Joshua lauds Parker’s extensive amateur career, but places Klitschko as tougher test
Anthony Joshua is clearly expecting a triumphant return to Cardiff this weekend after predicting another knockout win during fight week.
The 27 year-old is bidding to make it 21 KO’s from 21 wins at the Welsh National Stadium but when asked whether opponent Joseph Parker, a fellow world champion, was his toughest test, Joshua picked out the man he defeated at Wembley Stadium almost a year ago.
“No. Wladimir Klitschko,” said Joshua to the question. “Wladimir was a phenomenal champion. I just feel people didn’t give him the credit. He doesn’t have a name that a lot of the Western fans can resonate with.
“His first language wasn’t English. People didn’t really buy into it. He was dominating. He was a great champion. Ten years on top. Phenomenal. 69 fights and 64 wins. That’s phenomenal.
“I’m fighting someone that’s 24-0. Everything I learned from that fight was a blessing and it’s led me to being confident ahead of the fight with Joseph Parker. So I’m dealing with a different beast.
“Parker still poses a threat but doesn’t’ have half the experience that Wladimir had.”
On whether Parker could gain the tag of most technically gifted foe he’s faced, Joshua added: “I think it’s because he’s had an extensive amateur career.
“I do believe the Lomachenkos, Rigondeauxs, Andre Wards have all had great amateur careers which led them on to be phenomenal professionals and Joseph Parker’s had that.
“I have to give credit where credit is due. But then, so have I and I was always told to leave the amateur’s in the background because the pros are a different game.
“And now we’re facing each other as professionals.
“I just think he has that amateur background behind him and he knows how to fight. He’s traveled the world so coming to (the UK) is nothing new to him.
“He’s got that in his locker, which has gotten him this far.”
Maintaining his 100% stoppage run not the most important thing to Joshua, though – as he concluded: “It’s great for the record and promotion. It’s not as important to fulfilling your game plan.
“Some fighters will be tough and some fighters may not be there to be knocked out. I have to have it in my locker also to be able to go the distance.
“In terms of promotion and saying I have a hundred percent KO ratio is great. I don’t think there’s any heavyweight in the history of his career that’s been able to have purely knockouts on his record so I don’t expect to be the first one.”