Anthony Joshua remained undefeated and became the unified heavyweight champion of the world with his decision victory over Joseph Parker.
Joshua went the distance for the first time in his career, outpointing the previously undefeated champion Parker in a heavyweight unification bout earlier today and live on Showtime from Cardiff, Wales. While Joshua was the aggressorthroughout, Parker established his jab in the early rounds in an attempt to negate Joshua's six-inch reach advantage.
Joshua remained active throughout the entire bout, landed the more significant punches and appeared to stagger the New Zealander on a few occasions.
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“I am not going to judge my performance,” Joshua said during the post-fight interview. “That’s for my coach to do. My strategy was to get behind the jab and we did that. The good jab will take you around the world. Through rounds 10, 11, 12, I was focused. I went the 12 rounds and I fought him hard, but it was light work. This is boxing. This is what we do."
"Parker is a world champion. I knew he was going to be determined. Sometimes this is how it goes. It becomes a tactical boxing fight. This was going to be about finesse, and I controlled behind the jab and used finesse."
“Today, I got beat by the better man, the bigger man,” Parker said. “My plan is to go home, work hard and come back again. I would work harder. Make more punches. I would love another go. We could have worked inside more but whatever happened, happened. You can’t go back and change that. I am young, strong, fit and ready to come back and challenge again. We’ll be back again stronger.”
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) retains his IBF and WBA heavyweight straps and added Parker’s WBO title to his collection with scores of 118-110, 118-110, and 119-109 for a unanimous decision.
The fight set a boxing indoor attendance record of more than 78,000 fans at Principality Stadium.
“We cannot forget – I am now the unified heavyweight champion of the world,” said Joshua.
'JOSHUA v WILDER NEXT' -SUGAR RAY LEONARD IMMEDIATE REACTION TO ANTHONY JOSHUA BEATING JOSEPH PARKER
'JOSHUA v WILDER NEXT' - SUGAR RAY LEONARD IMMEDIATE REACTION TO ANTHONY JOSHUA BEATING JOSEPH PARKER INTERVIEW BY KUGAN CASSIUS
All roads now lead to Deontay "Bronze Bomber" Wilder. After the fight, Joshua was asked by Sky Sports reporter Andy Scott if Wilder was next on the hit list.
“One hundred percent, 100 percent,” Joshua answered. “You’re asking me, do I want to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world? The WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO. Twenty-one fights, six world championship fights. I am not into the hype. I am about the business. So, let’s talk business. Eddie Hearn can talk with Al Haymon and (Shelly Finkel).
“Just like Dillion (Whyte) said, ‘WILDER, LET’S GO, BABY.’ Let’s go. On this side of the pond, we are serious. Great Britain, the United Kingdom, we are representing. We have all the fighters, champions from heavyweight all the way down to the lower weight classes. We are about the business.”
Joshua didn’t seem disappointed he was unable to score a KO, yet still admitted he wasn’t satisfied with the first distance fight of his career.
“Definitely, we are not satisfied. One step at a time,” Joshua said. “We are not our best yet but we are at the pinnacle of boxing. I always go in the deep end, always challenge myself. I am ready for more challenges. We will see what’s next.”
When pressed who he’d like to fight next, Joshua said, “Wilder. Wilder or Fury,” referencing fellow Brit and former unified heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who has been inactive since 2015 due to a variety of issues.
“Get him (Wilder) in the ring, and I’ll knock him spark out,” Joshua promised.
Anthony Joshua on Deontay Wilder: "Get him in the ring and I'll knock him spark out." #JoshuaParker https://t.co/CZIlXJoHC5
The 26-year-old Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) didn’t dispute the decision in what was the first unification fight between undefeated heavyweight champions since 1987.