By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua won’t discuss his weight target for his upcoming fight against Joseph Parker.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has indicated that the undefeated knockout artist will come in lighter than the career-high 254 pounds he weighed for his 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Takam on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales. The 28-year-old Joshua weighed in at 250 pounds, then the highest he had weighed, for his career-changing, 11th-round technical knockout of Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 in London.
“I’m not going to say because last time I said that [I’d be lighter], I came in at my career heaviest,” Joshua told Sky Sports for a story placed on the British network’s website Tuesday. “I’m not going to jinx it. Whether I’m bigger than I was for Takam, or lighter than I was for Breazeale, I will make sure I’m victorious.”
The IBF/IBO/WBA heavyweight champ officially weighed 243 pounds for his seventh-round technical knockout victory over Dominic Breazeale in June 2016 in London. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist was considerably lighter, just 230¾ pounds, for his pro debut in October 2013.
The 6-feet-6 Joshua believes flexibility is more important than what he’ll actually weigh when he and Parker get on the British Boxing Board of Control scale March 30 in London.
“I think stretching is important,” Joshua said. “Because I’m already a big guy, I can tense up, naturally. I tend to do a lot more stretching now, to keep my body loose. I’m not snacking as much, which is something heavyweights can do.”
Kevin Barry, Parker’s trainer, has said that the 6-feet-4 Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) will be lighter than usual for their 12-round heavyweight title unification fight March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff (Showtime; Sky Sports Box Office).
“Yes, he’ll come in lighter for this fight,” Barry told Sky Sports. “I think it’s very important that Joe is very fast on his feet and very mobile in this fight against Joshua.”
The 26-year-old Parker, who owns the WBO title, weighed in at 245 pounds for his last fight – a 12-round, majority-decision victory over England’s Hughie Fury on September 23 in Manchester. New Zealand’s Parker weighed 233½ pounds for his pro debut in July 2012.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.