Right now we are seemingly no closer to seeing a deal made for a fight between rival heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker. As fans know, Parker and his team have been going all-out to try and get the fight made; even hosting a quite bizarre press conference where video was shown of Joshua suffering knockdowns at both amateur and pro level.
Parker’s people have openly criticized Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn over failing to make the fight despite them agreeing to a 65-35-percent purse split in the WBA/IBF champion’s favor (at least this purse deal is one Parker has tweeted he is agreeable to). Joshua, not a guy to lose his temper easily, responded to the tactics Parker has been adopting and, as he explained to BBC Sport, AJ says Parker is not showing any respect.
“I think it’s not nice, I don’t really respect it and I have no time for it,” Joshua said of Parker’s recent behavior. “What’s he trying? Be the big bully? Demonize everything I have done? In Formula 1, golf, tennis, rugby, they are very classy people, respectable about their peers. Then you have people like Joseph Parker holding a press conference talking about everything he thinks I am. With Klitschko it wasn’t about the money, it was about getting the fight together for the belts. With Parker it’s a different story, and [Deontay] Wilder. They have their reasons, but I feel like the fans are not getting what they want.”
Indeed, fans do want to see AJ get it on with both Parker and Wilder, whichever fight comes first. But the money side of things may well hold things up for some time; Wilder recently stating how the fight between he and Joshua will only happen if the purse is split down the middle 50/50.
Joshua said that as soon as Parker and his team “come to their senses,” this fight will happen.
“It would have been great to have it penciled in now but it will happen in the future once they come to their senses,” Joshua said of Parker. “What they are offering is nothing, and what we are offering is ten times better than what they can bring up themselves.”
There is no doubt Joshua is a far bigger star worldwide than Parker, and if he gets the fights he wants and wins them, Joshua will become even bigger. But will AJ get the chance to unify the belts, and if so when?