Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker unification fight is official for March 31


Negotiations have been painstaking and prolonged but, finally, the heavyweight unification fight between IBF and WBA titleholder Anthony Joshua and WBO counterpart Joseph Parker has been confirmed for March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The news was broken by Joshua via his official Twitter account:

“Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re well. I wish you all a happy year.

“I’d like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting March 31st and the location will be Cardiff, Wales. It’s a unification heavyweight championship fight. We all know what happened last time I was in a unification championship fight (TKO11 Wladimir Klitschko). It was grueling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.

“These fights aren’t easy, ‘cos there’s a lot on the line, so respect to Team Parker for taking the challenge and you know me – I love this game. I’m looking forward to it. Training camp is underway and before you know it, March 31st will be upon us. Stay tuned for more news and I’ll see you all soon. God Bless!”

Joshua (20-0, 20 knockouts) is coming off a 10th-round stoppage of late replacement Carlos Takam in October, while Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) was less than impressive in a 12-round majority decision win over another British opponent, Hughie Fury, in September.


Tom Gray is Associate Editor for THE RING. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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  • Luca Blight

    Both Wilder and Joshua has very tough challenges in front of them. So tough that it’s not even a guarantee that they’ll both win. Should they both win, I expect another unification, hopefully by summer.

    • ceylon mooney

      i just cant imagine parker winning. lotta glass chin talk, but after seein how well joshua did against a turned-on and tuned-up vladimir i think hell be dominant. challenged? yeah. but not threatened.

      • Luca Blight

        We really can’t say Vlad was turned-on or tuned up against Joshua but not against Fury. You’re discrediting Fury’s win, in which Vlad was 2 years younger when he fought him. Is it not possible that Fury just frustrated him so much that he couldn’t do what he did against Joshua?

        • philoe bedoe

          Joshua is a more dangerous fighter than Tyson, but easier to figure out………….

        • ceylon mooney

          no where did i say he wasnt turned on or tuned up against fury, but that was definitely the case.

          vlad showed up to win against joshua. he didnt show up against fury. he sucked. lookeed like david haye did against vlad. fury barely did enough to win, and vlad didnt do anything to stop him. man he sucked.

          yes its possible. that looks like what happened. he was deer in headlights the whole fight. i think if heda tried to win he could have.

          • Luca Blight

            I don’t know man, it looked to me that Vlad was gun shy against Fury. He seemed afraid of getting hit or countered and Fury moved well in that fight though he didn’t throw much either. So I’m gonna say Fury was the reason Vlad was off of his game.

          • philoe bedoe

            I agree, Wlad didn’t let his hands go because he would have hit fresh air………….

          • Luca Blight

            He did hit fresh air. And his face was pretty busted post fight while Fury’s was some what untouched.

          • ceylon mooney

            i saw the same thing.

          • left hook

            I agree, I think Vladimir was gun shy.

        • Jeremy, UK

          Styles make fights!

          • Luca Blight

            That’s what I’m saying and was pointing out.

          • Jeremy, UK

            Yeah, I was agreeing with you. That’s also why I wouldn’t read too much into Parker’s “struggle” with Hughie Fury. Like his cousin, he is smart and very effective defensively. Joshua’s style will suit him much better and could make him dangerous – IF he can withstand the relentless pressure.

      • BobbyPFalcon

        Wlad was clearly diminished, but still elite for his division. I don’t see how Parker can win but that’s why they fight the fights.

  • Lion king

    I see an easy night for AJ and for Wilder it’s a coin flip, I think Wilder is going to be boxing and running to steal a decision if he tries to knock Ortiz out he’ll pay the price

    • Left Hook2


    • ceylon mooney

      i think wilder fucks him up. he may play it good and safe for 6 rounds, but i really do think hell eff up king kong. yeah, hes my favorite HW, but wilder can play it conservative, and his mean streak has gotten meaner. his ring smarts aint bad at all.

      • BobbyPFalcon

        No heavy has Wilder’s combination of handspeed and jab. Joshua is still more technically-sound but he has glaring flaws as well. Wilder is quicker and I think that will be the difference.

        • ceylon mooney

          goddam those hands are fast. his timing is underappreciated too.

          yeah. true that. joshua is def a better boxer.

    • John Newman

      Did you watch Ortiz fight Martz, Allen, or Scott? The man who beat Jennings has not aged well. I think Wilder will put Ortiz into a shell after the first time he connects. I don’t know if Ortiz still has the legs and the power to last the distance or keep Wilder honest, but I sure wouldn’t bet on it.

      As for AJ, I don’t think Parker actually thinks he can knock Joshua down, much less out. I think he and his team are doing what they can to keep the fight in the public eye during negotiations (not realizing that it won’t matter with AJ). Parker’s best chance to win is on a bicycle, picking his shots, and with more endurance than he’s shown yet in a fight.

