Wilder’s trainer picking a tactical tour de force when Parker and Joshua clash in Cardiff

Saturday Sport 20/01/2018
Photo: Getty.

WBC champion Deontay Wilder's trainer, Jay Deas, has warned Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker about the external factors as he prepares to fight Anthony Joshua under the bright lights of Principality Stadium in Cardiff on April 1 (NZ time).

After months of negotiations, Joshua and Parker have agreed to put their IBF, WBA Super, IBO and WBO belts and unbeaten records on the line as both fighters aim to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999.       

Up to 90,000 fans are expected to be in attendance in Cardiff for the fight - an atmosphere that Parker has never experienced in his 24 fights as a professional.

Speaking to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE's Saturday Sport, Deas is confident Parker has got what it takes to beat Joshua in the ring, but says he needs to handle the hype outside it if he is to reign supreme.

"To me, it's going to be more dependent on how Joseph handles all the external things," says Deas, "the 5000 interview requests, the 100,00 people watching, the waiting in the dressing room for five hours before the fight.

"On top of that, the 100-yard walk to the ring, the waiting while five national anthems are played, waiting under the video screen for 15 minutes - all these things that nobody thinks about, these are the things that Joseph has to overcome. 

"The stuff inside the ring, he's fine. I think if you put him and Joshua in the ring where nobody is around, it's an even fight, but when you add all the extra stuff, you have to see if Joseph Parker is comfortable in that surrounding. 

"I think it will be a very close fight after the first six rounds and Joshua will either then find a reserve and pick it up and pull it out, or Joseph will continue to the momentum into the later part of the fight.

"I would have to say that Joshua has the advantage, just because of all the external things, but If Parker can handle all those external factors then it becomes an even fight. But I have to give Joshua a slight advantage in what will be a tremendous fight."

Before this big heavyweight fight, WBC king Wilder has a defence against Luis Ortiz on March 4 (NZ time) in Brooklyn.

The winner of the fight will face the winner of Parker's fight against Joshua later in the year, with the victor of that fight to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.  

Regardless of what happens, Deas is confident that by the end of 2018, his fighter will hold all five major heavyweight belts, thanks to his age and experience.

"I think Deontay is the best fighter in the world, and I think he has a tremendous skill set and athleticism. He's also very awkward, and that's a big advantage when you don't do things the way everybody does things.

"It is tough to prepare for somebody who is awkward. We found that out when we fought Artur Szpilka, who is a very awkward guy, because nobody can imitate him and nobody can imitate Wilder either.

"So preparation for Wilder is very tough because he does things in an unorthodox manner and you never know when he's coming from.

"Most heavyweights mature - between 31 and 35 is their prime years. If you look at the Wladimir Klitschko the Lennox Lewis, so many of those guys tend to mature in their early to mid-30s, and Wilder is just getting into his prime years."

Listen to the full interview with Jay Deas above.

Saturday Sport with Brendan Telfer, Saturdays from 2pm - 6pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.