London, UK : British boxer – of Nigerian heritage – Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight boxing champion, will meet WBO champion Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight unification fight in Cardiff on 31 March.
Joshua, 28, holds the IBF and WBA belts, while New Zealander Parker is the WBO champion. The New Zealander has a record of 24 wins from 24 fights.
Cardiff’s Principality stadium – where Joshua successfully defended his titles against Carlos Takam in October – will host the bout.
History will be made when two reigning heavyweight champions fight in Britain for the first time.
Joshua returns to the scene of his last action in the ring, where Carlos Takam became his 20th win inside the distance from his 20 professional fights, the fourth defence of his IBF crown and first of the WBA Super and IBO belts he landed in his epic, dramatic battle with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last April.
“I’m delighted to get this fight made – it’s been a long time coming,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Champions should fight Champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges.
“It’s the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain and it’s a classic match-up between two young, fast, undefeated belt holders and it’s going to be an explosive fight. This is another huge unification fight for Anthony as he continues to make history in the quest to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.”
EARLIER : AnthonyJoshua, DeontayWilder For USA Fight Talks, JosephParker Beckons -London, UK : 28-year-old, Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight boxing champion has revealed plans to travel to the United States to hold unification fight talks with Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion.
‘Deontay has called me out, which I did not expect as I’ve not seen any contract or offer in place,’ Joshua told IFL TV.
‘I’ve had to take it on, in my time off, to make plans to travel to America and discuss negotiations so I can become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I have been taking challenges throughout my career – even as an amateur I was doing that, and I fought for a world title in my 16th professional fight. I’ve never been in the business of ducking anyway. I’m not afraid of anyone.’, Joshua said.
Wilder has called out Joshua repeatedly in the last week and claimed Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is helping his fighter ‘duck’ the unification fight.
‘I think Eddie is ducking me more so than Joshua,’ Wilder told BBC Sport. ‘If Joshua’s a strong champion, a true champion, you guys in England should smoke him out, make him fight. You should see if he’s the best. My heart says I’m the best, if I’m not I want someone to show me.’
But, Joshua rejected Deontay Wilder’s claim he is ducking fighting him and insisted he is ready to face Wilder.
Joshua is recovering after a bruising encounter with Carlos Takam in Cardiff. Although it was another knockout victory, Joshua injured his nose.
Wilder, on the other hand, says he is ready for a fight with Joshua in early 2018 after the 32-year-old ran through his latest challenger, Bermane Stiverne.
The American has held the WBC title since 2015, conducting six defences, and hit out at Joshua and his team.
After his first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne, the Bronze Bomber declared war on heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Deontay Wilder currently holds the WBC title, while Joshua holds the WBA, IBF, and IBO belts.
However, Deontay Wilder isn’t the only boxer who wants to unify the heavyweight division. WBO champion Joseph Parker also wants to take on Anthony Joshua. The New Zealander has a record of 24 wins from 24 fights.
Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins has revealed a communication exchange he believes will lead to a spring unification with Anthony Joshua.
Higgins, speaking at an arranged press conference on Wednesday, stated Hearn was on board with Joshua v Parker and said only negotiations needed to be agreed.
Joshua has several options open to him at the moment, with a WBA mandatory, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on the table alongside Parker.
The fans would certainly opt for Wilder of Fury (should the former champ get himself back in shape), although Hearn seems to be keep to deal with the mandatory situation first or push through with a Parker clash.
All bodes well for the New Zealander should the WBA not have a number one in place by the New Year for a fight between Joshua and Parker at Twickenham in the spring.
Any agreement with Joshua would then mean a future fight with the winner of Tony Bellew v David Haye, originally on the table for March or April, would be scrapped if Parker fails to come out on top.