Joshua vs Parker: AJ tipped to KO Kiwi just after halfway point

Joshua vs Parker: AJ tipped to KO Kiwi just after halfway point

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Odds: Joshua 2/25, Draw 33/1, Parker 6/1

Date: 2130, 31/03/2018

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff

TV: Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua is strongly fancied to add the WBO heavyweight title to his WBA and IBF belts when facing Joseph Parker in Cardiff.

A mouth-watering unification match with WBC champion Deontay Wilder awaits the winner and we’re firmly behind the British star in our Joshua vs Parker betting predictions.

Since turning professional after striking gold at the 2012 Olympics, AJ has stormed to 20 straight wins, all inside the distance.

The 28-year-old showed he has heart, as well as punching power, when coming back from the brink of defeat to stop Wladimir Klitschko in round 11 just under a year ago.

Joshua was also given a decent work-out by late stand-in Carlos Takam in his last bout, before eventually wearing down the durable African in the 10th.

The Londoner is 1/5 to again prevail by knockout, TKO or a disqualification this month and it is hard to argue with that price.

However, with so much at stake in Wales, we’re expecting another methodical performance from AJ and think the fight will go past halfway.

“He took this challenge as an undefeated fighter and so did I,” commented Joshua. “The respect is 50-50.

“He’s worked hard and I see him as one of the lions in the jungle. There is a lot of underlying desire in myself and him as well, and that’s why I see that lion in him.

“He wants to fight and get it on. He’s a champion and no-one gets to this point for no reason.”

Parker to be game, but ultimately outgunned

That respect for Parker is justified and we anticipate a cautious start, before Joshua attempts to soften up his opponent from the fourth round onwards.

Parker had a solid amateur career and boasts a 24-0 record in the paid ranks, with 18 of those wins coming inside the distance.

The 26-year-old New Zealander wasn’t overly-impressive when outpointing Britain’s Hughie Fury in the second defence of his WBO title last September.

However, beating the Manchester fighter in his own back yard showed good mental strength and Parker confirmed that he is technically sound that night.

Those positive traits should be enough to keep Joshua on his guard early on, but Parker may be in trouble once AJ grows in confidence and opens up.

Looking at the Joshua vs Parker odds, we like 8/1 for the Briton to make his extra height and reach count for a seventh-round stoppage, with a saver on round eight at 10/1.

Joshua vs Parker vs Wilder

The winner of this fight is likely to face Deontay Wilder, who is expected to be in attendance in Cardiff following his recent success against Luis Ortiz. So who is the king of the heavyweight division? We have analysed the data behind each boxer’s last 10 fights to compare the trio…

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Best bets for Joshua vs Parker

Joshua to win in round 7 @ 8/1

Joshua to win in round 8 @ 10/1