‘Clinical’ Kiwi gets Joshua’s respect
Anthony Joshua has labelled Joseph Parker more clinical than Deontay Wilder’s ‘‘windmill’’ approach and sees the New Zealander as a genuine threat.
WBO champioon Parker and Joshua, the IBF and WBA king, clash in a world heavyweight unification fight in Cardiff on April 1.
American Wilder, the WBC champion, is desperate to fight the winner, as heavyweight boxing looks to crown one genuine champion from the multitude of titles.
Parker and Joshua have gone head to head in an interview session with host broadcaster Sky
Sports in the UK.
Joshua was asked to compare Parker with Wilder and conceded Parker was more precise with his punching than the hugely powerful but unorthodox Wilder.
‘‘More clinical. Wilder throws windmills,’’ Joshua told interviewer Johnny Nelson during The
Gloves Are Off episode. ‘‘When he [Parker] throws his shots with a left and a right; if the left don’t hit you, the right catches you as you are moving in, and knocks the majority of his opponents out.’’
Joshua said he had big respect for Parker who had backed up his talk with actions by getting the fight deal done, something other opponents were failing to do – another slight on Wilder.
‘‘He [Parker] took this challenge as an undefeated fighter and so did I. The respect is 50-50,’’ Joshua said.
But with continued talk in the Joshua camp about the hopes of tying up a hugely lucrative deal with Wilder, Parker’s promoter David Higgins has warned the Brits about getting ahead of themselves.
‘‘All this talk about Deontay Wilder; I think Anthony Joshua looks past Joseph Parker at his peril,’’ Higgins told Sky Sports.
‘‘Anthony Joshua’s making a grave mistake if he’s looking past Parker. It’s one thing to quietly analyse future possibilities, but if they are going any further and are in the early stage of negotiations, it’s far too early for any of that.
‘‘I don’t think Joseph Parker or Kevin Barry will be the slightest bit concerned that the Joshua camp are discussing all these other possibilities when they’ve got an unbeaten world champion in front of him, who has never been dropped in his life, and is lightning fast with his hands and has great footwork.’’
Higgins was impressed with Parker’s conduct during his eyeball interview with Joshua, calling it a psychological victory.
‘‘I thought Joseph Parker was quite calm and steely confident,’’ Higgins said.
‘‘He was obviously looking Joshua dead in the eye, without any flinching whatsoever. He certainly wasn’t overawed one bit.
‘‘Joseph managed to get in there a bit of a critique of Joshua, his strengths and weaknesses.
‘‘Joshua was questioned on Parker’s weaknesses, but didn’t come up with any. He didn’t state any weaknesses at all. I think Joseph just had the edge, if I’m honest.’’
‘‘If the left don’t hit you, the right catches you as you move in.’’
Anthony Joshua on Joseph Parker