Is Joshua a Shoo-In vs. Parker in Heavyweight Fight?

Jason Lake

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018 8:13 PM UTC

Anthony Joshua is the best heavyweight boxer in the world, and he’s a popular pick in early betting for his unification bout with Joseph Parker on Saturday.

Boxing: Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph ParkerFree Boxing Pick: Joshua wins by TKO/KO or DQ (-315)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Is there any boxer on the planet better than Anthony Joshua? Well, yes – according to the rankings. Joshua holds the heavyweight belt in three different promotions, including the WBA (Super) title, but he’s not even on the top-10 pound-for-pound list at The Ring. That’s the heavyweight division for you. Joshua is a very big fish in a very small pond.

On Saturday, Joshua will face WBO champion Joseph Parker in a unification bout at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Will this finally convince people how great Joshua is? Probably not. Parker is the No. 3-ranked heavyweight at The Ring, yet he’s still a massive +600 underdog on the boxing odds board at press time. Showtime will have the fight at 5 p.m. ET. Let’s get it on.

AJ Suited

Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) has jumped through every hoop put in front of him. He won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London – practically in his hometown of Watford. He took the IBF strap off Charles Martin in 2016, then added the WBA (Super) and IBO titles when he retired Wladimir Klitschko last April, earning Fight of the Year honors from The Ring. What does Joshua have to do, fight with one arm tied behind his back?

To be fair, Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) has done everything asked of him, too. The New Zealand native beat Andy Ruiz by majority decision two years ago for the vacant WBO title, and successfully defended against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury. Parker qualifies as a live dog in this situation. There have been questions about Joshua’s chin in the past, and Parker was a fashionable boxing pick after opening at +745.

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First thought that comes to mind on #WorldSleepDay is the KO King @anthonyfjoshua 😴 #JoshuaParker

— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 16, 2018

I’m not particularly inclined to fade Joshua, though. He has won all 20 of his fights by KO/TKO, and he’s available at -315 to win by KO/TKO/DQ on the props market, down from -350 at the open. He’s also 2 inches taller than Parker at 6-foot-6, with a 6-inch reach advantage. Joshua will even have something of a home-crowd advantage in Cardiff. Pip pip, what.

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