Joshua to face Parker in heavyweight unification fight
Bout to take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31st
Anthony Joshua celebrates his victory over Carlos Takam with his father Robert. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Joshua’s promoters Matchroom Boxing confirmed the deal on Sunday, concluding weeks of fractious negotiations between the two sides.
Joshua will put his WBA and IBF titles on the line against New Zealander Parker, who has held the WBO version of the title since December 2016.
Joshua said: “I would like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
“It is a unification heavyweight championship fight. We all know what happened last time I was in a unification heavyweight championship fight – it was gruelling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.
“These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. I am looking forward to it, training camp is under way and before you know it March 31 will be upon us.”
The 26-year-old Parker had made his UK debut one month previously, when he earned an underwhelming majority points verdict over challenger Hughie Fury at the Manchester Arena.
Parker said: “Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock. A couple of months ago I heard him say ‘why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand’?
“Well, now he’s about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch. My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows.”