Team Parker stay on front foot with Joshua

The camp of New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker continue to show their determination to ensure British rival Anthony Joshua does not dictate terms in the build-up to this weekend's world heavyweight title unification bout in Cardiff.

Punctuation is the subject of Team Parker's latest statement of intent, with promoter David Higgins insisting they not be sitting around waiting for Joshua at the final pre-fight press conference.

The Englishman has a penchant for showing up late to some obligations and if that happens at the event scheduled for noon on Tuesday in London (midnight NZ time), it appears Joshua will be on his own.

Parker and his team were left waiting in a side room for 40 minutes when the fighters met to announce the fight in January and Higgins told Sky Sport UK that history would not be repeating.

"I can tell you that we will be in control of that press conference," the promoter of the WBO champion said.

"Whatever the start time is, AJ thinks it's fashionable to be late or (get) a psychological edge by being late. We just think it's silly and disrespectful. We will start it on the dot.

"Whether Sky choose to film it or not, we will start the press conference on time and we will leave 30 minutes later.

"If AJ doesn't show up it just shows that he has no respect for the media or the fans here because he has been late a hundred times in a row. I challenge Anthony Joshua: be on time mate for the first time in your life."

It is not the first time in the lead-up to the much-anticipated bout that Team Parker have had a pop at Joshua about his approach with the media.

The WBA and IBF belt holder held his lone pre-fight media day at his training base in Sheffield last week but did not give one interview to a member of the New Zealand or Samoan media.

Parker, meanwhile, welcomed numerous British media into his training camp at his base in Las Vegas and has continued to make himself regularly available with a smile on his face since arriving in the UK more than a week ago.

Higgins was adamant they had the big Brit's mind whirring and said they intended to keep it that way until the all-important fight on Sunday morning.

"Boxing isn't just fought in the ring there's a psychological element to it ... Holyfield v Tyson ... I think you can see that with Joseph Parker," Higgins told Sky Sport UK.

"The confidence thing is not an act, it's genuine. Joshua, he does look rattled and this press conference tomorrow is part of that whole game.

"Everything we have done has been deliberate. Some people think we are mad. It's all deliberate, it's all strategy, we are professionals ... we will start on the dot whether Anthony is there or not.

"So Eddie should make an effort to get his man there on time. I know it's a challenge Eddie, I'm glad I'm working with Joseph Parker because he's a dream to work with."

This latest move from Team Parker comes with their man maintaining a cool, calm and confident demeanour, despite the biggest challenge of his career looming ever closer.

The south Aucklander, using the London gym of former heavyweight champion David Haye, looked fast, fluid and loose in a Monday training session which included several rounds of shadow boxing, several more on the pads with trainer Kevin Barry and a finishing set on the heavy bag.

Parker looked mentally locked in to his drills, but was also happy to engage in some casual banter with the contingent of New Zealand supporters and members of his wider team in attendance.

Higgins believed all was not running so smoothly for Joshua and his camp.

"I'm not a mean person and I don't want to accuse him of speaking gibberish but some of the stuff, it speaks for itself," he said.

"He looks like a man under pressure. You have a cool, calm and collected unbeaten WBO champion [Parker] who is genuinely relaxed sleeping a night. But I don't think Anthony Joshua will be sleeping much this week and that could be why he's saying silly things."