Can Parker halt AJ’s journey to world dominance

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Undefeated heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker face off in the much-anticipated unification fight for the WBO, IBF and WBA Super belts in Cardiff this Saturday night.

The winner will be looking to face Deontay Wilder later in the year for his WBC title and become the first undisputed heavyweight in 19 years.

So, who will come out on top and ultimately off of the canvas in front of a roaring 78,000 fans at the Principality Stadium this weekend – we weigh up both fighter’s chances ahead of the bout.

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Anthony Joshua (age: 28-years-old / height: 6ft 6in / fights: 20/ won:20 / knockouts: 20)

There is no doubt AJ is the man to beat in the sport and division right now with his two titles and 100% knockout record to back it up. But with success comes a long line of adversaries who want to snatch it from you. This time it’s New Zealander Parker who has his own unblemished record of 24 wins from 24 fights.

AJ undoubtedly has the reach, size and power over his opponent which gives him the upper hand heading into the fight. But more importantly the 2012 Gold Olympian has the know-how and experience in the big time having fought a better calibre of boxers and in front of bigger crowds at Wembley and in Cardiff.

All this points to a AJ win with many experts and ex-fighters tipping the Brit to knock Parker out on the night, but boxing can be an unpredictable sport at times especially at heavyweight level. Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam both showed that Joshua isn’t invisible and can be troubled.

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Joseph Parker (age: 26-years-old / height: 6ft 4in / fights: 24/ won: 24 / knockouts: 18)

The New Zealander hasn’t been shy in telling the world of AJ’s apparent glass chin in the build up to the fight, arguing that the Watford-born star has been knocked down numerous times in sparring and in April last year against Klitschko. But the question for the 26-year-old come fight night, will he get the chance to test AJ’s durability?

Despite Joshua having the edge on Parker in most departments heading into the fight the Kiwi can boast the better engine with his slimmer and more mobile frame. If Parker can withstand AJ’s barrage of power shots in the early rounds he’ll come into his own and grow in confidence as the fight progresses.

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The fact the Auckland-born fighter has gone the distance four times in his career, with three of those coming in his last three fights, is testament to his fitness and determination. In contrast AJ has never gone the distance in any of his fights.

Start time

Expect the fighters to make their way to the ring at around 10pm on Saturday night at the Principality Stadium.

Main Event

  • Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker (world heavyweight unification)

Undercard

  • Alexander Povetkin vs. David Price (heavyweight)
  • Ryan Burnett vs. Yonfrez Parejo (WBA world bantamweight)
  • Anthony Crolla vs. Edson Ramirez (lightweight)
  • Joe Cordina vs. Hakim Ben Ali (lightweight)
  • Josh Kelly vs. Carlos Molina (welterweight)
  • Joshua Buatsi vs. Bartlomiej Grafka (light-heavyweight)
  • Sean McGoldrick vs. Ricky Little (bantamweight)
  • Morgan Jones vs. Mose Auimatagi Jnr (super middleweight)

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