Sport

Anthony Joshua to fight Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31

Anthony Joshua to fight Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31”

'These fights aren't easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge.

"It's the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain". "A couple of months ago I heard him say 'Why should I be anxious about this little kid from New Zealand?'" Parker said.

World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belt holder Joshua and World Boxing Organisation champion Parker will go toe-to-toe in the Principality Stadium in the Welsh capital.

"I like to fight, that's the main objective, and it's showing I'm never shy of a competition", Joshua said.

"It is a unification heavyweight championship fight". "Champions should fight Champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges".

An agreement was expected to be reached with talks between the two fighters' representatives having been held over recent weeks.

Parker is undefeated in his 24 professional fights, with 18 of those wins by knockout.

Anthony Joshua and Carl Froch
GETTY Carl Froch with Anthony Joshua after he beat Wladimir Klitschko

The 28-year-old will look to defend his IBF, WBA and IBO belts against New Zealander Parker, who is making the third defence of his WBO strap which he won against Andy Ruiz in December 2016.

"Eddie has been great to work with from day one", Higgins said. My promoters are focused on what they have to do and I know what I have to do - train hard, be mentally strong, be in great shape and put in a great performance.

He acknowledged that he "ruffled a few feathers along the way" during negotiations, including a holding a press conference to showcase Joshua's "suspect chin", but said it was necessary when you came from a small country and you were perceived as a "small player".

"Joseph Parker is the absolute epitome of the Kiwi sporting battler", said Higgins.

The 29-year-old said his team settled for Parker because negotiations with WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, have proved too hard.

"He's never been stopped, never even been wobbled in the ring. 2018 is set to be yet another exciting chapter in the stadium's illustrious history!"

Matchroom's official Twitter account posted a message to say that dates for tickets are to be released soon along with price and travel packages.



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