Unbeaten heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (17-0, 15 KOs) says he hopes to face undefeated British/Commonwealth heavyweight champion Antony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) in the future. Parker, 23, is a little bit younger than the 26-year-old Joshua, but with perhaps a little more punching power in both hands. Joshua has been developed a bit more as a pro, and he would appear to be a little ahead of the 6’4” New Zealand heavyweight at this time.
Parker saw Joshua’s recent 7th round stoppage over the injured Dillian Whyte last December and he was impressed with what he saw from Joshua. Whyte staggered Joshua in the 2nd round before suffering an injury to left power hand and being forced to fight mainly with only one good hand the rest of the way.
“I believe if we keep doing well and we keep winning, probably in the future we can meet up somewhere. I definitely have a lot of respect for him and his team,” Parker said to skysports.com. “We are taking the same paths in what we’re doing in our careers.”
For Joshua to have a good chance of winning the Parker fight, he’d have to change his fighting style, because he bum rushes his opponents too much and is too hittable at this point. Joshua is still fighting in the same style he had as an amateur, where he jumps on his opponent and tries to knock them out immediately. Defense is clearly not something that Joshua thinks about.
It wasn’t an issue for Joshua when he was in the amateurs, because he was wearing head gear. It also wasn’t an issue for him in his first 14 fights of his pro career due to the soft opposition he was being fed by his promoters at Matchroom Sport. However, now that Joshua is finally starting to face guys that can punch, he’s starting to look vulnerable and could wind up getting knocked out soon unless he learns how to fight properly.
Parker would likely be seen as too dangerous right now for Joshua. Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Joshua, is looking for an opponent for him for his next fight in April, but Hearn is looking at arguably less dangerous guys than Parker, such as Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenius. Those are good basic fighters but not tremendous punchers and very flawed fighters. You can say definitely that Chisora and Helenius are a step down from the injured Whyte that Joshua fought last December. A healthy Whyte would be a real problem for Joshua and Parker.
“It will definitely be explosive and you have to feel that if I fight with Joshua, we’ll definitely put in the work, train hard and it’s a big fight for both of us, but I believe it’s a fight that can happen in the future,” Parker said. “We’ve both got good records and good knockout power. It will be an exciting fight for the future.”