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Anthony Joshua: Joseph Parker not a devastating puncher, lacks ring generalship

Anthony Joshua takes a critical look at opponent Joseph Parker.

Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam -  World Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Anthony Joshua is set to defend his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles against the WBO belt held by Joseph Parker on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales, and Sky Sports sat down with the favored fighter to ask his thoughts on the matchup.

Joshua broke down Parker’s strengths and weaknesses, and revealed that he plans to “smash him up to the body,” much as Joshua did in his last fight with Carlos Takam.

Here are some of Joshua’s thoughts on Parker’s game:

“He’s not a devastating puncher, I don’t think. No, he’s not a devastating puncher, but then I think the level of opposition you go in with, people get better, they can take shots better, they can ride shots a little bit better.

“He’s got the attributes, he’s big, strong, he’s got the right mindset, so that’s all good, but once he gets the ring generalship of knowing when to throw your punches… With Hughie, some of the punches were just landing short, so if you want to step forward twice, feinted first, then go in, then thrown your shot. As the competition gets better, it will be harder to be as effective.”

So it’s not the most glowing review, but in all seriousness, I don’t think it’s trash talk. It’s a fair critique, really. Parker (24-0, 18 KO) is a good but flawed fighter, and those flaws have made for tough nights with Takam, Hughie Fury, and Andy Ruiz Jr. He escaped those fights with victories, but he’s facing a different beast in Joshua (20-0, 20 KO), too.

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