Photo Credits: Justin Setterfield/GETTY Images
The first time two reigning heavyweight champions with 100% winning records will fight on UK soil. The press conference for Joshua vs. Parker kicked off today, where we saw what they were all about and expressed their desire to win. The chance to become the best in the world, the journey starts here.
No need for trash talk or bad intentions, this fight is built on a scale that rarely happens. Unifications don’t always take place but the two men happily agreed to put everything on the line for an honourable title to behold. Parker began with his excitement for the biggest fight of his career “I’m thankful we have the contract signed” and talked about his view of Joshua whilst regarding himself as the better man.
“Hopefully catch him on the chin and knock him out” - Joseph Parker
Joshua appeared calm and collected for most of the conference but seemed to get agitated at certain claims. He dealt with them in a professional response and didn’t seem to show any aggression. “I take everything with a pinch of salt” Joshua said as he has seemed to find a way to deal with his harshest critics. He oozed with confidence and was happy to talk about getting knocked down as that seemed to be Team Parker’s plan to get in his head.
“A lot of people talk about those knockdowns, the first, I was unfit… I wasn’t knocked out, I was stopped” Joshua spoke about his experience in the European championships when he was still a novice. The David Price knockdown which has become the most notable and famously spoken about was revealed that it happened the day Anthony Joshua walked out of a jail cell. “I won’t use it as an excuse” Joshua stated as he explained the situation that he was still inexperienced and that David Price is a puncher. Rob McCracken, Joshua’s longtime coach and trainer later said “He shouldn’t have been in with them” as it was too early.
Parker has always seen Joshua as a future opponent, one that he knew he was going to meet. He revealed that he has been preparing for him: “I’ve been studying him since we met as amateurs in Azerbaijan”. A long time apart since that first meeting, the champions have grown respect for each other and watched one another grow throughout their careers.
“He’s mentally weaker than Joseph Parker”.
Parker has been made out to be an iron robot giant by his team in this presser. Mind games seemed apparent and over and over he was talked about being the mentally stronger fighter. Joshua, of course, had a classy reply for this as well: “Do you know what I learned from when I was dropped by Klitschko? It will take more than any human to stop me where I’m destined to be. The rumours you’ve heard are fake news”.
Joshua intends for everything he says to be backed up in the fight, for he announced to the room: “First is the verbal wars before the physical wars”. Speaking about their mentality for some time, Joshua guessed at Parker’s mental strength: “He’ll be facing the guy he sees in the mirror” believing he was the best and he’s the best to beat and above all else, they both have the fighter’s mentality. A fight that is showing more and more that the winner will be the one who wants it enough.
Parker’s coach himself analysed the fight and “He needs to be far more active” when looking at Parker’s past performances. A true enough statement that sometimes to bring the best out of a fighter, they need to fight the best.
“Tactics are tactics.
Strategies are strategies.
A fight is a fight”
Both men held their heads high and have the confidence in themselves to win. Their last words differ to show who wants what. “I’m gonna go get the win and be undisputed,” said Parker, followed by Joshua “They’ll enjoy a great fight”.
That it will most certainly be.