Five years ago i predicted that the heavyweight division was coming into another Golden Era after years of mediocrity , and i predicted this due to the likes of Tyson Fury , Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker all coming of age and with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin already around the top of the division the future looked bright , but it hasn’t panned out that way . Tyson Fury had a brief stint at the the top of the division when he beat Wladimir Klitschko but then served a ban due to drugs and had retired from the sport , Povetkin is another who had failed a drug test and since his return to the ring hasn’t looked the same fighter so now there are three and this weekend we will see two of them go toe to toe on Saturday night when Anthony Joshua takes Joseph Parker of New Zealand .
Anthony Joshua 20-0-0 20Ko’s
This weekend the AJ hype train will again roll up in Cardiff as Anthony Joshua looks to get his hands on another World Title to go along with his IBF and WBA straps when he fights Parker for his WBO title on his way to being king of the heavyweights . Over the years the hype that has been built up around Joshua has been like nothing ever seen before in this country which has even swept up the most cynical of us at times , and now building up to one of AJ’s biggest fights we must strip back the all hype and separate the man from the myth when trying to break this fight down . There is no doubt Joshua’s main asset is his power and shot selection , which even after all this time watching the big Englishman still has the ability to shock . We seen a great example of both assets when AJ took on Wladimir Klitschko last year when Joshua caught Wlad with a superb uppercut which nobody saw coming , not even the legendary Klitschko and although that wasn’t the Knockout punch it was the punch that won fight .
Countless times we have seen AJ pull a variety of power shots out of the bag to the expense of opponents like Dillian Whyte and Carlos Takam . For all AJ’s power and shot selection impress there is no getting away from Joshua’s biggest flaw ….his gas tank . We have seen AJ gas out after four rounds against 42 year old Klitschko who showed the world the blueprint to beating AJ is with movement and agility and had Wlad not been so old or inactive i firmly believe Joshua would have picked up his first loss . There has been a lot of talk coming out of AJ’s camp that they are looking to come in light for this fight which would suggest they have been working on his stamina , but is it enough to last twelve rounds ? …..I’m not so sure .
Joseph Parker 24-0-0 18Ko’s
Around 18 month’s ago i wrote a scathing review for the Boxing Asylum on Joseph Parker when he took on Andy Ruiz Jnr in a fight he won narrowly won on the cards . After being high on Parker for a while i had seen him gradually lose all the qualities that made him a top prospect not to mention he looked to be coming in far to heavy . Since then i have found out i may have been a bit harsh on Parker as he was struggling with injuries on his shoulders and elbows at the time , which has since been operated on and i have to admit Joseph Parker is coming into this weekends fight in the best shape i have ever seen him . The best tool in Parkers locker is his lightening quick hands which he will need to use to full affect this weekend . Seeing Parker coming in so light for this fight means he is coming to be mobile , which isn’t really his style but if he does it right he might just be able to pull it off . Joseph Parker can be very one dimensional and has a habit of getting lazy the longer a fight goes on which could be his undoing against AJ .
If you would have asked me two months ago who was going to win this fight i would have told you AJ would win easily , but seeing Joseph Parker this week it really does look as if he means business . The talk from Team AJ is that they have been preparing for a twelve rounder and i really hope he has been as i can see Parker employing a hit and run tactic which would kill the engine of Joshua . So who is my pick for this weekend ? ….Well i am going to stick with my original pick of Anthony Joshua but rather than predict it will be a 4 round demolition , now i am going to say a 9th round KO in a game of chess type of fight . I think Parker will implement his gameplan early but he will get careless at some point and that’s when Joshua will pounce .
Anthony Joshua 9th round KO