Joshua preps for future Wilder bout
March 27, 2018 3:02 AM
by Alan Berg
The end of March is upon us and the Heavyweight Champion of the World is ready to close in style with a late afternoon fight on Showtime.
Anthony Joshua, the true conqueror of Wladimir Klitschko, defends his WBA, IBF, IBO heavyweight titles against WBO champion Joseph Parker from Cardiff, Wales this Saturday at 2 p.m. PT.
Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, knocked out Klitschko in the 11th round last April to gain control of the Heavyweight Division following the retirement of Tyson Fury, who beat Klitschko, in one of the worst fights I have ever seen, in November 2015. Klitschko essentially ruled the division from 2006-2015, one of the most dominant reigns ever. Joshua finally ended that era with a definitive KO win, awaking the division from the Klitschko (or Clinchko as some of his critics called him) dynasty.
Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) made his first defense of his unified titles against Carlos Takam in a C+ type fight that didn’t have much drama but Takam was game in the loss.
Parker is an unknown among most casual fans since the majority of his fights have taken place in his home country of New Zealand. Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) doesn’t have Joshua’s talent, but he is crafty and has more skill than Takam.
JOSHUA -850 (MGM Mirage)
PARKER +700 (William Hill)
TOTAL: 8.5 OVER +155/UNDER -175 (Caesars, WH)
As mentioned in a previous column, this fight likely builds to Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder in the fall. Wilder had a career-best performance in a Fight of the Year contender against Luis Ortiz earlier this month. If you missed that fight, sign up for the $11 Showtime app to watch Wilder-Ortiz and then you get Joshua-Parker live, great deal.
The only common opponent between these two is Takam. Parker won a close decision over Takam and almost lost to Andy Ruiz two fights later, which doesn’t lead me to believe he has anything that will put Joshua in danger. Joshua is two inches taller and has a six inch reach advantage on Parker. He either cruises to a unanimous decision victory or he crushes Parker by KO. Which brings us to the total. I think with the physical disadvantages this is going to be a really hard fight for Parker.
If he is aggressive at all and tries to win, he will get caught with something huge. My guess is the first couple rounds are a little slow, but I think Joshua catches him around Round 4 or 5 and finishes this fight. My guess is the price should go down a little and, as you know, I don’t lay over -150 so wait for something close; -160 is acceptable. If it doesn’t get near -150 I will pass on this play, otherwise fire away. UNDER
The Scratch Sheets
As far as Joshua-Wilder, I still think there might be one more fight before these two giants battle it out for the one true king of the division. Rumors are out there about introducing Joshua to the American audience by having one fight in the United States.
It sounds like the Canelo-GGG 2 rematch is in jeopardy thanks to the Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspending Canelo for testing positive twice for clenbuterol in VADA Testing on Feb. 17 and 20. Canelo’s team blamed the testing on contaminated beef in Mexico. Apparently ranchers include the substance in the cattle for less fat. My guess is they are just doing a due diligence and will clear Canelo to have the fight go on as planned for May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.