Truly great heavyweight fights don’t happen all that often. And when they do, even the most-hyped affairs are usually a little disappointing or unsatisfying in some way. Mostly due to the gap in class and age. Take the last ‘big’ heavyweight showdown, for instance. Britain’s ever-popular Anthony Joshua took on, and defeated, the great Vladimir Klitschko. But while it was an entertaining scrap, AJ had youth on his side, while the Ukrainian was in his forties.
When Joshua takes on Kiwi Joseph Parker though, they’ll be two champs going head to head that are in their prime. With three belts on the line. Deontay Wilder aside, these two are the best heavyweights currently fighting and it’s promising to be a huge night for boxing.
Many AJ superfans will, of course, be heading ringside to watch the action. But those of us that prefer to catch the action from the comfort of our living rooms or a nice warm bar can do just that. We’ll be showing the fight, so you can head to your local Rileys for it. You can reserve your tickets now.
The tale of the tape
Fairweather boxing fans may well assume this bout to be another standard fight with little to worry the British WBA and IBF champion. But anyone familiar with Parker knows he’s no pushover. He may not have fought too many real dangers himself, but he’s a class act. He’s gone 123 rounds without being KO’d and while he’s not quite the size of Joshua, Parker is still 6’4″ and 17.5 stone.
Their height, weight and reach are similar. And Parker only has a shade more experience. The stats don’t really separate the two fighters all that much.
When is the fight?
As our handy little image up there very plainly and cleverly shows you, the fight’s on Saturday March 31st. There’s no strict start time, but both men are expected in the ring not long after around 10.30pm. The fight’s not happening in the US, so it’s a pretty sensible fight time that should see a winner declared by 11.30pm (barring any major delays).
Where’s it happening?
We might still think of its as The Millennium Stadium, but Wales’ biggest sporting venue is now call The Principality Stadium. This enormous Cardiff-based venue is usually for football and rugby (and, presumably, the odd Stereophonics gig). But it’s also an excellent choice for big ol’ fights like this. Joshua destroyed Carlos Takam there back in October of last year.
What channel is it on?
Anthony Joshua Vs. Joseph Parker will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office. That’s pay per view, so if you do plan on watching the action at home, do be aware that you’ll need to ring up and ‘get’ the fight. And then pay for it.
What the fighters are saying
Joseph Parker: “Joshua has a glass chin. We know it, he knows it, everybody knows it, they just don’t talk about it. We saw him get dropped by Wladimir Klitschko but he still had the heart to get up and finish the fight – I’ll give him that – but if I catch him and hurt him I’m not going to give him the chance to recover.I won’t be letting him off the hook. If I get him in the trouble Klitschko had him in, there is no chance for him. I’ll go in fast, I’ll go in hard, and I’ll go in for the kill. He won’t be able to recover against me.”
Anthony Joshua: “There is a lot of talk about me being dropped, but there have been only three times it has happened. The first was the European Championships, when only two weeks before I had been called back into the programme, because I was banned from the British team. I was very unfit but I got stopped, not dropped. The second time was with David Price, when I had just come out of a police cell. Price is a puncher and that was down to a lot of experience. And Klitschko taught me that it will take more than a human to stop me from going where I am going. The rumours they have heard are all fake news.”
What are the experts saying?
Carl Froch: “Joshua will always be the favourite and I am not going to argue with that, but looking back on the way they both dealt with Carlos Takam, it tells me this is a real, proper test for Josh. Perhaps his toughest so far.”
David Haye: “Its a great fight, two young unbeaten heavyweights putting everything on the line. It’s the most meaningful heavyweight fight for a long time. The AJ-Klitschko fight was bit but Klitschko was 41, an old man. Parker is 26, he’s a young man with no miles on the clock, he’s had no operations, no lay-offs, no knockout defeats, he’s in his prime. So this is where we are going to see who is the best young heavyweight out there at the moment.”
Dillian Whyte: “I think Joshua stops Parker in six rounds, I don’t think Parker is physically strong enough or mentally prepared. He might cause Joshua a few problems because he has got quick hands but I see Joshua stopping him.”
Paulie Malignaggi: “It’s hard to pick against Joshua. I like that he’s not taking on soft cupcakes. Both fighters are undefeated, this is it.”
Deontay Wilder: “I definitely think Parker is going to have to knock out Joshua to win. I see it going later rounds. I definitely give Parker a chance.”
Hasim Rahman: “I give Parker no shot… He can’t beat Joshua.”
Tony Bellew: “AJ will eat Joseph Parker. A very good big guy will always beat a good little guy.”
What are the odds?
If you fancy winning some money on the fight and fancy Joshua like most people do, you’ll have to be pretty specific with your bet. Or a big staker. He’s 1/10 to win the bout. So you’re best bet will be looking at rounds betting.
For Parker fans this is easy. The New Zealander is 6/1 to win the fight. In any way, in any round, on points, TKO, disqualification, whatever. If you can see him springing a surprise, money can be made.
Our tip? Joshua will win. But we reckon his 100% KO rate may have to be dented. He’s 9/2 to win the fight on points. We don’t think Parker’s got enough to beat AJ (unless the Watford man has an off day and he hasn’t yet in his career). But we respect Parker enough to think he can frustrate Josh and stay on his feet for the twelve rounds…
If you fancy the fight with some atmosphere, tickets start at £5. You can go VIP with our Ringside ticket for £14.99 where you get guaranteed seat and Rileys Cheeseburger and Fries plus a selected drink.