Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker

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Road to Undisputed
Date31 March 2018
VenuePrincipality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
Title(s) on the lineWBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles
Tale of the tape
Boxer United Kingdom Anthony Joshua New Zealand Joseph Parker
Nickname "AJ" "JP"
Hometown Watford, England Auckland, New Zealand
Pre-fight record 20–0 (20 KOs) 24–0 (18 KOs)
Height 6 ft 6 in 6 ft 4 in
Weight 242.2 lbs 236.7 lbs
Style Orthodox Orthodox
Recognition IBF, WBA (Super) & IBO heavyweight champion WBO heavyweight champion
Joshua defeated Parker by UD
(Steve Gray: 118–110, Ian Scott: 119–109, Steve Weisfeld: 118–110)

Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker, billed as Road to Undisputed, was a professional boxing heavyweight unification match contested between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker. The event took place on 31 March 2018 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, with Joshua's IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles and Parker's WBO heavyweight title on the line. Joshua won the fight in a unanimous points decision with two judges scoring it 118–110 and the other 119–109.[1][2]


It was reported that Joseph Parker's team were looking at Lucas Browne as a potential match-up if they failed to land a unification fight with Joshua. According to Parker's promoter David Higgins, a date in March 2018 was being discussed with Joshua's team, however Eddie Hearn offered an 80–20 split, which would favour Joshua. Higgins spoke to Fairfax Media, saying the offer would need to be more reasonable, also taking into consideration the fight would take place in the UK.[3] Other names discussed for a summer 2018 fight included Bryant Jennings and Alexander Povetkin.[4]

According to a Tweet from Parker on 15 November 2017, he was offered less than half of what was paid to Charles Martin when he defended his IBF title against Joshua.[5] The next day, Higgins told Fairfax Media that he and Hearn were still talking around a deal that would benefit all parties.[6] Parker stated he was willing to drop to 35% of the net profit. Higgins made a final offer to Hearn on 22 November 2017. He told Sky Sports, "It's our final bottom line decision. We feel anything less is disrespectful or a disgrace."[7] On 29 November 2017, Hearn stated the fight could be confirmed within two weeks. Higgins listed Camp Nou as the potential venue.[8]

According to Hearn on 11 December 2017, a deal was very close to being announced with the Principality Stadium a frontrunner to host the fight. Hearn said they were over-paying Parker, with the deal being 65-35.[9] On 28 December 2017, Higgins announced that a split had been agreed which would see Parker earn between 30–35% of the purse and the fight should take place in April 2018. Higgins stated that a rematch clause would be in place for Joshua, should he lose. In a potential rematch, Parker would get a 55% split.[10][11] It was reported that Joshua would earn a career-high £18 million and Parker would also earn a career-high pay of £8 million.[12]

On 8 January 2018, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff was confirmed as the venue for the fight.[13] On 14 January 2018, negotiations came to a close and the fight was officially announced to take place on 31 March in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports Box Office.[14][15] In an official press release on 5 February 2018, Showtime announced they would televise the fight live in the United States.[16][17]


Joshua and Parker both came in lighter compared to their respective previous bouts. Parker weighed in first at 236.7 pounds, his lightest since he fought Solomon Haumono in July 2016. Joshua weighed 242.2 pounds, his lightest since 2014 when he fought Michael Sprott.[18]

The fight[edit]

Joshua vs. Parker mural in Te Puke, New Zealand[19]

Joshua was forced to go the distance to defeat Parker via a 12-round unanimous decision to claim the WBO title as well as retain his WBA, IBF and IBO belts. The judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in favour of Joshua. Many media outlets including ESPN had the fight around 116-112 with Joshua the clear winner. With going the distance, Joshua's 20 fight knockout streak came to an end. Parker used his movement well to slip a lot of Joshua's attack but in doing so did not do enough himself to win more rounds. Parker started on the backfoot in the opening rounds allowing Joshua to take the rounds. There was an accidental clash of heads in round 3, however neither boxer was cut from this. There was another accidental head-butt in round 9 where the referee called for a short break. Joshua's tape on his left glove kept coming loose and he was ordered to go back to his corner for a re-tape. Parker suffered a cut over his left eye after Joshua accidentally elbowed him. In round 12, neither boxers engaged as much as expected with Joshua trying to track Parker down, who again, on the backfoot looked to survive the round. The fight was marred by Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone, who kept both boxers from fighting on the inside. This mostly had negative impact on Parker, where he was seen to have the most success. The referee was breaking the action each time both boxers were on the inside, even when they were still throwing shots. Many boxers, pundits and both the Sky Sports and Showtime broadcast team criticised the referee during and after the fight.[20][21]

