Anthony Joshua to Defend Title Against Joseph Parker on March 31

British-born Nigerian heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua will meet Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight unification fight in Cardiff on March 31, 2018.

Joshua, 28, holds the IBF and WBA belts, while New Zealander Parker is the WBO champion.

Cardiff’s Principality stadium – where Joshua successfully defended his titles against Carlos Takam in October – will host the bout.

anthony joshua
Anthony Joshua flaunts his titles

“I’m delighted to get this fight made – it’s been a long time coming,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

“It’s the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain.”

Joshua added: “These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line – so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to it. Training camp is underway and before you know, 31 March will be upon us.”

Joshua and Parker agreed to put their IBF, WBA Super, IBO and WBO belts and unbeaten records on the line, putting the triumphant victor within touching distance of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

After an intense two months of negotiation, the contest is expected to generate upwards of £35million. Parker told The Telegraph exclusively yesterday that he would “smash Joshua’s glass chin”.

Parker’s representative David Higgins arrived in the UK last week to finalise a deal. Talks had previously stalled over how the purse would be split but a compromise was reached last month which will see Parker, 25, earn 30-35%.

Parker is undefeated in his 24 professional fights, with 18 of those wins coming by a knockout.

“Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock,” Parker said. “A couple of months ago I heard him say: ‘Why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand?’

“Well, now he’s about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch.”

I Will Defeat Anthony Joshua – Joseph Parker

For a quiet man not prone to bouts of trash-talking, Joseph Parker offered a dramatic message of intent yesterday as the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion revealed his “sole mission is to smash to bits the man with the glass chin”.

joseph parker
Parker vows to defeat Joshua

The seventeen stone 6ft4ins tall Samoan was referring to Anthony Joshua, as contracts come close to being finalised for these two huge heavyweight world champions to contest three of the world titles in ten or eleven weeks time, most likely in front of 80,000 fans in Cardiff, and watched by millions through the lucrative prism of pay-per-view television.

Both men are undefeated, and these three belts – WBO, plus the Briton’s World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts – are on the table, remarkably, for the first time ever in a heavyweight unification fight.

No Post-Fight Handshake – Joshua

Anthony Joshua says he will command the respect of Joseph Parker after inflicting a punishing defeat on the New Zealander, but insists there will not be a post-fight handshake.

The WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion has been angered by a verbal attack from Parker and his promotional team ahead of his heavyweight unification clash with the WBO title holder at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on March 31, 2018.

Joshua suggests that Parker does not deserve to be mentioned alongside other champion sportsmen and will not offer a gesture of appreciation after he delivers a first humbling loss to the 26-year-old.

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