Both Anthony Joshua 20-0 (20) and Joseph Parker 24-0 (18) have come in at their lightest weights in years ahead of their WBA, IBF and WBO unification bout at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales this Saturday night.
Joshua weighed in at 242.25-pounds while Parker was 236.5-pounds.
For the 6-foot-6 Englishman, it’s the lightest he has been in over three years. Not since his 10th pro bout against Michael Sprott in November 2014 has Joshua weighed in less the 243-pounds.
The 28-year-old WBA and IBF champion weighed almost 12-pounds more for his last bout against Carlos Takam last October.
“I feel better. Training is all about rehearsal and so is sparring, but it has gone well,” Joshua told Sky Sports on Friday. “You will see I will be a lot sharper. My reflexes will be sharper and my speed will be much sharper.
“He looked good, but I would expect that from a world champion. You will be in for a good, good fight tomorrow night, believe me.”
It is a similar scenario for the 6-foot-4 Parker, who hasn’t been below 240-pounds for his last four fights. Against Solomon Haumono in July 2016 he weighed 234.5-pounds – the same weight he was for his immediately previous bout against common opponent Takam two months earlier.
In his last outing the 26-year-old WBO champion weighed 245-pounds when he outboxed Hughie Fury at the Manchester Arena back in September.
“Us being close in weight makes me think he is taking it seriously,” said Parker. “We are similar, we will both be fast tomorrow and throwing bombs. I saw he is confident, I’m expecting a really good fight.
“The first few rounds could go either way, depends who follows their game plan better. I’m ready for anything.
“I’m here for war, you’ll have to do everything to beat me.”
The officials for the Sky Sports Box Office-televised bout will be Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone, American judge Steve Weisfeld, English judge Steve Gray and New Zealand judge Ian Scott.
The fight will be broadcast by Showtime in the United States.