Hearn: ‘Team Parker’ hiding from Joshua

Anthony Joshua wants Joseph Parker and his team to repeat strong words about him to his face, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

Hearn’s comments come on the back of Parker’s promoter David Higgins suggesting that Parker will leave Tuesday’s press conference should “disrespectful” Joshua turn up late.

The WBO titleholder will collide with Joshua, the WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion, in a blockbuster unification clash this Saturday and Hearn is willing on the opposing team to be in full voice at the final presser.

“It’s great for the fans, what we are seeing is Team Parker, particularly Joseph Parker, growing in confidence as the fight approaches,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.

“They’re starting to say a few words about Joshua which is brilliant because ‘AJ’ wants it.

“But as I’ve said to Higgins before and this goes for Team Parker as well, don’t hold your little press conferences in a hotel and do your internet stuff back in New Zealand and say all these things and then when we meet on Tuesday, have your foot in your mouth.

“I want them to say it to Anthony Joshua because Anthony Joshua wants them to say it to his face. I told him some of the stuff they’ve been saying and he loves this. This is the kind of fight he wants to be involved with.”

Hearn admits that it is that sort of bubbling rivalry that really gets Joshua up for a fight, much like when he took on old rival Dillian Whyte back in December 2015.

“That’s why he [Joshua] wants the Whyte fight again because of the rivalry, because of the beef, so he hopes and we hope that on Tuesday, Joseph Parker, Kevin Barry and David Higgins will say the stuff they say when we’re not there, when they’re not looking in Joshua’s eye.

“At some point, they have to look in his eye and it will come at the Principality in front of 80,000 people when everyone clears the ring, it will just be them two.

“I am enjoying everything they’re doing, I want more.

“Parker’s team want to rattle Joshua, they really feel like they have, but trust me they haven’t.

“‘AJ’ is dying for this kind of rivalry and war of words, it’s going to be exciting to see Joshua in that position.”