It’s looking quite likely how rival heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker could meet next spring. As fans may be aware, WBO champ Parker and his team have pressed very hard for a unification fight with Joshua, the WBA/IBF ruler – this week holding a quite bizarre press conference where footage was shown of AJ being troubled and knocked down in fights; a “reward” offered to anyone with video evidence of Parker being decked at any time – and it seems Joshua has bitten.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua sent him a “let me at him” message, prompting Hearn to tell Sky Sports News how Parker’s tactics of getting to AJ “have worked.” Hearn says a deal is now “pretty close.”
“We are single digits, percentages away right now, and we have to be creative. We have to look at the revenue streams. We are already talking about potential venues, potential dates, so it’s a good sign,” Hearn said, having been involved in fresh talks this morning. “I believe they want the fight. They’ve done a good job on Anthony Joshua, because his message to me last night was very simple: ‘let me at him.’ He’s winding him up, he’s pushing the right buttons to get the bite out of Anthony Joshua and Anthony Joshua wants to fight Joseph Parker. He wants to do a job on him and we hope it’s the next fight for spring.”
Hearn added how a Joshua-Parker deal is at present far closer to being made than a Joshua-Deontay Wilder fight deal, but that talks for this massive fight are also “ongoing.” So it looks quite likely it could be Joshua-Parker next. A good fight, an interesting fight, and a clash of unbeaten, peaking champions, Joshua-Parker will see one man walk away with three major heavyweight belts.
And whoever it is – with a good case for a New Zealand win being made from Parker’s team and fans, and an equally good argument being made for an AJ win by his team and fans – he will, in theory, walk into a massive four-belt unification clash with Wilder; hopefully in the summer.
2018 could turn out to be a great year for the heavyweights. Parker is currently 24-0(18). Joshua is currently 20-0(20). So who wins if and when they meet?