Joseph Parker picks Deontay Wilder over Anthony Joshua

Sunday Sport 01/07/2018
Deontay Wilder. Photo credit: Getty.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker believes Anthony Joshua and his team are stalling on a potential unification fight with Deontay Wilder.

Brit Joshua holds three of boxing's four recognised heavyweight titles (WBA, WBO and IBF), but despite signalling his desire to unify, appears to have backed away from a mega-fight with the American WBC champion.

Following a decision win over Parker in April, Joshua called for Wilder next but after months of negotiations, a potential deal was scrapped last week when the WBA stepped in and ordered a mandatory defence for Joshua against their number one ranked Alexander Povetkin.

The WBA had grown frustrated by lack of progress in the two camps booking the unification bout.

Parker told RadioLIVE he believes the fault lies more with Joshua than Wilder.

The former WBO champion says Joshua needs more time to prepare for the onslaught the American will bring.

"I'm surprised," Parker told Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes on Sunday Sport.

"After the fight with me he called [Deontay] Wilder out, but it seems to me he keeps changing his tone despite Wilder clearly wanting that fight.

"He [Wilder] wants to unify the division. I speak to him often and can really sense that passion he has to be undisputed champion.

"Joshua wants to unify too but I don't think he thinks he is ready for Wilder.

"He [Joshua] wants to take that fight at the right time for him."

Having spent 12-rounds opposite the 28-year-old Brit, Parker is more than qualified to assess the weapons Joshua has at his disposal.

While acknowledging the power Joshua possess, Parker told RadioLive he was never hurt in the 36-minute war, and believes Wilder to be the biggest puncher in the division.

"Personally I think Deontay Wilder takes it. Even though he is wild by name and nature, he is loose, elusive and has power.

"He has scary one-punch knockout power. I'd take him to win, but boxing is a funny game and I could be proven wrong."

The 26-year-old Aucklander is currently at his home base in Las Vegas preparing for a July clash with fellow heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte.

The fight provides a golden ticket for the winner to rocket right into the title picture.

Parker is a big proponent of the old boxing adage that 'styles make fights' and thinks Whyte is the perfect opponent for him as he looks to score his first stoppage win in almost two-years.

"I think Dillian Whyte will bring the best out in me," Parker told Sunday Sport.

"He comes forward, he talks a lot of trash and he will throw a lot of combinations my way.

"I just want to land one good punch on the chin; really clip him and see him fall, then pick him up and say 'good fight brother'."

"I miss that feeling. I miss the feeling of 'boom', knocking someone out and then helping them up.

"A lot of people are counting us out now, but this is the fight for us to prove that we belong at the top. This fight I just want to stand and trade. Test his chin and test my chin.

"It's so important for me to go there, knock him out and make a real statement."

Parker's impending scrap with Whyte takes place at London's O2 Arena on July 29.

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