By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua actually came in lighter this time.
Joshua weighed in at 242¼ pounds Friday afternoon for his heavyweight title unification fight against Joseph Parker on Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales. A slimmer Joshua got on the British Boxing Board of Control scale approximately 12 pounds lighter than he was for his last fight, a 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Takam on October 28 in Cardiff.
England’s Joshua discussed weighing less for the Takam match than he previously weighed, but his official weight of 254 pounds was his highest as a pro. The British superstar avoided predicting how much he would weigh for the Parker bout, but the 6-feet-6 Joshua clearly had an easier time losing weight during this training camp.
New Zealand’s Parker officially weighed in at 236½ pounds during a weigh-in that drew approximately 4,000 fans Friday to Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. Their fight will take place at nearby Principality Stadium, which will be packed to capacity with more than 78,000 fans.
Joshua was pleased with his weight for the slightly smaller Parker, who’s athletic for his size.
“Well, it’s a perfect weight for the fight I’m about to face tomorrow because he’s nimble, he’s quick,” Joshua told Sky Sports following the weigh-in. “I’ve got boxing skill and I can control him, but I figure the lighter I am, the more I’ll be able to match up with speed and I’ll be able to be in and out of range. So I can go first, land my shots, move out, and come back again. And I feel great for it. That’s what we’ve been working on in rehearsals, in sparring and training, and just putting all those pieces to the puzzle together tomorrow evening.”
The 6-feet-4 Parker weighed 8½ pounds less than he did for his last fight. He officially weighed 245 pounds for his 12-round majority-decision victory over England’s Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) on September 23 in Manchester.
“[Joshua’s] weight makes me think he’s taking this fight very seriously,” Parker said. “He has trained very hard. He’s in good shape, I’m in good shape, so there’s not much of a weight difference, which is good. We’re both gonna be I think fast for tomorrow night, and we’re both gonna move well and throw some big bombs.”
Joshua, 28, is consistently listed as an 8-1 favorite over Parker, 26, but Parker is considered one of the toughest opponents of Joshua’s 4½-year pro career. They’ll fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO and WBA championships, as well as Parker’s WBO title.
Sky Sports Box Office will televise Joshua-Parker as the main event of a pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom (6 p.m. GMT; £19.95). Showtime will broadcast their bout live in the United States (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.