Sports

Anthony Joshua confirmed to fight Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31

Anthony Joshua confirmed to fight Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31

ANTHONY JOSHUA'S world unification fight with Joseph Parker has been confirmed for March 31.

World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belt holder Joshua and World Boxing Organisation champion Parker will go toe-to-toe in the Principality Stadium in the Welsh capital.

Then last week, it emerged that Parker's promoter, David Higgins, was flying to London to try and seal the deal.

The 29-year-old said his team settled for Parker because negotiations with WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, have proved too hard.

"These fights aren't easy, cause there's a lot on the line, so respect to Team Parker for taking the challenge. Training camp is under way and before you know, 31 March will be upon us".

Joshua is 20-0 with 20 knockouts while Parker is 24-0 with 18 wins by knockout. "A couple of months ago I heard him say, 'Why should I be anxious about this little kid from New Zealand?'" Parker said.

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"Well, now he's about to find out". The world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch.

Joshua has fought just once since beating the now retired Wladimir Klitschko, which came in a 10th-round stoppage of Frenchman Carlos Takam in October a year ago - also in Cardiff - having been originally slated to face Kubrat Pulev only for injury to prevent the Bulgarian from competing. "Champions should fight Champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges", Hearn said.

Even in the face of hardcore trash talk from long time bitter rival Dillian Whyte Joshua managed to keep his composure right through the build-up and save his fury for fight night when he viciously knocked his rival out.

Higgins was also pleased to get the fight done and complimented Hearn on the professionalism he showed through the arduous process.

Parker's last fight was in England when he defended his WBO title for the second time, beating Britain's Hughie Fury on points in Manchester in September.

In his last fight inside the Principality Stadium in October, Joshua claimed a 10th-round stoppage victory over Cameroonian-born French boxer Carlos Takam. Wilder, 32, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is scheduled to defend his title against top contender Luis "King Kong" Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs), a 38-year-old Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, on March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a fight that was made official on Friday.