By Keith Idec
Their actual fight might not happen anytime soon, but Anthony Joshua didn’t hesitate to take a verbal shot at Deontay Wilder.
When asked to compare the styles of Wilder and Joseph Parker, Joshua told Sky Sports that Parker is “more clinical. Wilder throws windmills.”
The undefeated Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, has knocked out 39 of his 40 professional opponents and could be the most powerful puncher in boxing. The knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has drawn criticism, though, for his unconventional style and lack of technique.
“When [Parker] throws his shots with a left and a right, if the left don’t hit you, the right catches you as you are moving in and knocks the majority of his opponents out,” Joshua told Sky Sports regarding his upcoming opponent for a segment posted to the network’s website Tuesday.
Wilder still is considered the most dangerous threat to Joshua’s heavyweight championship reign. The 6-feet-7 Wilder produced his most impressive victory earlier this month, when he overcame serious trouble late in the seventh round and knocked out Cuban contender Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs, 2 NC) in the 10th round March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Parker is an undefeated title-holder, yet considered a safer foe for Joshua than Wilder. The British superstar, who owns the IBF, IBO and WBA titles, is an 8-1 favorite over New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) less than 2½ weeks away from their heavyweight title unification fight in Cardiff, Wales.
While Wilder has won 98 percent of his bouts by knockout, Parker has won each of his three WBO heavyweight title fights by decision. His second defense of that title was a debatable majority-decision victory over England’s Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) on September 23 in Manchester, England.
Nevertheless, Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) respects Parker’s power and willingness to challenge him in front of what will be a completely pro-Joshua crowd in excess of 78,000 at Principality Stadium.
“I can’t sit here and talk as if I’m the hardest puncher, I’m the best athlete,” Joshua said, “and then go and fight Joe Bloggs that no one has heard of, with 50 losses on his record. He took this challenge as an undefeated fighter and so did I. The respect is 50-50.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.