      • Jeremy, UK

        If Wilder can keep Ortiz at range, I think he wins comfortably and could likely stop him in the second half of the fight. If Ortiz can get in close he will hurt Wilder.

  • shawn

    Parker is claiming Joshua to have a glass chin. Joshua took a perfectly time flush Klitschko right hand right on the button ( a 41 year old Klitschko sure ) and got back up. I’ve seen that same Kiltch right hand put people too sleep. Not sure Josh has a glass jaw.

    • Kudos

      Amir Khan didn’t get stopped by Maidana, doesn’t detract from the fact he has a glass chin.

      • shawn

        I didn’t really follow Maidons career to closely, did he have 54 ko’s like Klitschko ?

        Did Maidona land a clean signature power punch too Khan face that is universally known for knocking out his opponent’s in highlight reel fashion like WK did ?

        I didn’t watch Khan vs Maidona but by knowing their styles, I could see khan out maneuvering Maidona quite easily.

        People have claimed Wladmir Klitschko had a glass chin and went over 10 year’s without loosing and or getting KO’d as well. How can glass jaw Klitschko beat everyone in the heavyweight division and not lose for 11 years ?

        Before you go there, it doesn’t really matter if the division was ” weak” it’s still the heavyweight division and no glass chin fighter go’s 11 years undefeated taking on the biggest punchers in the division. Maybe Klitschko was just that good.

        • philoe bedoe

          Maidana was recognised as one of the p4p hardest punchers around.
          He landed a big right hand flush on Khans chin in the 10th it didn’t drop him but Khan was on rubbery legs for the remainder of the fight.
          Nobody really got close enough to test Wlads chin because he was to good.
          Maybe looking at it, his opponents didn’t possess the size and ability to compete with Wlad like Fury and Joshua did…………..


            He failed to punch The Great Floyd.

          • shawn

            I did both of those two fight s (May) including broner.

          • shawn

            If Khan could survive a Maidona flush shot, then I suppose “Joshua’s glass jaw” should okay taking a Parker shot. I got a feeling Parker doesn’t possess Klitschko’s power.

            Parker best shot is a high work rate, punches in bunches can produce a TKO/ stoppage. If Parker keeps pushing Joshua from round one, tires him out and can absorb Joshua s power then maybe he can pull it out.

            Klitschko fought every style out there. Power punchers, slick boxers, guys bigger than him, Gold medalist, Championship belt holders, number one ranked guys and beat them with skill and boxing ability.

            Clumsy Sam Peter got on the inside didn’t he ?

            There are myths about the Klitschko brother s that are BS. The biggest one I hear is ” the Klitschko’s are boring clinchers ”
            A. Holyfeild is the most recent too make that statement. Can someone please show me a hand full of boring V. Klitschko boring hugging bouts ? Biggest lie in boxing.

          • philoe bedoe

            I agree, the Klitchko’s don’t get the credit they deserve.
            Parker doesn’t hit as hard as Klitchko but i think his best chance would be to box on the move, an elusive boxer is what is going to trouble Joshua the most imo………….

          • shawn

            Yeah you have a good point for parker to move a bit, I agree. He will be move offensive naturally than Wlad I think, unless Joshua lands something big early.

            W. Klitschko usually fought his mandatory s and those in the number one slot, (following the rules of the sport )giving guys a shot to win a title and make some real money as well, even if it wasn’t always the popular thing to do.

            Klitschko passed the torch to Joshua and gave him credit even though Fury was first.
            Maybe Klitschko’s will be more appreciated in time.

        • Kudos

          Wlad is a quality fighter.

          • shawn

            A bit underrated

      • ozzy

        Surely a glass chin is a glass chin – or was it taking a day off against Maidana? Surely more explanation is needed here Mr Kudos.

        • Kudos


    • BobbyPFalcon

      Joshua’s issue is he doesn’t move his head well and he tends to back straight up when attacked. It’s the reason Wilder will likely KO him if the fight gets out of the early rounds. Sooner or later, Joshua will eat a punch and Wilder is a finisher – Wlad was too cautious to try.

      • shawn

        I though we were talking about Parker ?

    • John Newman

      Agreed, but Klitschko’s power shots were not connecting with Joshua’s chin so much as the side and top of his face. Wlad’s straight right is still as formidable punch as has existed in the heavyweight division in a long time, but his age and time out of the ring may have had something to do with it not finding the perfect mark. Five years earlier and those right hands catch Joshua on the chin. Who knows if he gets up after that knockdown?

      All the same, Joshua still took the punch. And his defense may deserve some credit for it landing where it did. I think claiming that Joshua has a glass chin (which is clearly false after the Klitschko fight) or even is chinny is an effort by Parker’s team (particularly Higgins) to talk the public into an otherwise perceived mismatch. I’ll be interested to see on fight night if Parker or anyone in his corner seems to have needed to talk themselves into their odds.

