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Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker predictions, betting tips & fight preview: AJ to win unification clash

Leigh Copson 25 Mar 2018
  • Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker takes place on Saturday, March 31
  • Get free predictions & betting tips for the world heavyweight title fight in Cardiff, Wales
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker meet on March 31 (credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker predictions for the world heavyweight title fight on Saturday, March 31. Can Anthony Joshua maintain his perfect record and add another world title to his collection, or will Joseph Parker become the first man to beat Britain’s heavyweight star. Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Predictions

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Betting Tips Explained

Two men will enter the ring as a world champion on March 31 but only one of them will leave the Principality Stadium with that title intact. But will it be Anthony Joshua or Joseph Parker that remains top of the heavyweight tree?

Joshua continues to boast a flawless record having successfully defended his WBA and IBF belts with a 10th-round stoppage win over Carlos Takam last October. The Olympic gold medallist has compiled a 20-0 record with all 20 of his victories coming via stoppage, and 2018 will be a banner year for him if he can follow in the footsteps of Lennox Lewis by successfully unifying all of the heavyweight titles.

First up is a showdown with WBO heavyweight champion Parker, who also boasts an unbeaten record. The New Zealander has won all 24 of his previous fights, stopping 18 of his opponents, and his most recent outing saw him head to the United Kingdom last September to take on Hughie Fury. Parker was able to successfully retain his belt via a Majority Decision on that night, but this bout is easily the toughest test of his professional career.

Joshua boasts a two-inch reach advantage and, more importantly, a massive six-inch reach advantage going into this fight. That means Parker will have to somehow find a way to get past the British fighter’s jab and it also means he is going to have to eat some shots along the way. And that is going to be a major problem for him. The Kiwi has shown in his career that he can take a decent punch, but he has never been hit by someone who hits as hard as Joshua, and the former Olympian’s devastating punching power goes hand-in-hand with a clinical accuracy that has seen him stop his previous 20 opponents, including the legendary Wladimir Klitschko.

That power and accuracy is also joined in a complete package by sheer athleticism. Joshua is not some cumbersome heavyweight who ploughs forward throwing bombs with little care for footwork and technique. He moves very well for a man of his size and his hand-speed has left many opponents wondering what had hit them as they stumbled around the ring or tried to pick themselves up off the floor. There are questions over his cardio and he has been troubled by punches in the past, but suggestions that he has a weak chin are pretty ridiculous – this is heavyweight boxing and it only takes one good punch to shock the world.

Joshua was dropped by Wladimir Klitschko in their epic tussle last year and he was staggered by Dillian Whyte in their heated showdown, but Parker is yet to stop notable heavyweight opposition and you have to wonder if he has anything else up his sleeve from what we have already seen? He has fast hands, good conditioning and he does pack a punch, but does he have the power to stop the elite fighters in this division? I am not convinced.

And if you compare their outings against the one man who has stepped in the ring with both, Carlos Takam, it also favours Joshua. Parker, who had a full camp to prepare for the fight, was able to dominate his bout with the Frenchman in 2016 but ended up having to settle for a decision win. Joshua, on the other hand, took the bout on 12 days’ notice and overcame damage to his nose from an early head collision to drop Takam in the fourth, before working him over until the referee stepped in to end the bout in round 10.

Everything points to Joshua maintaining his perfect record and while he may have to survive a few nervy moments, I do expect the British heavyweight to move a step closer to unifying the division. He is unlikely to tear through Parker though. The New Zealander will almost certainly put up a tough fight and he will drag Joshua into the second half of the bout, but ultimately AJ’s power will prove be too much for his opponent and he will make it 21 stoppage victories in 21 professional outings.

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Tale Of The Tape

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Stats

Anthony JoshuaTale Of The TapeJoseph Parker
20 (20 KOs)Wins24 (18 KOs)
6' 6"Height6' 4"

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker Predictions

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Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker predictions, betting tips & fight preview: AJ to win unification clash

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker predictions for the world heavyweight title fight on Saturday, March 31.

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