Anthony Joshua, 20-0(20) and the reigning and undefeated WBA/IBF heavyweight champion.
Joseph Parker, 24-0(18) and the reigning and undefeated WBO heavyweight champion.
But which of the two fighters, who will clash in a unification showdown a week today in Cardiff, Wales, has the better resume? Most fans will likely say Joshua has the better, more impressive resume; simply because he holds on his record that superb win over an all-time great in Wladimir Klitschko. This win, scored by AJ last April, impressed many hardened observers and plenty of fans.
Yet Kevin Barry, trainer of New Zealand’s Parker, says his man has a better pro record than Joshua, and that “British boxing fans really got ahead of themselves with Joshua’s win over Klitschko.”
Speaking with Metro.co.uk, Barry explained why he feels his fighter has faced the better quality of pro opposition:
“Joe’s record is better, just look at the list of opponents that both guys have fought,” Barry said. “There are two names on Joshua’s resume which stand out. One is the great Klitschko, who he fought at the age of 41.The other is Carlos Takam, who he fought on 12 days notice. You then look at Joseph Parker’s [resume]. When Joe was 10-0, we were fighting guys who were world ranked. When he was 12-0, we fought Irineu Beato, who was 12 in the world. You look at Andy Ruiz who was 29-0 when we fought him for the [WBO] title. You look at Hughie Fury, who nobody wants to fight. You look at Alexander Dimitrenko – Joe blew him out in three-rounds. You look at Takam, who had three months notice before coming to New Zealand to fight the mandatory.”
Barry actually makes a good case, and Parker has certainly fought more unbeaten fighters than Joshua has. Still, in terms of the way he won his big fights – against Klitschko and Dillian Whyte – AJ closed the show in style. Whereas in his biggest fights – against Ruiz, Fury and Takam – Parker struggled to decision wins.
In terms of raw power, Joshua has the upper hand. In his fight with Takam, AJ did struggle, hampered as he was by that busted nose and the trouble breathing he had as a result, eventually stopping him (via somewhat premature stoppage it must be said) in the 10th. Parker went all 12 rounds with Takam.
In truth, these two talented and unbeaten heavyweights are very evenly matched, hence the great interest in the fight and the divided opinions on who will win and how. Joshua is the favourite, but not by a great margin. A good number of people suggest BOTH heavyweights will encounter the toughest test yet in their respective careers on March 31.
And the winner will walk away with a resume that, with one additional win, will be significantly boosted.