Anthony Joshua can be dangerous throughout the course of a 12-round fight,former opponent and another ex-world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has confessed.
Parker was the first man to go the championship distance with Joshua when he lost the WBO belt to the then-unified champion in 2018.
The New Zealander dismissed suggestions Joshua’s conditioning will let him down in his monumental rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, live on Sky Sports Box Office on August 20.
“He can always be dangerous,” Parker said of Joshua. “He possesses the natural heavyweight ability to hurt people and to hurt other heavyweights. Let’s see what his plan is coming into this fight and see where his head’s at. You can be physically in great shape but mentally if you’re not there it’s a waste of time.
Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker fight in September to become the leading contender to challenge the winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch
“He was a good champion and he can be champion again. It’s just that it’s up to him now. It’s up to him and his new team to make the changes that he needs to attack what Usyk’s going to bring. There’s a lot of support for him. Everyone’s supporting him here in the UK. But also Usyk’s got a lot of support as well from his home so we’ll see what happens.”
New Zealand’s Parker fights Joe Joyce on September 24 to decide the leading contender to challenge the Usyk-Joshua winner. He therefore has a keen eye on that August 20 clash for the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
“I would have to side with Usyk [winning] just because of the confidence that he’s going to come in with from the first fight. But it’ll be interesting,” Parker told Sky Sports.
“I see it being a great fight. The first fight was a fantastic fight. Not sure what Joshua’s doing with his team, in terms of changing his trainer and how he’s going to adjust and change his style coming into the second fight.”
To fight his way through to the Usyk-Joshua winner, Parker would have to beat Joyce twice. The Londoner has a rematch clause which he can trigger if he loses the first contest.
“The plan is just to focus on this fight, get the job done and then rematch again in December. Do the same thing, get the job done and win and see what’s next. The heavyweight division always changes. It doesn’t stay in one position for a long time. You’ve got the rematch with Joshua and Usyk and things might change, someone else might come into play,” Parker said.