Anthony Joshua is favored over Joseph Parker in their heavyweight matchup. Parker is undefeated, but Joshua is a rare boxing talent.
Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is a 28-year-old flawless heavyweight champion who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 242 pounds. His opponent on Saturday, March 31, is 26-year-old Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) who’s also an undefeated champion. Parker is small compared to Joshua, but he still stands tall at six-foot-four and weighs 236 pounds. There can be only one winner between these hulking heavyweights, and Joshua is the overwhelming favorite.
According to the Sports Book Review, Joshua is the betting favorite at -650 odds. While Parker is also an undefeated champion, Joshua is an outlier because of his size, strength and ability.
Joshua is only two inches taller than Parker, but he looks like a juggernaut in comparison. He’s chiseled and intimidating. His power is superior to Parker’s. Joshua boasts a 100 percent knockout rating. Parker’s KO rating is 75 percent but it has come against weaker opposition.
Joshua has knocked out the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale. Parker has wins over Andy Ruiz Jr. and Hughie Fury. These are nice wins but are a level below Joshua’s résumé.
In truth, Parker’s wins over Ruiz and Fury were lackluster performances. He beat Ruiz and Fury by majority decision. To be fair, Fury has a frustrating and elusive style, but Parker couldn’t hurt Ruiz.
In contrast, Joshua dominated all of his big-name opponents except for Wladimir Klitschko. Joshua beat up then 41-year-old Klitschko, but he was also knocked down in the sixth and was severely hurt. He fought through adversity and stopped Klitschko in the 11th. It was a brutal and exciting fight and proved that Joshua has heart and the ability to take a punch.
Joshua and Parker have one opponent in common: Carlos Takam. In 2016, Parker beat Takam by unanimous decision.
Joshua stopped Takam in his last fight via 10th-round TKO. Takam fought well against both men but had an easier time hitting Parker.
Takam was a late replacement against Joshua, but he held is own until the 10th. Joshua handled Takam better than Parker, but the stoppage was controversial.
British Boxers Dillian Whyte and David Price are picking Anthony Joshua to win by knockout. Both talked to Boxing News for their predictions. Whyte thinks Joshua will stop Parker in round six or seven. Price thinks he will stop him somewhere between rounds 8-10.
Based on their past performances and physical attributes, Price’s prediction is the most accurate. Parker is a skilled heavyweight, but lesser boxers than Joshua have found ways to hit him. None of them were as physically gifted as Joshua.
Parker has boxing skill. He’ll last for the first half of the fight, but Joshua’s punches will take their toll. Joshua’s height and reach advantage will make it hard for Parker to hit Joshua. Joshua has a 5-inch reach advantage. That’s going to be a problem for Parker.
Without any way to work inside of Joshua’s reach, Parker will box on the outside. He will play the role of counterpuncher and Joshua the aggressor. His only hope is if Joshua makes a mistake and leaves himself open for a one-punch knockout, but that’s unlikely.
Joshua is an exceptional boxer compared to Parker. He has the edge in power and all the physical advantages. Joshua will knock out Parker in nine.
Once Joshua wins the fight, the pressure will be on to fight Deontay Wilder. No other fight makes sense. Parker will do his best to pull the upset, but he doesn’t stand much of a chance