28 Mar 2018

Parker v Joshua: Everything you need to know about the unification

1:04 pm on 28 March 2018

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are both boxing heavyweight champions - but how is that possible and what will the winner walk away with?

Britain's Anthony Joshua (L) and New Zealand's Joseph Parker (R) face off posing during a press conference in London.

Britain's Anthony Joshua (L) and New Zealand's Joseph Parker (R) face off posing during a press conference in London. Photo: AFP

Parker and Joshua are facing off in their heavyweight unification fight in Cardiff on Sunday and whoever wins will walk away with four world title belts.

The winner will also likely have the chance to fight for a fifth major title, with nobody ever holding on to all the major belts at once.

In boxing there are four leading sanctioning bodies to which a fighter can be ranked under, which can ultimately lead to them winning a title.

These are: WBA (World Boxing Association), WBC (World Boxing Council), IBF (International Boxing Federation) and WBO (World Boxing Organisation).

The reason for the multiple titles comes from disputes dating back to the 1920s, when different commissions were crowning different champions for different fights.

In 1963, two commissions evolved into the WBA and WBC forming the two original "sanctioning bodies". Twenty years later IBF and WBO were formed separately again.

As it stands in the heavyweight ranks, Joshua currently holds the WBA, IBF and the IBO titles - although the IBO sanctioning body is not regarded as one of the leading bodies, leading to confusion over its legitimacy.

He won the IBF title after a knock-out win over Charles Martin in 2016 and defended it again against Dominic Breazeale. He added the WBA and IBO belts to the cabinet when he defeated long reigning champion Wladimir Klitscho.

For Parker it's more simple, he defeated Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO title left by Tyson Fury after a drug scandal. He has since successfully defended the title twice.

There is also the fourth WBC belt held by American Deontay Wilder.

No man has ever had all four major belts in their possession. The winner between Joshua and Parker will most likely face Wilder in hopes of ultimately unifying all four heavyweight divisions, becoming the 'true' heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

The fight between the two champions will take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday 1st April (NZT) in front of a sell-out crowd of over 80,000.

This fight is being shown live on Sky Arena with the undercard starting at 5am.

Anthony Joshua

  • 28-years-old
  • English
  • 6'6" tall
  • 113kg
  • Turned pro in 2013
  • 20-0 record with 20 knockout wins
  • Gold medalist at 2012 London Games (HW boxing)

Joseph Parker

  • 26-years-old
  • New Zealander
  • 6'3" tall
  • 107kgs
  • Turned pro in 2012
  • 24-0 record with 18 knockout wins.
  • - Follow RNZ's live coverage and reporting of the fight on Sunday.

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