World Cups capture the imagination of the public like few other events. Even the most casual football observer can be swept up in the excitement of a national team when the tournament only comes around once every four years.
Joshua vs Parker
Joshua vs Parker: Road to Undisputed
Ever since Joshua made himself a global star when knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round at Wembley last April in one of the greatest boxing fights in recent memory, all of the talk has been about whether Joshua can do what no man has ever done in the history of boxing - unify the heavyweight division.
Most will be looking at Deontay Wilder as the main obstacle in this quest, but for now, the focus is on another heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker, who has risen to world champion status fairly under the radar.
Anthony Joshua knows that, at this level, no fight is an easy one, but in the buildup, the charismatic Englishman has looked calm, relaxed and confident, which is unsurprising considering the success of his short career to date. Parker, rather than revelling in being the underdog, has been bold in his claims that he can knock out Joshua, telling Deontay Wilder that he won’t get his wish to fight Joshua and that instead Parker will be the guy to unify a division which is sure to be the complete focus of the boxing world over the next couple of years.
Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker makes for an intriguing matchup, with Joshua holding a huge advantage in terms of size, but Parker has the advantage in terms of movement. With Parker managing just 18 knockouts from his 24 wins, there are questions whether the Kiwi can test AJ’s chin, but Parker will look to exploit Joshua’s lack of experience in fighting to the distance by turning this into a tactical battle.
Joshua has long been hyped by fans of boxing and especially in England, with the former Olympic gold medalist boasting an impressive physique and immense power. Joshua has risen to fame fairly quickly and moved to take a shot at the world championship against Klitschko early in his career compared to many in the boxing world. The decision to take on the fight against Klitschko proved the right one when Joshua defied his critics to come back from being knocked down to eventually prove too strong for a true boxing legend.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves. After all, other than Klitschko, Joshua hasn’t really been challenged in his 20 fights to date, winning all of them by knockout with the majority in the early rounds against vastly inferior opponents. His only fight since saw mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev pull out at the last minute, and Joshua wasn’t convincing in his 10th round victory over the Cameroonian who Parker himself has also recently beaten.
Even beating Klitschko perhaps proves very little, with Tyson Fury having beaten him to the punch before exiting the sport in controversial fashion.
It is hard to knock Joshua, who is the most impressive fighter in the heavyweight division with a huge frame, massive reach and tremendous power, and his record is flawless, but perhaps he himself isn’t completely untouchable.
Parker will be less known by sports fans other than those with a strong interest in boxing. The man from New Zealand has quietly moved to a perfect 24 wins, with most of those having come in regional fights down under.
That was until Parker took on former champion Carlos Takam, the man who Joshua beat to retain his titles a few months ago. Parker then went on to establish himself as the clear top dog in the Oriental heavyweight division before a crack came for him for the WBO title in 2016. He beat Andy Ruiz Jr to claim that title, although it remains to be seen whether Parker can establish himself as a star of the division or if he will be a flash-in-the-pan champion like so many before him. This fight was always a no-brainer for Parker, offering him a chance to fight on a truly global stage with a massive paycheck, and ultimately with the chance to make himself the leading contender to unify the heavyweight division. Parker is fast and fleet of foot, far more than the majority of fighters in the division, and he’ll see this as a key advantage that he holds over Joshua. The bookies don’t give him much chance but Joseph Parker is quietly confident ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
Betting Tips for Joshua vs Parker
Betting on boxing is never easy, with big favourites making it hard to find value with your betting. If looking for a bit of value, there are two schools of thought that you could take when looking at Parker vs Joshua.
Parker has gone the distance in a quarter of his fights, which is a pretty high percentage in the heavyweight division. With his advantage in terms of his energy and speed, he could turn this into a tactical battle and make himself hard to hit. Of course, if he does get hit by a Joshua piledriver, the fight could be over, but if he can hang tough and make this go the distance, he could nick the fight via a decision. At current odds of 20/1, it could be the way to go if you don’t fully believe in the Joshua hype.
However, in all likelihood, Joshua is going to knock Joseph Parker out. He has won all of his fights by knockout, and Parker has fought no one with anywhere near the power of the man from Watford. Even the best Anthony Joshua odds are skinny, and betting on a Joshua knockout isn’t going to win you much money either, with current odds around the 1/4 mark from even the best sports bookies.
Therefore, looking at the round betting might be the best way to bet.
Joshua won his first 14 fights with knockouts within the first 3 rounds, and you can back him to finish this fight in the same style at around 7/2. His last two fights have been against far superior fighters, and he has won those with knockouts in the later rounds (11th and 10th). Backing AJ to win in the last three rounds gives odds of 11/2.
Whether you fancy Joshua for the early knockout or Parker to spring a surprise, make sure to use only the best boxing bookmakers when betting on Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker. Also make sure to check out our boxing betting guide and boxing betting tips to give you the edge ahead of the blockbuster fight.