Career defining fight sealed
With the deal signed and the trash talking done, Samoa’s world champion Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa Joseph Parker has one more thing to do.
Prove that he can truly smash the “glass chin” of his more fancied British opponent, Anthony Joshua.
But that is going to be a lot easier said than done.
During their first press conference on Tuesday night, Joshua was visibly upset by Parker’s claim that he was “king of steroids.” The Brit warned Parker that no man on the planet can beat him.
“It will take more than a human to stop me from where I am destined to be,” said Joshua.
“In terms of you, using it as a PR stunt and the rumours you have heard, they are fake news.
“Three times I’ve been hurt or stopped.
What I have learned from those adversities and storms, it will take more than any human to stop me from this journey.
“I know my records are clean every time I’m tested – that’s why I don’t bite at it. If I’m not clean you’ll find out in this fight. If I haven’t been clean for my fights you’ll see me struggle against Parker because anything I’ve taken would be out of my system.
“You’ll find out throughout this fight whether I’m actually superhuman or if I have something pushing on this superhuman power he thinks I have. It’s a shame that people get caught up with that sort of thing.”
In response, Parker said: “They accused me of being the king of pies, so that was the first thing that came into my head.
“It’s one of those things you say without thinking and it wasn’t the best thing to say. We should just leave it in the past.”
About the fight, Parker was in no doubt the upcoming clash would be the most difficult of his career, but he anticipates he will be taking three major world titles back to New Zealand.
“It’s an exciting time to be a heavyweight,” he said. “This is going to be the hardest camp and most work as I have a big challenge in front of me in Joshua.
“I’ve watched him for a long time. I know his strengths, he knows mine. I know his weaknesses and he thinks he knows my weaknesses.
“I can’t wait to have this fight. I can’t wait to put on a great performance, hopefully I will catch him on the chin and knock him out.”
Parker’s Trainer, Kevin Barry, said Parker must produce the performance of his life to beat Joshua.
Barry said Joshua is the career-defining fight Parker needs to secure his legacy and says the unbeaten W.B.O. heavyweight king must show the world he is ready to seize his chance.
“Joseph needs a career-defining fight,” he said.
“I believe Anthony Joshua got his career-defining fight when he fought Wladimir Klitschko.
“Joseph hasn’t had that yet and my challenge to my fighter is I need this to be his greatest performance.
“If he can show Anthony Joshua and the public what I see from him in the gym when he’s at his best, then he’s a hard guy to beat.”
Parker, 26, who is 24-0, introduced himself to the British public when he defended his title against Hughie Fury at Manchester Arena in September.
Joshua has won all 20 of his professional bouts inside the distance.