Anthony Joshua

Barry: Parker can dethrone AJ

That's the firm belief of Parker's trainer Kevin Barry after he analysed Joshua's 10th round stoppage of durable Frenchman Carlos Takam to defend his IBF and WBA titles in Cardiff on Sunday (NZT).

All the attention now moves to Joshua's next opponent - with Parker, as WBO champion, and American Deontay Wilder as the WBC belt holder, the names on everyone lips as unification hopes come into the frame for 2018.

Joshua overcomes resolute Takam

Joshua's flawless professional record now stands at 20 victories and as many knockouts, but this was not a display to stand alongside his statement triumph over the great Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April.

An accidental clash of heads in round two left the 28-year-old Briton mopping blood from his nose and mouth – Joshua claimed the nose was broken in his post-fight interview - and Takam felt his wrath two sessions later when a short left hook dropped him to the canvas.

Joshua ready to 'go to war'

Takam (35-3-1) stepped in at late notice for this weekend's WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight title clash with Joshua after the Briton's original opponent Kubrat Pulev withdrew due to injury.

It meant a quick change in the 28-year-old's preparations for the bout in Cardiff, with Takam a very different fighter to Pulev.

But Joshua is relishing the challenge and knows he will need a different approach to topple his 36-year-old opponent and retain his belts.

Joshua plots Parker fight

The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that Joshua, who holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) crowns is looking to add the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title held by Parker with a February 3 fight mooted for London.

Joshua, who fights Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday (NZT Sunday), was "likely to target" Parker next, followed by "a blockbuster battle with Deontay Wilder", the World Boxing Council (WBC) champion.

Takam called in to fight Joshua

Joshua, who boasts a 19-0 professional record, was expected to put his belts on the line against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on October 29, however an injury to Pulev in sparring put the bout in doubt. 

On Tuesday (NZ time), the IBF No 1 and current mandatory contender was forced to withdraw due to the muscle tear in his shoulder and Takam was officially called in for the bout.

The 36-year-old currently sits immediately below Pulev in the IBF ratings, and was the top target for Joshua's manager Eddie Hearn should Pulev pull out of the fight.

Pulev pulls out of AJ fight

Unbeaten powerhouse Joshua was due to take on Bulgarian Pulev in his first fight since defending his IBF belt and claiming the WBA and IBO straps by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in an epic encounter at Wembley in April.

However, Pulev - the IBF's mandatory challenger - is not fit to participate in the bout, which was scheduled to take place in Cardiff on October 28, having strained muscles in a sparring session.

Promoters Matchroom confirmed the IBF's third-ranked fighter Takam as replacement for Pulev on Monday.

Parker in Joshua's sights

Joshua's suave promoter Eddie Hearn laid out his ideal plans for 2018, provided his man can come through his defence of the IBF and WBA belts against brutish Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff on October 28.

Hearn felt Wilder, the big-hitting WBC champion, held more appeal than Parker, the undefeated WBO champion who is yet to win over British audiences on the back of his recent ugly defence against Hughie Fury in Manchester.

"I think that's going to be the big fight," Hearn told Boxing News of Joshua stepping in the ring with American Wilder.

Parker 'no threat' to Joshua

     

Parker's majority points decision win over Hughie Fury in Manchester on Sunday (NZ Time) was described as underwhelming by the boxing press.

"Although Parker improved to 24-0 [with 18 knockouts] he did nothing to suggest that he poses a serious threat to the top dog in the division, Anthony Joshua," a report on thesweetscience.com website said.

It described the bout as "a fight without an indelible moment [no surprise there]."

Joshua announces next title defence

Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko at London's Wembley Stadium in April to add the WBA belt to his IBF title. Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua's IBF belt and will fight for it in Cardiff, Wales.

"October 28 can't come soon enough. I have been eager to get back in the ring since Wembley and now we are confirmed and ready,'' Joshua said on Tuesday.

"I'll be locked away focusing on fight No. 20 for the next eight weeks. I am excited to experience the atmosphere in a sold out Principality Stadium and aim to give the fans a spectacular night,'' Joshua said.

Joshua: Parker is a warrior

The big Brit, who dominates the division with the IBF, WBA and IBO belts, is lining up a mandatory defence of his IBF title against Kubrat Pulev.

Parker, meanwhile, is getting ready to defend his WBO title against Hughie Fury in Manchester on September 23.

Sky Sports in the UK asked Joshua to run through potential opponents for the future and he was quick to target Parker with a unification bout beckoning if both can remain unbeaten.