Joshua and Parker battle for heavyweight unification in Cardiff clash
Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) and Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) will finally collide this weekend at the Principality Stadium in Wales, with the unified world heavyweight titles on the line.
Joseph Parker To Win The Fight This Saturday – 4/1 with Betfred.
Britain’s Joshua has become arguably the biggest name in the sport, with his dramatic stoppage success over Ukrainian legend Wladimir Klitschko last year seeing him rocket to boxing superstardom.
After overcoming stand-in opponent Carlos Takam in October, ‘AJ’ next faces a stern test from New Zealander Parker, who is seeking to add to his WBO heavyweight crown in Cardiff.
It’s Joshua that will enter the ring this Saturday night as the odds-on 1/6 favourite with William Hill to prevail and add the WBO strap to his already held WBA ‘Super’ and IBF belts collection.
Although, Kiwi fighter Parker is no pushover and is hellbent on causing an upset on his Welsh ventures. He will climb through the ring ropes as a dangerous 11/2 outsider with Betway to have his hand held high and become unified champion this weekend.
Watford-born titlist Joshua was scheduled to face Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev last October at the Principality Stadium, but he was forced to withdraw and the hard-hitting Briton instead then faced off with Cameroonian-Frenchman Takam.
The 28-year-old was able to grind down his replacement foe and halt him late inside 10 rounds on Welsh soil. Joshua now returns to the scene of that last stoppage triumph this weekend, as he bids to hand Parker the same fate in front around 78,000 Cardiff supporters.
‘AJ’ is seen at odds-on 2/5 with Betfair to halt the New Zealander early during proceedings, but is a much more promising 7/4 with Ladbrokes to win inside rounds 7-12 and extend his knockout streak to 21 straight outings.
Meanwhile, the visiting WBO champion has proved in the past he has power in both hands too and is an outside 13/2 with Paddy Power to earn a stunning KO victory in front of the Sky Sports Box Office cameras.
Nobody has managed to take Joshua the distance so far in his professional career, but Parker has gone 12 rounds in his last three consecutive ring outings, earning points successes over all of Andy Ruiz, Razvan Cojanu and, most recently, British contender Hughie Fury.
After securing a decision success over Fury last year to defend his crown at the Manchester Arena, in what was a rather drab affair, Parker is 18/1 with Paddy Power to rally to another nod from the judges this weekend.
Although, he is likely to receive no favours from the officials at ringside in Cardiff against the imposing home figure of Joshua, and the latter Brit is 9/2 with BetVictor to earn the maiden decision triumph of his career to date.
There are a host of top names involved on the undercard at the Principality Stadium too, making for plenty of entertaining bouts before the two big men finally trade leather in the squared-circle.
This includes Belfast’s bantamweight world champion Ryan Burnett (18-0, 9 KOs), who will defend his WBA ‘Super’ title against Venezuelan Yonfrez Parejo (21-2-1, 10 KOs).
Liverpool heavyweight David Price (22-3, 18 KOs) is also back in action against controversial Russian puncher Alexander Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs), as he aims to continue the rebuilding of his pro career after a shock setback at the hands of Christian Hammer last year.
The Merseysider is a huge 9/1 outsider with Paddy Power to pull off a shock win on Welsh territory, while Povetkin is seen at 13/5 with Ladbrokes to end Price’s night very early within the opening two rounds.
Popular Manchester fighter Anthony Crolla (32-6-3, 13 KOs) will also take on Mexican opponent Edson Ramirez (18-2-1, 8 KOs), as he bids to get back on a world title trail, while Sunderland talent Josh Kelly (5-0, 4 KOs) steps up in class to take on former world champion Carlos Molina (28-7-2, 8 KOs).
Former Team GB Olympians Joshua Buatsi (4-0, 3 KOs) and Joe Cordina (6-0, 5 KOs) will continue their early steps into the paid ranks as well, while Welsh home hope Sean McGoldrick (4-0, 2 KOs) features too.
But all eyes will ultimately fall on the two big men in the main event in Cardiff, as Joshua and Parker prepare to collide in their highly anticipated unification showdown, with an undisputed clash with American WBC champion Deontay Wilder potentially on the horizon for the victor.