Joseph Parker will punish “disrespectful” Anthony Joshua by leaving their final press conference if his fellow world champion is late, says the New Zealander’s promoter.
The WBO title holder is due to face Joshua, the WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion, in front of the cameras on Tuesday ahead of their unification clash this Saturday.
Parker has already accused Joshua of lacking respect for an alleged snub of the New Zealand and Samoan media, with promoter David Higgins echoing these words in a warning to Joshua about his timekeeping.
“Joshua does look rattled and this press conference tomorrow is part of that whole game,” said Higgins.
“I tell you this, we will be in control of that press conference. Whatever the start time is, 11[am]?
“AJ thinks it’s fashionable to be late, whatever, and maybe he thinks that he gets a psychological edge by being late. We just think it’s silly and disrespectful.
“We will start on the dot. We will start the press conference on time and will leave 30 minutes later.
“If AJ doesn’t show up, it shows that he has no respect for the media, or for the fans, because he’s been late 100 times in a row.
“The first challenge to Anthony Joshua is to be on time for the first time in your life.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested that Team Parker’s threat is a sign of big fight nerves.
“They need to relax,” Hearn said.
“It’s understandable that nerves are getting to them, but just chill out. We’ll be there.”
But Higgins is supremely confident that Parker will retain his composure in the biggest fight of his career, but questioned the mental state of Joshua, who has admitted he is nervous about the prospect of a first defeat.
“Some people think we’re mad,” said Higgins. “It’s all a strategy, all deliberate, we are professionals.
“We will start on the dot, whether Anthony is there or not. Eddie should make an effort to get his man there on time. I know it’s a challenge, Eddie. I’m glad I’m working with Joseph Parker.
“I’m not a mean person and I don’t want to accuse him of talking gibberish, but some of the stuff speaks for itself. I don’t need to comment.
“He looks like a man under pressure. This is all about performance under pressure. You have a cool, calm, and collected, unbeaten WBO champion, who is genuinely relaxed and sleeping at night.
“I don’t think Anthony Joshua will be sleeping much this week, and that could be why he is saying silly things.”