Compubox Punch stats showed that Joshua landed 139 of 383 punches thrown (36.3%) and Parker landed 101 of his 492 thrown (20.5%). Joshua used his reach advantage and utilised his jab more often from round 7 onwards. In total, Joshua landed 93 jabs with a connect rate of 34.4%. Parker landed 49 jabs with a much lower connect rate of 15.5%. Parker was the busier power puncher of the two landed 52 power punches, which included 29 to the body of Joshua (29.5%). Joshua was more accurate with his power shots in landing 46 with a connect rate of 40.7%.[22]

Post fight[edit]

After the fight, Joshua explained his game plan for the fight, “My strategy in there was kind of stick behind the jab. It’s one of the most important weapons. The old saying is the right hand could take you around the block, but a good jab will take you around the world. And that secured another championship belt. So I stuck behind the jab and I made sure anything that was coming back, I was switched on, I was focused and 12 rounds, baby! I thought it was hard, right?”

Parker was humble in defeat and stated he would back stronger, “Today I got beaten by a better champion, bigger man. A lot to work on. It was a good experience being here. Thank you all for the opportunity to fight in this big stadium. We’re gonna go back, train hard, plan again and come back stronger. No regrets, you know, take it on the chin. … So we’ll be back again.” When asked what he would do different, Parker replied, “Work harder. Come back stronger, more punches. But I would love to have another go. Just back to the drawing board.”[23]

During the post fight press conference, Parker's team stated the referee did not speak English, whereas Joshua and his promoter Hearn disagreed and said he spoke English fluently.[24]

Viewership and revenue[edit]

In Cardiff, the fight drew a live gate audience of 78,000 spectators at the Principality Stadium,[25] generating approximately $10.4 million in live gate revenue.[26]

On Sky Box Office, the fight sold 1.2 million pay-per-view buys in the United Kingdom.[27][28] At a viewing price of £19.95[29] ($26), the fight grossed approximately £29.1 million ($40 million) in pay-per-view revenue.

The fight was shown live in the United States on Showtime in the afternoon. The live showing averaged 346,000 viewers and peaked at 379,000 viewers. A replay was shown later in the evening which saw an increase. The replay averaged 430,000 viewers and peaked at 483,000 viewers. Nielsen Media Research., who released the figures do not have the facility to measure whether the same customers that watched the live showing tuned in for the replay. These figures were an increase for Joshua on Showtime, as his last fight on Showtime against Carlos Takam in October 2017 averaged 334,000 viewers.[30]

Fight card[edit]

Weight Class vs. Method Round Time Notes
Heavyweight United Kingdom Anthony Joshua (c) def. New Zealand Joseph Parker (c) UD 12 Note 1
Heavyweight Russia Alexander Povetkin def. United Kingdom David Price KO 5/12
Bantamweight United Kingdom Ryan Burnett (c) def. Venezuela Yonfrez Parejo PTS 12 Note 2
Lightweight United Kingdom Anthony Crolla def. Mexico Edson Ramirez PTS 10
Welterweight United Kingdom Josh Kelly def. Mexico Carlos Molina PTS 10
Lightweight United Kingdom Joe Cordina def. Belgium Hakim Ben Ali TKO 3/10
Light heavyweight United Kingdom Joshua Buatsi def. Poland Bartlomiej Grafka PTS 6
Super middleweight New Zealand Mose Auimatagi Jnr def. United Kingdom Morgan Jones TKO 6

^Note 1 For IBF, WBA (Super), WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
^Note 2 For WBA (Super) bantamweight title.


