EXCLUSIVE: Malignaggi warns Joshua on Parker, predicts Wilder fight won’t happen this year

Joe Hewlett 09/02/2018

On the arrival of Spring, the Principality Stadium have the honour of staging yet another Anthony Joshua blockbuster.

The Brit heavyweight king will take on WBO champion Joseph Parker in a unification fight that also offers Joshua’s WBA, IBF and IBO titles into the bargain.

Despite AJ being the overwhelming favourite, Showtime and Sky Sports analyst Paulie Malignaggi has fired a warning across to bookmakers and fans alike.

“It’s a very good fight, people are writing off Parker, but I don’t think he should be taken lightly. Joshua is favourite for a reason, he’s a good fighter but Parker has obviously come in with a world title to defend as well and has an undefeated record,” Malignaggi exclusively told World Boxing News.

“He has a lot of pride as a champion and is a good fighter. But it’s a win that will really cement Joshua as the elite guy in the heavyweight division if he can come through, with all due respect to Wilder who is also an elite guy.

“It’d give Joshua almost all the world titles and it would really link him in the mould of what Klitschko was doing before him.”

Another heavyweight tussle that will happen is between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz. The pair will meet in New York on March 3 with the winner eyeing a lucrative fight against the winner of Joshua and Parker.

Matchroom mogul Eddie Hearn has signalled his intentions of staging a super-fight between Joshua and the American if both get through their next challenges.

With mandatory fights potentially blocking a summer showdown, Malignaggi expects the bout could take place in 2019 rather than this year.

He added: “I don’t think it will happen this year. I would say more like next year. Fights like Joshua and Wilder and even Thurman and Spence will happen more next year,” predicted the former two-weight world champion.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95