  • philoe bedoe

    Looking forward to this and I think it’s going to be more competitive than a lot of people think.
    Joshua as more power and as the better technique.
    But Parker as the chin, speed and the ability to box on the inside and the outside which will give AJ problems.
    Should be fun with Higgins in the buildup to this…………

    • Jeremy, UK

      We assume Parker has a strong chin, but what fearsome punchers has he faced?

  • stetee83

    AJ should win this but might have to be patient

  • PrinceGian

    Joshua by stoppage in the later rounds. I don”t think Parker is in the same class as AJ and therefore wont be able to hang with him for the whole 12 rounds.

  • ozzy

    The negotiations were not protracted – the agreement of this common sense split of 67:33 (2 belts to 1 belt) was made last November but the press have been fed BS stories about negotiations ever since to keep the fight in the public’s eye.

    IMHO Team Parker don’t really believe that AJ has a “glass chin” but they’re desperate to have AJ fight angry like he did against Whyte where he gave a relatively poor performance & was tagged by Whyte in the 2nd round. However, AJ has spoken many times about how much he learned in that fight and spoke about how it was vitally important that he remained totally professional for every fight from then on. If Parker thinks he’ll be able to get AJ to blow his top by merely mentioning his “glass chin” he must think Joshua’s as dumb as David Higgins!

    • philoe bedoe

      Maybe glass jaw is an overstatement, but he’s always been vulnerable.
      Once someone gets stopped as an amateur it usually happens again as a pro………

      • Jeremy, UK

        Apparently David Tua was flattened as an amateur by Savina. No one came close to doing that to him as a pro. I think that it’s pretty irrelevant if you were stopped as a novice.

        • philoe bedoe

          Savon was a very talented boxer who may have been one hell of a pro if he turned over.
          Granted anyone can be caught especially at heavyweight, but AJ as been dropped, hurt and stopped too many times ( even in sparring) to suggest he has a good chin………..

          • Jeremy, UK

            You may be right, although apart from the Klitschko fight he has only been buzzed once – briefly by Dillian Whyte. We shall see but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt- for now.

          • philoe bedoe

            Every boxer as his weakness.
            It’s not a knock on Joshua, I hope he wins because of the interest he’s brought back to sport and he’s a fellow Brit…………

    • Andy T

      If you are saying 67:33 because of 2 belts to 1 when AJ wins how can the Wilder fight be made 3 belts to 1???

  • ozzy

    Fighter Has A Glass Jaw (70s definition) = When A Fighter Goes Down After Receiving Punches That Don’t Seem Powerful Enough To Cause The Knock Down/Out.

    Fighter Has A Glass Jaw (usual modern definition) = When A Fighter Goes Down Regularly In Fights Whether The Receiving Punches Are Powerful Enough To Cause The Knock Downs Or Not.(If such a fighter is unpopular he’s more likely to be called glass jawed)

    Personally I prefer the 70s definition because if a fighter faces several big punchers in a sequence of fights and goes down in some of them then imo it’s unfair to call him glass-jawed when virtually anyone would have gone down just the same under such powerful punches.
    There certainly seems to be confusion these days about what constitutes a glass-jaw.

    • Crowley

      They weren’t powerful punches… It was a straight right thrown off balance, ie it didn’t have weight behind it. The excuse is invalid and Glass-Jawsua is still extremely vulnerable.

  • Colnef

    Parker shooting his mouth off but he needs to stay away from Burger King and get focussed otherwise this is a short night.

  • Serving Soldier

    2 Undefeated fighters going toe to toe whilst at their peak. Massive respect and really looking forward to this one.
    I’m not sure why Eddie Hearn gets a lot of bad press as he certainly done well with AJ and has maneuvered him to the very top in just 20 fights.

  • John Newman

    If Tyson Fury is right about Joshua, then Parker would be well advised to try to use his footspeed to pick his shots. If Joshua can walk Parker down and knock him out, then it does not bode so well for Fury’s fightplan.

  • Reginald Peters

    WILDER is the best heavyweight now. End.of.the.day. AJ got to fight him. Ring magazine need to give that fury belt to Wilder

  • Arjay Cee

    Hughie Fury’s escape artist act showed that Parker doesn’t deal well with movement. (Unfortunately for the fluid Hughie, he slips much better than he punches.)

    Joshua isn’t that mobile, either. It’s all relative, though: he moves like Fred Astaire compared to Parker’s Karloff impersonation. He should be able to befuddle the clubfooted Kiwi and punish him en route to a stoppage.

    Maybe I’ll regret these predictions, as anything can happen at this weight, but what the hell. This one doesn’t look as competitive to me as Wilder-Ortiz, where I think the Cuban oldster is a wily, live dog, at least for a few rounds.

    Unless Tyson Fury returns and proves he still has it, my money’s on Wilder to clean up the division.