By Keith Idec
Two London tabloids reported Monday that Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, has been confirmed as the site for the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker fight.
The Daily Mail and The Sun stated that their heavyweight title unification fight March 31 will take place at that Welsh rugby and soccer stadium. Joshua’s last fight, a 10th-round stoppage of Cameroon’s Carlos Takam on October 28, drew a capacity crowd of roughly 78,000 to Principality Stadium.
Joshua’s previous fight, an epic slugfest in which he stopped former champ Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round, attracted a crowd of about 90,000 to Wembley Stadium in London on April 29.
The two papers also reported Monday that New Zealand’s Parker is expected in the United Kingdom by Thursday to attend a press conference to officially announce his fight against Joshua. Parker’s promoter, David Higgins, was expected in England on Monday to finalize a deal for their fight with Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter.
Joshua-Parker will be televised via pay-per-view by Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom. Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza told BoxingScene.com recently that his network will televise Joshua-Parker live in the United States.
The 28-year-old Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) will defend his IBF, IBO and WBA titles against Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who owns the WBO title.
More than a month of negotiations between Hearn, managing director for Matchroom Boxing, and Higgins, director for Duco Events, will result in a deal that’ll pay Parker roughly a third of the purse split. That leaves nearly 67 percent for Joshua, who has developed into arguably boxing’s biggest active star.
The Daily Mirror reported Monday that the 6-feet-6, 250-pound Joshua will be paid roughly £15 million (approximately $20.3 million) for fighting Parker. The Sun reported Parker’s purse will approach £7 million (nearly $9.5 million).
The 6-feet-4, 245-pound Parker, who’ll turn 26 on Tuesday, will box in the United Kingdom for a second straight fight. In his last fight, Parker posted a controversial majority-decision win over his mandatory challenger, previously unbeaten Brit Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs), on September 23 in Manchester, England.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.