Trainer: Parker, Not Klitschko, Will Be Biggest Test for Joshua

By Keith Idec

Trainer Kevin Barry believes Joseph Parker poses a greater threat to Anthony Joshua than Wladimir Klitschko presented nearly 11 months ago.

Klitschko, after all, was 41 when he faced Joshua at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London. The long-reigning heavyweight champion also hadn’t fought in the 17 months since losing his titles to Tyson Fury before boxing the much younger knockout artist from England.

The 26-year-old Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) is two years younger than Joshua and the WBO champion hasn’t been beaten as a professional.

joseph-parker (31)

The New Zealand native obviously hasn’t accomplished anything close to what Klitschko achieved, but Barry is confident his fighter will upset Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) in their heavyweight title unification match March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales (Sky Sports Box Office; Showtime).

“As we know, there’s no secret about it – this is the biggest test that Joe’s had in front of him,” Barry said during a recent conference call. “But I also believe this is the biggest test that Anthony Joshua’s had in front of him. We are expecting a much better Anthony Joshua than the one that fought Klitschko.

“I think there’s still a lot of improvement in him, as well as there’s a lot of improvement left in Joe. So we’re anticipating that the styles of both these guys are going to make for a real fan-friendly fight and a very exciting fight.”

Joshua, 28, wholeheartedly disagrees with Barry.

The IBF/IBO/WBA champion considers Klitschko the toughest opponent he has agreed to fight since he turned pro 4½ years ago. Ukraine’s Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) came back from a fifth-round knockdown to drop Joshua in the sixth round, but was floored twice more and stopped during the 11th round of their unforgettable battle April 29.

“Wladimir was a phenomenal champion,” Joshua said as part of his conference call. “I just think people didn’t give him the credit. Remember, he hasn’t got like a name that a lot of the Western fans can resonate with. It’s not like an Adam Clark. It was Wladimir Klitschko. His first name wasn’t English, you know? And people didn’t really buy into it.

“He was dominating. He was a great champion – 10 years on top. Phenomenal. What did he have, 69 fights, 64 wins? That’s phenomenal. So I’m fighting someone that’s 24-0, and everything I learned from that fight [against Klitschko] was a blessing and it led me on to be confident ahead of the fight with Joseph Parker. So I’m dealing with a different beast. Parker still [poses] a threat, but he hasn’t got half of the experience that Wladimir had.”

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Jkp on 03-26-2018

[QUOTE=Sickmerch1990;18608416]Then stop butting in on me chatting my sh it then[/QUOTE] Stop posting ridiculous garbage

Comment by Sickmerch1990 on 03-26-2018

[QUOTE=Jkp;18608190]I don't even like Wilder[/QUOTE] Then stop butting in on me chatting my sh it then

Comment by Jkp on 03-26-2018

[QUOTE=Sickmerch1990;18608156]goin suk on wilders salty balls ars.ehole[/QUOTE] I don't even like Wilder

Comment by Sickmerch1990 on 03-26-2018

[QUOTE=Jkp;18607905]Your comments are so stupid, that they don't warrant a response[/QUOTE] goin suk on wilders salty balls ars.ehole

Comment by Jkp on 03-26-2018

[QUOTE=Sickmerch1990;18607027]why who has ortiz beat scot dave allen looked good v wilder cos wilder really is and way overrated whyte would beat ortiz yeah maybe hes better than browne but they were both unbeaten fat slow and old with…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (27)
Top Headlines Canelo Alvarez Receives Medical Clearance For December Fight Crolla: If I Win, A Good Chance The Lomachenko Fights Happens Bellew: If I Don't Stop After This, My Wife Will Divorce Me! Espinoza: Showtime Not Going Anywhere; Spending More $$$ In 2019 Salvador Briseno Inks Promotional With All Star Boxing News: Zuhayr Al-Qahtani, Ward, McCullough, Doyle, Egbunike Tony Bellew: Usyk is a Monster – But I Can Knock Him Out! Joshua's Promoter: The Sole Focus, 100%, is Wilder Fight in April Usyk-Bellew Card: Cordina-Cardle, Crolla-Yordan, Walsh-Lowe II Photos: Tony Bellew, Oleksandr Usyk - Face To Face at Presser Groves: We Are Supremely Confident of Beating Callum Smith Tony Bellew: I'm Not Scared Of Usyk's 'Crazy Ukrainian Look' Hearn: Joshua Had Horrific Camp, Flu Before Fighting Povetkin WBC Prez: Canelo vs. Charlo Status To Be Clarified at Convention Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin: Afterthoughts Nietes' Trainer: No Palicte Rematch, We Want The Best at 115 McCallum Turns To Former Foe in Bid To Make Improvements Hearn Warns Warren: Fury Will Never Get 50-50 Split For Joshua Kosei Tanaka Beats Sho Kimura in Absolute War For WBO Title Anthony Joshua Smiles: This Payday is Deontay Wilder's Legacy! Zakaria Attou Stripped of EBU Belt, Milas vs. Tintor on Oct. 6 Labour MP Believes Boxing Can Help Knockout Knife Crime Joshua, Wilder, Fury Comprise Boxing's Ultimate Reality Show Eleider Alvarez Felt Golovkin Won, Vows To Beat Down Kovalev Jean Pascal vs. Gary Kopas at Cruiserweight on November 9 Oquendo: WBA Should Do The Right Thing, Crown Me Champion WBC Prez is Proud of Povetkin's Performance With Joshua Linares Finds New Hunger at 140, Still Eyes Mikey Garcia, Loma Oscar Valdez To Start Training Camp With Reynoso on October 1 Anthony Joshua: I'll Fight Wilder Even If He Loses To Tyson Fury Juanma: I Hope Gamboa Faces Me, Doesn't Run To Fight Loma Hearn: Wilder Must Agree Now, We Won't Wait Until Fury Fight! Joshua: Povetkin Strong, But Didn't Hurt Me In The First Round Photos: Luke Campbell Avenges Loss To Yvan Mendy Dillian Whyte To Anthony Joshua: I'm Here, Ready To Fight Next Photos: Sergey Kuzmin Stops Injured David Price in Four Joshua Wants Wilder-Fury Winner April 13 at Wembley Stadium Photos: Anthony Joshua Blasts Out Povetkin - MEGA Gallery Anthony Joshua: Fans Can Decide My April Foe! Photos: Lawrence Okolie Defeats Matty Askin in a Stinker

Latest Active Forum Threads