Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker Unification Bout Set For March 31st


Heavyweight boxers Anthony Joshua, who is a two-belt titleholder, and one-belt title holder Joseph Parker will meet in a unification bout to crown an undisputed champion.

The two will meet on March 31st at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

“I would like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff,” Joshua said on Sunday (h/t ESPN).

“It is a unification heavyweight championship fight. We all know what happened last time I was in a unification heavyweight championship fight. It was grueling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.”

“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. My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows.”

“These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to Team Parker for taking the challenge,” Joshua said. “And you know me, I love this game. I am looking forward to it. Training camp is underway and before you know it, March 31 will be upon us.”

“I’m delighted to get this fight made — it’s been a long time coming,” Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter said. “Champions should fight champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges. It’s the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain, and it’s a classic matchup between two young, fast, undefeated belt holders and it’s going to be an explosive fight. This is another huge unification fight for Anthony as he continues to make history in the quest to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.”

“Eddie has been great to work with from day one,” David Higgins, Parker’s co-promoter from Duco Events, said. “I know we ruffled a few feathers along the way but, as Eddie acknowledged, when you come from a small country and people perceive you as a small player, sometimes you’ve got to make a bit of noise. New Zealand might be a tiny country on the other side of the world, but it has a hugely proud sporting tradition — and a particularly strong tradition when it comes to whipping mother England.

“Joseph Parker is the absolute epitome of the Kiwi sporting battler. It has been said that he is punching above his weight, but he didn’t become WBO heavyweight champion by being lucky. He’s never been stopped, never even been wobbled in the ring. He’s consistently fought fighters in the world’s top 10 and he’s beaten them all easily. It certainly won’t be a shock to me when he beats Anthony Joshua and takes his titles back home to New Zealand.”