It's on! Joseph Parker's heavyweight unification bout with UK champion Anthony Joshua confirmed

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1 NEWS

Months of press conferences, trash-talk and back-and-forth negotiations have finally led to a confirmed unification title fight between Kiwi heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and British counterpart Anthony Joshua.

The official poster for Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker.

The official poster for Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker.

Source: Supplied

Parker and Joshua as well as their camps have already traded blows verbally for months but it will all be settled on March 31 local time when the two boxers square off for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

"Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock," Parker said. "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."

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, said he was delighted to finally settle on a deal for the bout.

"Champions should fight champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges.

"It's the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain and it's a classic match-up between two young, fast, undefeated belt holders and it's going to be an explosive fight."

The 25-year-old admitted he has to ask his mum before taking his heavyweight belt out of the house.
Source: 1 NEWS

Joshua said he always knew the fight was coming as both boxers continue their quest to become the first undisputed heavweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

"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," Joshua said.

"These fights aren't easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. And you know me, I love this game. I am looking forward to it, training camp is underway and before you know it March 31 will be upon us."

The Duco Events boss says Parker has a mental edge over Joshua.
Source: 1 NEWS

Parker enters the bout 24-0 with 18 of those victories coming via knockout while Joshua has won all 20 of his own fights by knockout in his undefeated professional career.

Parker was last in the ring in September when he beat British fighter Hughie Fury in Manchester by majority decision - a scrappy affair his promoter David Higgins shows the kind of champion he is.

"Joseph Parker is the absolute epitome of the Kiwi sporting battler. It has been said that he is punching above his weight, but he didn’t become WBO heavyweight champion by being lucky.

"He's never been stopped, never even been wobbled in the ring. He's consistently fought fighters in the world's top ten and he's beaten them all easily. It certainly won't be a shock to me when he beats Anthony Joshua and takes his titles back home to New Zealand.

"New Zealand might be a tiny country on the other side of the world but it has a hugely proud sporting tradition – and a particularly strong tradition when it comes to whipping mother England."

An announcement on on-sale dates, ticket prices and travel packages will be made soon. 

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