In what should be a gala year for heavyweight boxing, the first unification title match of the year has been made.
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker will square off at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on March 31 where AJ will put his WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles on the line and Parker will defend his WBO title.
To become the unified champion of the heavyweight division like Joshua intends to, he needs to beat Parker and WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Wilder has his heart set on facing the winner of this huge heavyweight bout, but another man who is looking to fight his way into contention is Tyson Fury.
The Gypsy King has been on the shelf since late 2015, but the fact remains he has been a world champion and is unbeaten.
AJ has since picked up his titles and Fury is lobbying for a huge domestic showdown for the belts he dropped, but he'll have to prove he is fit enough first.
But who does he think will win between AJ and Parker?
“If I’m honest I fancy Parker, and that’s being gospel,” Fury said on the Pound for Pound podcast via ESPN.com. “He’s young and ambitious, he’s got fast hands, he hits hard and he fights excellent against opponents who stand still and don’t move.”
Does Fury really believe that? Or is it another jab at Joshua en route to hopefully getting the fight he wants?
The bad blood between Parker and Joshua has started already with Joshua laughing about the Kiwi being labelled the 'King of Pies' on the Graham Norton show.
Speaking on New Zealand radio station Radio Sport, Parker responded, saying: ‘’They call me the king of pies, but I call him the ‘king of steroids’. Who knows, if you are that big and that muscly, there’s something wrong.”
Parker went on to claim that he has been told that Joshua takes steroids before adding that he “doesn’t know if it’s true or not”.
“I have heard word, I have looked at him and I have seen. He has been very close with Klitschko — he has been a reigning champion for a long time. So I don’t know — it may be true maybe not,” Parker said.
However, writing on Facebook, the Kiwi boxer has since had a change of heart, writing: “Bit too far with that one. Shouldn’t have said it. Will fix that up at some stage.”
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