28 Feb 2018

Parker: My skill beats Joshua's power

12:54 pm on 28 February 2018

New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker believes his superior skillset will be the difference when he faces British rival Anthony Joshua in their looming world heavyweight title unification bout in Cardiff.

WBO world champion Joseph Parker.

WBO world champion Joseph Parker. Photo: Photosport

Parker's WBO belt and Joshua's status as the WBA and IBF title holder will go on the line when the two unbeaten champions square off in the Welsh capital on April 1 (NZ time).

The south Auckland fighter has 18 knockouts from his 24 bouts, but Joshua has stopped all 20 of his opponents and it is widely acknowledged the 2012 Olympic heavyweight champion will have a power advantage.

Joshua is also a considerable favourite with most pundits to prevail, but Parker indicated he is not paying any attention to those predictions.

"I can outbox Anthony Joshua. I think I have the skills to outbox him but I haven't really shown that," the 26-year-old told Sky Sports UK.

"That's why I'm excited - this is a big stage to put on the best performance of my life.

"I can knock him out. I can outbox him. Words can't explain how excited we are.

"We're fighting in his backyard and we're fighting another champion who's undefeated. That makes it a great fight."

Parker's confidence is echoed by his trainer Kevin Barry.

The pair are now more than a month into their training camp at their Las Vegas base and Barry has been satisfied with the work his fighter has got through thus far.

Barry's belief in Parker was unwavering.

"He wins the fight with speed and movement. He wins the fight with a higher level of skill.

"Parker has far better skill than Anthony Joshua. He has a far better selection of punches. He is very durable.

"If the best Joseph Parker turns up, we will leave the ring with all the belts."

Along with Joshua's likely advantage in the power stakes, much has been made of how Parker will perform on such a huge stage.

A sell-out crowd of 80,000 is expected at the Principality Stadium, while the world-wide TV audience for the bout will stretch into the millions.

But despite Joshua having fought several times under such circumstances and Parker's unfamiliarity with such an atmosphere, the New Zealander said he is not daunted and was looking forward to embracing the occasion.

It was an assertion backed up by Barry, who dismissed any suggestion his charge would be adversely affected under the bright lights.

"It won't matter if there's 800, 8,000 or 80,000 people at this fight," Barry told Sky Sports UK.

"It will be the same Joseph Parker that walks to the ring. I'm not one bit worried about the occasion getting to him.