Joseph Parker: Joshua on My Mind

By Robert Ecksel on March 23, 2018
Joseph Parker: Joshua on My Mind
The heavyweight champions came face-to-face on Sky Sports. (Action Images/John Sibley)

“My dad is named after Jack Dempsey, so his name’s Dempsey. He has a passion for the sport and he introduced myself and my younger brother to it…”

In advance of next week’s heavyweight unification bout at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, between IBF, WBO and WBA Super champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the gentle giant from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, and WBO champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), the athletic Samoan from Las Vegas by way of South Auckland, New Zealand, the fighters came face-to-face on Sky Sports UK’s Gloves Are Off.

“I want him to tell me how he’s going to knock me out,” said Joshua, having heard the Samoan boasting.

“What round do you want?” said Parker, half-seriously but ready to fight. He continued, “This fight’s exciting. He’s a young champion. I’m a young champion. There are belts on the line. Come March 31 I’m going to chase him around; my goal is to beat him up and knock him out. That’s what I want to do.”

That’s what Joshua wants to do as well.

“I’m not going to let him (Parker) catch me,” Joshua said. “I don’t think he’s got enough power in those hands to detonate on my chin and knock me out. And when I’m standing there and coming back, I want to see how he unfolds.”

Parker was a distinguished amateur and boxes beautifully for a man his size. He didn’t look great in his last fight, a majority decision against Hughie Fury. But he looked better than Fury and won.

“He doesn’t move as well as I do,” said Parker of Joshua. “The way to beat him will be speed and movement. I don’t think he can catch me.”

Parker thinks Joshua plods. He doubts Joshua’s power.

“He says I’ve got a glass chin,” said Joshua. “I want to see if he’s got the power to detonate on it.”

“Oh trust me,” replied Parker, “I’ve got the power.”

Parker is undefeated with a respectable 75% knockout ration. But a heavyweight without power is like a singer with laryngitis. The odds are against Parker. If he goes down it will be swinging.

“I was born in New Zealand,” he said. “I’m a New Zealand-Samoan. My parents were both born in Samoa and came to New Zealand for a brighter future. My dad is named after Jack Dempsey, so his name’s Dempsey. He has a passion for the sport and he introduced myself and my younger brother to it.

“At a young age, about four or five, we started hitting pads. At the age of 12 I had my first amateur fight. I won that. At the age of 16 I started traveling the world representing my country and from then on I thought I could turn this into a profession because I love the sport so much.”

Joshua’s journey couldn’t be more different than Parker’s. He got started sooner. He followed a more traditional route. But Joshua has made up for lost time.

“It’s just a clash of the titans,” said Joshua, in all serious and all due respect, “JP against AJ, AJ against JP, let’s rock and roll.”

“Good luck,” said Parker, “and may the best champion win.”

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  1. Balaamsass 09:32am, 03/24/2018

    This is a real fight just as Wilder/Ortiz was. What we need now is for Fury to get his ass in gear and fight Big Baby! Povetkin needs to get in on this too!

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