Joshua v Parker Draws Closer
Joshua v Parker draws closer as their night of destiny looms large on the horizon.
It is the last week in which one of this year’s, and probably this decades, most significant boxing event goes down. It is the duel between heavyweight champions who, over the last decade have maintained a mouth-watering boxing record where fights have been won majorly on knockouts.
At the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Antony Joshua faces New Zealand’s Joseph Parker to unify their glamorous belts. Over the last ten weeks, since the deal was sealed, both fighters have worked on nothing else but sharpening mind, body and soul for the bout.
How are they fine-tuning as they wait to settle scores come Saturday?
Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry is taking no chances. Barry says that they are being cautious of Parker’s moves all around.
“We’re wrapping him up in cotton wool. Making him wear gloves, not letting him shake hands with people. He is doing the knuckles with everyone. I don’t want any germs or bugs being passed around.”
It sounds hilarious or even outrageous, but caution is just as necessary as the task ahead. Parker eats his breakfast at the hotel he is staying since landing from Las Vegas, while a private caterer serves lunch and dinner.
“We have stayed at this hotel four times now.” Said Barry, “I think you can be a little over-paranoid, but we are not doing anything that is risky at all.”
Frazer Clarke, one of England’s fastest rising boxing talents is sparring for Joshua in his last week of preparation. He has worked with Joshua for a relatively long period.
Parker brought along American Matt Scott to spar within the final days of prep.
Clarke told Sky Sports that Joshua is “agile.”
“He ‘s very fit and very strong. He’s dropped weight, and it’s holding him in good stead.-he’s agile.” Clarke’s description of Joshua upholds Joshua’s sentiments during their last press conference on Tuesday where he said he is ready and focused on the nothing else but the match for now.
Asked how the sparring sessions with AJ have been, Clarke said conclusively, “Joshua has covered all aspects.”
Indeed, Joshua has had various sparring partners, bringing in multiple aspects to test and upgrade his abilities.
“Carlos Takam brought his experience. My youth and hungriness. We had an Italian heavyweight who packed a punch. He’s sparred with Marlo Moore, who is a lot smaller, but makes up for that with speed. Joshua has covered all aspects. “
Parker too has been sparring with various partners including Japanese, 2016 gold medalist Tony Yoka.
Matt Scott had this to say about Yoka:
“ Tony Yoka is no joke. That kid can fight. When they brought him in it was perfect, right before we were leaving.”
None of the camps is leaving anything to chance. As the fighters kick and spar in readiness for the eighty thousand crowd and a global audience, they inexcusably carry the expectations of their fans.
From the look of things, all is set for an entertaining, breathtaking unification fight that will influence each fighters’ career moving forward.