WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 24-0 (18) believes that unified champion Anthony Joshua 20-0 (20) is underestimating him based on his last title defence against Hughie Fury ahead of their highly-anticipated clash at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31.
Last September the 26-year-old New Zealander travelled to Manchester to make the second defence of his WBO strap against the undefeated Fury. In a lacklustre fight, Parker claimed a 12-round points win by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 114-114.
“I think on that performance, they are underestimating us and I think a lot of people are already writing us off because of that performance,” Parker told the media this week. “But, like I said, we’ve worked on a lot of things and we had a great camp and it’s going to be a different fight as you guys will see March 31. If they’re judging us off that fight, then they’ve got it totally wrong. That could definitely work in our favor.”
In Joshua’s last fight in October the big Brit had to overcome a late replacement in Carlos Takam who stepped in at the 11th hour to replace Kubrat Pulev who was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury. The fight lasted 10 rounds with the 28-year-old titleholder claiming the win by stoppage.
Parker says it wasn’t Joshua’s finest performance.
“It wasn’t his best effort but he did what he had to do to get the victory,” said Parker. “Maybe training with someone who was a lot taller and then fighting somebody shorter changed the way that he approached the fight but I think the main thing is that he got the victory and he kept the belts and that’s why we can make this big fight happen.”
The undefeated Parker, who says he will come in lighter for this fight than his last few bouts, expects and explosive contest but see the fight only going one way.
“I’m going to be victorious. It’s going to be a great fight. We’re both hungry, we’re both undefeated and we’ve both been training hard but I believe in myself. I believe in my team and what we’ve been working on. I believe I’m going to be victorious March 31,” said Parker.