Say what you will about boxing, but the sport is alive and doing well.
This coming weekend, IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face off with WBO champion Joseph Parker inside of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The match is undoubtedly one of the biggest of the year and all eyes seem to be on the 28-year old Joshua, who continues to see his buzz grow.
“This is bigger than last time,” Joshua stated recently. “Boxing is bigger than ever right now. This is the golden era and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
In Parker, Joshua will have a lively foe, an undaunted underdog with skills, size, and experience, who has yet to taste defeat. The 26-year old New Zealander is welcoming a big battle and Joshua seems excited by the idea.
“It’s good news that he wants a war,” said Joshua. “In boxing, all you need is a good chin and a right hand but I’ve been working on finesse, technique, counter punching. I hope Joseph Parker falls into my booby traps because I’m going to set him up with some power shots as well. Yeah, I’ll be up for a war. I’ll hopefully be up for some blood, sweat, and cheers from my corner.
“Physically I believe in my ability,” Joshua added. “I’m focused and I understand it’s a boxing match and the people are expecting the pinnacle of boxing. Hopefully they’ll be able to see me through to victory.”
Joshua has been training very ardently in camp, as evidenced by pre-fight videos and workouts, as he is in pristine shape and lean as ever. Coming up on another defense of his titles, Joshua reflected on what keeps him hungry.
“You need to still keep that challenger’s mind-set,” The British superstar stated. “I’m still the challenger in my head, and sometimes I don’t want to be seen with the belts around me too much. Now that I’m the hunted, it’s no time to just put my feet up and relax. I’m out there defending my throne on Saturday night.”
But what does the future hold? An endless amount of possibilities, it would see. In one corner you have WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who just recently stopped Cuba’s Luis Ortiz In the tenth round of a cracker of a fight this past March 3. Wilder is a lanky heavyweight who can punch and he has been begging to face Joshua.
There is also former lineal champion Tyson Fury, who is one of the biggest, most skilled, and most talkative heavyweights out there. Fury returns to the ring later this year and he’s also mentioned Joshua as a foe sooner than later.
All intriguing scenarios but first things first for the most popular heavyweight on the globe.
“I can’t worry about it [futures bouts],” said Joshua. “Saturday night is where it’s at. Saturday night is big enough. Saturday night is massive.”