By Keith Idec
It would hurt his bottom line, but Deontay Wilder wants Joseph Parker to beat Anthony Joshua.
Wilder figures that if Parker upsets Joshua in their heavyweight title unification fight Saturday night, the unbeaten WBC champion will have a better chance to secure his shot at owning each of boxing’s recognized championships. Wilder would love to fight Joshua for heavyweight supremacy, but he doesn’t think Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) will accept that fight in the foreseeable future if Joshua gets past Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) in Cardiff, Wales (Sky Sports Box Office; Showtime).
“I’m favoring Parker to win,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com. “I think he’ll be able to accept the challenge a little faster than Joshua and his team. Joshua has stated he’s fearful of losing, and that’s one of the reasons this fight is not happening, because of his fear of fighting the most dangerous hitter in boxing, the most dangerous man in boxing, and that’s Deontay Wilder. He’s fearful of that. So I’d rather Parker win because I think he’ll be up for the challenge faster than Joshua.”
Judges from England, Joshua’s home country, Parker’s native New Zealand and the United States have been assigned to score their 12-round fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO and WBA titles and Parker’s WBO championship at Principality Stadium. Wilder still thinks it’ll be difficult for Parker to win a decision in the United Kingdom if their fight goes the distance because the heavily favored Joshua has become such a huge star there.
“I’ve said before because of what’s going on between me and Joshua that [Parker] would have to knock him out,” Wilder said. “I stand by that statement, too. There’s so much on the line, especially when he’s in his hometown. You’ve seen it. The referee tried to stop the [Carlos Takam] fight earlier than it was supposed to happen. They look for a reason to keep his record clean and polished, and for him to stay undefeated. They don’t want nobody to go the distance with him.
“He’s definitely gonna just have to straight-up bring it to him, out-box him, and just make it obvious. So even if they don’t give it to [Parker], if it goes to a decision and they give it to Joshua, people will know what happened. But I definitely think he needs a knockout. At the end of the day, that’ll end all questions. When you knock a guy out there ain’t nothing else a person can say.”
In his last fight, Parker won a majority decision against a British boxer, Hughie Fury, in England. Fury (20-1, 10 KOs), who was Parker’s mandatory challenger, filed a failed protest with the WBO due to that controversial result September 23 in Manchester.
Wilder was supposed to attend Joshua-Parker as part of Sky Sports’ broadcast team. He decided against taking that transatlantic trip largely because Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, stated that they didn’t want Wilder to enter the ring, assuming Joshua defeats Parker, to go face-to-face with Joshua as a way to promote their potential showdown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.