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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua looks knockout value

Little to suggest Joseph Parker has the power to trouble AJ

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker go head to head
1 of 1

IBF, IBO, WBO & WBA heavyweight titles
Sky Box Office, 10.30pm approx Saturday

Anthony Joshua knocks people out. 20 fights, 20 wins, 20 KOs. No calculator is needed to conclude that that is a 100 per cent knockout ratio. It's a simple sum for a brutal, crazy sport. 

"You just have to simplify the madness and the chaos," Joshua told BBC Radio 5 live this week in the build-up to his world heavyweight title unification fight against New Zealander Joseph Parker.

And despite his opponent possibly being hungrier, fitter and tougher than anyone he has faced so far, AJ can keep it simple by delivering another KO.

It's not that Joshua is unbeatable - far from it. He was heavily rocked by Dillian Whyte in 2015, and down and almost out against 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko last year. But there is little evidence to suggest that Parker has the tools to derail the 2012 Olympic champion. 

Parker has been winning over plenty of fans since he arrived in the UK with a series of mature press conferences and interviews. No foul-mouthed rants, no chest-beating, no water bottles hurled in a desperate bid for attention. 

He has been respectful, well-mannered and professional. That's the polar opposite to Lucas Browne, the unfit Australian lump who showed up to fight Whyte last week. Parker looks fit, healthy and highly motivated to put in the greatest performance of his life. But that may not be enough to knock Joshua off his throne as boxing's number one attraction. 

Like Joshua, Parker is undefeated with 24 wins - 18 by KO. Unlike Joshua he has been struggling to stop people. His last three fights have gone the distance and he hasn't looked particularly impressive in any of them, twice scraping by with majority decisions against opponents vastly inferior to Joshua. 

In fact, he has never stopped a top-level fighter. The best opponent he has a KO win over is probably former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko, but Dimitrenko hadn't had a serious fight for four years before he clashed with Parker in 2016. 

Parker is fast for his size with excellent hand speed and good movement, but it seems unlikely that he possesses the physical presence to boss AJ around the ring or enough one-punch power to take advantage of Joshua's supposed glass chin.

Joshua has looked vulnerable in the past, but he has also proved he has the heart of a champion, and battling through adversity against Klitschko - and last time out against Carlos Takam - he has proved he can carry his power through to the later rounds. 

That could come in handy because while Parker may lack power his conditioning is not in question - he has been 12 rounds four times in the last two years. He has never been stopped and never been dropped, but if he can't hurt Joshua he will be in big trouble.

It could be competitive early on and Parker may have his moments but like Joshua says, 'you just have to simplify the madness and the chaos', and it's the same for punters.

Anthony Joshua knocks people out, it's as simple as that. Back him to do it again. 

A Joshua in rounds seven to 12
2pts 7-4 Coral, Ladbrokes

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Parker looks fit, healthy and highly motivated to put in the greatest performance of his life. But that may not be enough
E.W. Terms
Sky bet