Anthony Joshua will fight Joseph Parker in a highly-anticipated heavyweight unification bout on March 31 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Joshua (20-0, 20KOs) will be defending his WBA and IBF belts while Parker will be putting his own WBO strap on the line.
This will be Joshua’s second appearance at the Principality Stadium after beating Carlos Takam via an 10th-round stoppage back in Oct. 2017. It will also be his second defence of his WBA belt and fifth of his IBF.
“I would like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff,” said Joshua. “It is a unification Heavyweight championship fight, we all know what happened last time I was in a unification Heavyweight championship fight, it was gruelling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.
“These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. And you know me, I love this game. I am looking forward to it, training camp is underway and before you know it March 31 will be upon us. Stay tuned for more news and I will see you all soon, God bless.”
Parker (24-0, 18KOs), who also beat Takam himself back in May 2016 via unanimous decision, first won his heavyweight title in a hard-fought majority decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. back in Dec. 2016, and the WBO champion believes Joshua is in for a “huge shock” on March 31.
“A couple of months ago I heard him say ‘why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand’?
“Well, now he’s about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch. My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows.”
The New Zealander has made two successful defences since victory over Ruiz. The first involved beating Razvan Cojanu before claiming a controversial majority decision victory over Hughie Fury in Manchester in Sept. 2017.
The winner of the bout will hold three of the four heavyweight belts with Deontay Wilder’s WBC version the only one missing from the entire collection. No boxer has held all four heavyweight title belts since Lennox Lewis in 1999.