Anthony Joshua is overhyped and set for a major upset in Saturday’s heavyweight unification fight, insists his opponent, Joseph Parker.
Unbeaten New Zealander, Parker is putting his WBO title on the line in the belief that he can inflict Joshua’s own first defeat and claim the Londoner’s WBA and IBF belts at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
“I’m a champion. If he sees me as a stepping stone, that’s up to him, but I’m here to take those belts back – for myself, for my team, for the country,” said underdog Parker.
“You can say it’s arrogance. It’s not realistic. Of course he can be beaten. He’s not a god, he’s a human being, and I’m going to show it on Saturday night and beat him.
“I’ve prepared for 12 rounds – I feel ready for this fight. I know that if I catch him clean, he’s out, I’m not going to give him a chance to recover. I’ll chase him down and get him out of there.”
Parker is adamant he will not waste a chance to finish the fight, as two-time world champion Wladimir Klitschko did in his defeat to Joshua 11 months ago at Wembley Stadium.
“Klitschko – great fighter, a lot of respect to him – personally I think he should have finished it off,” Parker added.
“Anthony showed a lot of heart in getting up and finishing off the fight. But if I get him hurt I’ll finish him.”
Joshua, who has won all 20 of his professional fights by knockout, has vowed that his latest bout will not go the distance either.
“If I’ve got £20 in my pocket, I believe Anthony Joshua knocks Joseph Parker out for sure,” he said.
“I don’t want to lose. The fear of being defeated keeps me going. I’m preparing for a 12-round fight, which isn’t a problem to go the distance. I believe I will knock Parker out for sure.”