WBA/IBF/IBO Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua, WBC Champion Deontay Wilder, and WBO Champion Joseph Parker will all be vying to gain the undisputed crown in 2018. One piece of the puzzle may come to fruition, as Joshua and Parker appear to be in negotiations for a title unification bout.
If Joshua-Parker were to come to fruition, many in the boxing community may declare Joshua the favorite. Parker appears to not have faced off with the toughest of competition in the sport yet. His most recent bout came in September with a majority decision win over Hughie Fury — a bout panned and considered disappointing across the board.
Joshua, on the other hand, claimed the WBA and IBO titles in an upset TKO victory over longtime heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko back in April — a bout many are voting to be the 2017 Fight of the Year. In said bout, Joshua scored a knockdown on Klitschko in the fifth round before getting dropped himself in the sixth. Then, in the 11th round, Joshua rocked Klitschko, getting two knockdowns and pounding away until the ref stopped the bout. Joshua recently defended his heavyweight crown in October with a 10th-round TKO over Carlos Takam.
Considering the differences, it would be hard to favorite Parker, but don’t tell that to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. In a recent video interview, Arum says Joshua’s chin is considerably weak compared to Parker’s, and he gives the WBO champion all the chance in the world to knock down, and knock out, the WBA/IBF/IBO champ.
In fact, Arum gives the same good chance he gives to Parker to WBC Champion Deontay Wilder should Joshua and Wilder ever face off.
“I give [Parker] a good chance [to KO Joshua],” Arum said. “I think Joshua is a really good, exciting fighter. Real great marquee and everything, and he’s very ballsy. But I don’t think he has a good chin.
I really think his chin is suspect and I think that Parker, who may not be the greatest boxer in the world, but Parker has a chin like iron. And I think he’ll stay in there with Joshua and he could knock Joshua out. I really believe that. I think the same thing about [Deontay] Wilder — I think Wilder could knock Joshua out.