Country Broadcaster
 Austria DAZN
 Australia Main Event
 Belarus Match TV
 Belgium VOOsport World 1
 Bulgaria Diema Sport
 Croatia RTL Televizija
 Czech Republic Nova Sport 1
 Denmark TV3+
 Estonia Viasat Sport Baltic
 Finland Viaplay
 France SFR Sport
 Germany DAZN
 Hungary Sport2
 Ireland Sky Box Office
 Israel Sport 1
 Italy Sky Sport Plus
 Latvia Viasat Sport Baltic
 Liechtenstein DAZN
 Lithuania Viasat Sport Baltic
 Luxemburg VOOsport World 1
 Moldova Pro TV
 Netherlands RTL 7
 New Zealand SKY Arena
 Norway Viaplay
 Panama RPC Channel 4
 Poland TVP Sport
 Romania Pro TV
 Russia Match TV
 Samoa TV3
 Slovakia Dajto
 Sweden Viaplay
  Switzerland DAZN
 United Arab Emirates OSN Sports
 United Kingdom Sky Box Office
 United States Showtime
Sub-Saharan Africa Kwesé Sports
Latin America Canal Space

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joshua beats Parker on points". BBC Sport. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  2. ^ "Anthony Joshua beats Joseph Parker on points in heavyweight unification". Guardian. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Joshua, Parker Camps Open Talks For Unification Bout in March - Boxing News". Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  4. ^ WBN. "Parker wants Joshua, has Browne, Jennings, Povetkin alternatives". WBN - World Boxing News. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  5. ^ "Joseph Parker sends Joshua angry tweet after first fight offer - Hearn hits back". GiveMeSport. 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  6. ^ "Parker's Promoter: Hearn is Willing To Budge on Joshua Terms - Boxing News". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  7. ^ "Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker have made progress in talks for a unification clash, says Eddie Hearn". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  8. ^ "Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker is 'achievable', says Eddie Hearn as talks rumble on". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  9. ^ "Hearn: Joshua vs. Parker Deal is Close, We're Ready To Overpay". Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  10. ^ "Joshua-Parker nears reality as cash split settled". Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  11. ^ "Parker Would Get 55% of Split in Joshua Rematch, Says Higgins". Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  12. ^ McKenna, Chris (2018-03-31). "Anthony Joshua to receive stunning record purse for Joseph Parker fight". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  13. ^ "Joshua-Parker: Principality Stadium in Cardiff Confirmed Site". Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  14. ^ "Joshua vs Parker: Anthony Joshua faces Joseph Parker in unification fight live on Sky Sports Box Office". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  15. ^ "Joshua vs. Parker confirmed for March 31". Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  16. ^ "Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker To Air Live on Showtime". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  17. ^ "Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker: What time is the fight tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what are the odds?". The Telegraph. 30 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Full Joshua v Parker Weigh In Results – Including Undercard". Boxing News and Views. 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  19. ^ "Artist Mr G shows support for Joseph Parker with new Te Puke mural". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Joshua unifies 3 belts, wants Wilder fight next". Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  21. ^ "Joshua vs Parker: Anthony Joshua completes wide points win over Joseph Parker in Cardiff". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  22. ^ "Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker - CompuBox Punch Stats". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  23. ^ "Anthony Joshua Decisions Joseph Parker To Unify World Titles". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  24. ^ "Team Parker Claim Ref Couldn't Speak English, Joshua Disagrees". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  25. ^ "Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker round-by-round scores from our judges". The Independent. 1 April 2018.
  26. ^ "No deal yet for heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder". Yahoo Sports. June 12, 2018.
  27. ^ "Weekly viewing summary (Sky Box Office Events buys between 26 March 2018 and 1 April 2018)". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Pay-per-view boxing 'will end in tears,' says Eddie Hearn". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  29. ^ Gray, James (31 March 2018). "Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker pay-per-view: Price, how to buy and book the fight". Daily Express.
  30. ^ "Joshua-Parker: Showtime's First Replay Peaked at 483,000 Viewers". Retrieved 2018-04-07.