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Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker To Air Live on Showtime

By Keith Idec

Showtime announced Monday afternoon that the American cable network will televise the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker heavyweight title unification fight live March 31.

Joshua-Parker will be the sixth Joshua fight Showtime will air live in its bid to become the permanent U.S. television home for the immensely popular British knockout artist. Rival HBO has expressed serious interest in televising Joshua’s bouts, but Showtime has made a firm financial commitment to retaining Joshua’s services, with the ultimate goal of owning the American television rights to a highly anticipated showdown between Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) and WBC champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs).

The 28-year-old Joshua, who owns the IBF, IBO and WBA titles, is heavily favored to beat the 26-year-old Parker on March 31. New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), the WBO champion, will challenge Joshua before a capacity crowd expected to exceed 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

joshua-parker (8)

In its press release to announce that the network will broadcast Joshua-Parker, Showtime noted that the Joshua-Parker fight will mark just the second time in heavyweight history that undefeated champions will meet in a title unification fight.

The first time that happened, Mike Tyson, then 30-0 and owner of the WBA and WBC titles, defeated Tony Tucker, then 34-0 and the IBF champ, by 12-round unanimous decision in August 1987 in Las Vegas.

“The heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance, and Showtime is delivering all the of pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports’ president, said in the release. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, world title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua versus Parker will be the 12th heavyweight world championship match on Showtime since Deontay Wilder won his title in [January] 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”

Showtime will broadcast Joshua-Parker live late in the afternoon on the East Coast and in mid-afternoon on the West Coast in the United States. It’ll be televised via pay-per-view on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom.

Four weeks before Joshua-Parker, Showtime will broadcast Wilder’s title defense against Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs, 2 NC). Wilder-Ortiz will headline a card March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Redgloveman on 02-08-2018

[QUOTE=Kezzer;18470832]His language is simply because he’s less willing to do the fight. There is no point beating around the bush[/QUOTE] We'll see in the fullness of time. If the fight never ends up happening because Wilder refuses to move from…

Comment by WBC WBA IBF on 02-08-2018

[QUOTE=Kezzer;18470832]His language is simply because he’s less willing to do the fight.[/QUOTE] There is nobody on the planet more willing to fight AJ than Deontay Wilder. Less willing to do the fight? Based on what? He can't force AJ to…

Comment by Kezzer on 02-08-2018

[QUOTE=WBC WBA IBF;18470039]Wilder's language has been stronger because his position is stronger. Parker ultimately ended up with 33%, Wilder likely ends up with 40%. So he'll have to stick to 50/50 a little longer and posture behind it a little…

Comment by JRB123 on 02-08-2018

[QUOTE=1hourRun;18469065]More excuses, first it was the time-slot now its the network : but lets remove any doubt by focusing on the network in question SHOWTIME -- Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam does 334K, compare that to Kell Brook vs. Errol…

Comment by WBC WBA IBF on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=Redgloveman;18470029]Whilst I technically disagree (I think that Wilder's language suggests that he is less willing to negotiate than Higgins and that his position on 50-50 was fairly serious - see the articles I posted earlier) I do agree with you…

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