Sam Jones, manager of British heavyweight hope Joe Joyce, sees a tough night’s work for Anthony Joshua on March 31 but still expects the divisional king to keep up his one hundred percent stoppage record.
Joshua, 20-0 with 20 KO’s, is a massive favourite to overcome Parker in a four-belt unification clash at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, although Jones doesn’t see the fight as straightfoward as the bookies’ odds suggest.
“It’s not going to be as easy as people are predicting,” Jones exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I think Parker will weather the early storm and could potentially take Joshua into deep waters in the later rounds.”
He continued: “However, I do expect Joshua to win via late stoppage or points but Parker shouldn’t be written off, as unlike Klitschko, if he hurts Joshua at any stage he’ll throw everything but the kitchen sink at him to stop him.
“Saying that, if I had to put my house on it I’d say Joshua via TKO between rounds 9-12.”
Jones, like many, saw Parker losing a close contest to Hughie Fury back in September but expects a much better performance from the New Zealander in the spring.
“I personally thought Parker lost his last fight to Hughie, but styles make fights, and this should be a great fight for the fans,” he added.
Joshua v Parker has already sold over 70,000 tickets after sales began earlier this week, with promoter Eddie Hearn expecting up to 80,000 fans to be in attendance as the world top division crown moves a step closer to being in the possession of just one man.
The victor would then be able to negotiate putting all the belts on the table for a massive future encounter with WBC ruler Deontay Wilder.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay