputed heavyweight champion at the end of the year. There is also the intriguing possibility of boxing’s enfant terrible, Tyson Fury, re-entering the fray. He too is undefeated and, if he can get back into shape, could set up another huge fight with Wilder or Joshua in the coming months.

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