ANTHONY JOSHUA has predicted the round in which he expects Joseph Parker’s resistance to end at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday.
The two undefeated world heavyweight champions clash beneath the roof in Wales’ national stadium in the first unification contest of its kind on British soil.
And after correctly predicting Dillian Whyte’s sixth round stoppage of Lucas Browne at the weekend – and banking £650 from the bookmakers in the process – Joshua has now broken his silence on what he expects to happen against Parker.
The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion said: “I won a cheeky £650 from that Whyte fight – I was buzzing.
“And do you know what’s interesting? For my last four fights, I’ve been exactly on, or a round out.
“So what’s the pick for Saturday? Now it’s on my mind I have to match my good record but I’m no Muhammad Ali [when it comes to predicting fights].
“One thing I used to think was, when you say it’s going four rounds and you’re opponent is still in there in round eight and you’re thinking…’oh no’.
“Before Carlos Takam I said 10 rounds, I said I’d beat him in ten rounds and I did. I always say, mentally, I’m ready to go 12 rounds. But, if everything goes to plan I think people fade between round eight and nine.
“I think Parker will fade around eight or nine.”
When asked to elaborate on how he expects the clash, Joshua’s third stadium fight in a row, to unfold, he said: ‘Meet straight, don’t back up.
“I’m not saying I’m coming to be marching forward, but you meet him at a distance and you meet him coming in from distance. Position the hands and footwork. Establish a range early on, and the difference is I know how to counter punch. I haven’t seen Parker counter punching anyone.
“I’ll punish him when he’s throwing at me and I’ll punish him when he’s thinking of throwing at me. I’ll break him down. Rounds five to eight, it’ll be a tough night. But, I feel really good.”
Wladimir Klitschko famously made a prediction ahead of his own clash with Joshua back in April of last year.
However the Ukrainian great decided to film his own prediction and save it on a USB which was then sewn into his fight robe.
Klitschko then auctioned the garment off for charity, and it fetched £160,000 at auction in December.
Joshua said he even considered placing a bid but says he would have fallen far short of winning it.
“I think he was going to do the final edit after the fight,” Joshua added.
“It was a big fight for him and I believe he did have the USB. It auctioned off for a lot of money. £160,000? My Auntie called me a week later, ‘I’ve got this flag from the Olympics, I was thinking about auctioning it off?’ I was cracking up.
“I didn’t bid for it [the USB]. I said the limit was ten grand, and then I saw it go for £160,000. I thought ten would be a enough, thought I could be the silent bidder.”
There were shades of the build-up to Joshua’s showdown with Klitschko at Tuesday’s final press conference, which also took place in the foyer at the headquarters of Sky, with all the employees watching on.
But Parker was not overawed by the occasion whatsoever and even had two separate head-to-head photographs with Joshua.
The Londoner said: “During the face off I just went back to when I fought Klitschko.
“When I was facing off with him last year, he was saying: ‘Okay, we have done this before and we turn to the front in five, four, three, two..’
“I thought: ‘This motherf***** is experienced!’ That was all about control, he was trying to old-man me a bit. I thought I could look at Parker for 10 minutes, but I decided no.
“When I was facing him off, it is about showing no fear but at the same time I thought, ‘How long will I stand here for?’”
Sky Sports Box Office will exclusively show the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker unification fight on 31 March. Available to buy now at www.sky.com/orderboxoffice.