Anthony Joshua seemed to live up to the pre-fight hype at his weigh-in vs. Joseph Parker. Coming in at 242¼ pounds Friday afternoon for his heavyweight title unification fight Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales, Joshua was actually 12 pounds lighter than he was for his last fight, a 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Takam on October 28 in Cardiff.
All throughout his training, Joshua seemed very lean and he mentioned prior that was trying to get faster for Parker, who is a capable boxer-puncher. People were speculating that Joshua was going to be lean and mean, and that’s just what he was.
When England’s Joshua weighed 254 pounds for Takam, it was his highest as a pro.
New Zealand’s Parker was also in fine shape, officially weighed in at 236½ pounds during a weigh-in that drew approximately 4,000 fans Friday to Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. Their fight will take place at nearby Principality Stadium, which will likely hold more than 78,000 fans.
Joshua was pleased with his weight for Parker, who is one of the more athletic heavyweights in the game today.
“Well, it’s a perfect weight for the fight I’m about to face tomorrow because he’s nimble, he’s quick,” Joshua told Sky Sports following his weigh-in. “I’ve got boxing skill and I can control him, but I figure the lighter I am, the more I’ll be able to match up with speed and I’ll be able to be in and out of range. So I can go first, land my shots, move out, and come back again. And I feel great for it. That’s what we’ve been working on in rehearsals, in sparring and training, and just putting all those pieces to the puzzle together tomorrow evening.”
The 6-feet-4 Parker weighed 8½ pounds less than he did for his last fight. He officially weighed 245 pounds for his 12-round majority-decision victory over England’s Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) on September 23 in Manchester. Parker too spoke post-weigh in about each man’s physique.
“[Joshua’s] weight makes me think he’s taking this fight very seriously,” Parker said. “He has trained very hard. He’s in good shape, I’m in good shape, so there’s not much of a weight difference, which is good. We’re both gonna be I think fast for tomorrow night, and we’re both gonna move well and throw some big bombs.”
Still, it should be noted that Joshua, 28, is roughly an 8-1 favorite over Parker, 26, but Parker is considered one of the toughest opponents of Joshua’s short, 4 1/2 year pro career. They’ll fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO and WBA championships, as well as Parker’s WBO title on Saturday in a sure-fight cracker of a match.