Anthony Joshua had an unbelievable 2017 and if his promoter, Eddie Hearn is anyone to go by, his 2018 is set to become even bigger.
The 28-year old kicked off the year with a knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko earning him the WBA heavyweight championship which, along with his IBF crown, he successfully defended by beating Carlos Takam in October.
Joshua himself has never been short of confidence, believing he has what it takes to be remembered as one of the best ever and remains keen to unify the heavyweight division.
It is looking increasingly likely that AJ's first outing in 2018 will be against the WBO champion, Joseph Parker, following months of negotiations.
Like Joshua, Parker boasts an undefeated record, with 24 wins and 18 via knockout. He is by no means a pushover, yet will be the unfancied underdog in a matchup with Joshua should they meet in March.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has been talking up the fight, discussing the exciting clash of styles that we may see in the ring when the two men eventually faceoff.
“It’s a very dangerous fight for both fighters,” Hearn said, as per The Express.
"They have great styles for each other.
“Joseph [Parker] and his team will fancy this fight because he will know that AJ likes to stand and trade and get hit.
“Also AJ and his team know that if someone is willing to take chances, then they are going to get hit and AJ is technically a lot better than some tend to think."
Perhaps most surprisingly, Hearn also claimed Joshua's power and speed remain underrated, despite his incredible knockout record.
He added: "Both fighters can punch and they may get hurt.
“But I just feel AJ’s punching power and speed is underrated and I’m not sure whether Parker has the artillery to do enough damage if there is a gunfight.
“If they are standing in a gunfight and they are trading up, then I have to pick my man all day long.”
The next 12 months could be huge for Joshua. With fights against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury also on the horizon, this could well be the year he asserts himself as the very best heavyweight in the world.
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