Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Confirmed: Anthony Joshua Will Face Joseph Parker On 31st March

Confirmed: Anthony Joshua Will Face Joseph Parker On 31st March

It was confirmed on Sunday that Joshua and Parker, who are each unbeaten in the professional ranks, will put their respective heavyweight belts on the line in Cardiff on March 31.

The Joshua-Parker victor will be missing only the world title belt owned by American Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs), who could loom for the victor later this year in what would be another massive fight.

Parker will fight Joshua at the Principality Stadium where he beat Carlos Takam in October 2017. "Training camp is underway and before you know, 31 March will be upon us".

Parker added: "Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock". "A couple of months ago I heard him say, 'Why should I be anxious about this little kid from New Zealand?' Well, now he's about to find out".

"Well, now he's about to find out".

After 20 straight victories, all by knockout, Joshua hopes to take another step towards becoming the undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Parker has been outspoken in his pursuit of Joshua, having held numerous press conferences in Auckland to try and coax Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, into entering talks over a unification bout. My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows'.

Joshua has fought just once since beating the now retired Wladimir Klitschko, which came in a 10th-round stoppage of Frenchman Carlos Takam in October a year ago - also in Cardiff - having been originally slated to face Kubrat Pulev only for injury to prevent the Bulgarian from competing. "Champions should fight Champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges".

Joshua is strong favourite to come out on top given his performance in last April's 11th-round stoppage of former world champion Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley.

"It's the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain". The 26-year-old became New Zealand's first heavyweight world champion when he landed the WBO strap in December 2016 against the undefeated Mexican American star Andy Ruiz in Auckland. Parker has since defended his title twice, firstly against Razvan Cojanu in May of 2017 securing a unanimous points verdict.

When Norton questioned Parker's body shape and labelled him "the king of pies", Joshua laughed and suggested "Pie Man" might be a good nickname for the Kiwi.

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