Parker: I will go to ‘dark place’ to beat Joshua

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker says he might have to go to a “dark place” during his unification clash with Anthony Joshua, but is confident of claiming the British star’s world titles.

The New Zealander puts his WBO belt on the line against Joshua, the WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion, this Saturday night, and both heavyweights have shed weight for a career-defining fight in Cardiff.

Joshua was significantly lighter than his last fight at 17st 4lbs 2oz, while Parker also trimmed down to 16st 12lbs 7oz, and the Kiwi believes his reputation for toughness could be severely tested.

“I’m ready for anything, and I’m here for a good fight. I’m here for war,” said Parker, who has never been floored in a 24-fight professional career.

“You’re going to have to give me everything to beat me.

“I’ve got my supporters and I heard them, and I saw them. He’s got a bigger crowd, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t faze us.

“The biggest thing for me is the challenge of fighting someone like Joshua, and the challenge of if it goes into a dark place, how long will I stay there for? How fast can I come back?

“The result will take care of itself, as long as I’m ready and determined and confident. I’m here to win.”

Parker acknowledged Joshua’s leaner physique as a sign of respect and is eager to see if his opponent can keep his composure when they start exchanging big punches.

“It makes me think that he’s taken this fight very seriously,” said the 26-year-old when asked about Joshua’s weight.

“He’s trained very hard. He’s in good shape, I’m in good shape. There’s not much of a weight difference, which is good. We’re both going to be fast for tomorrow night and we’re both going to move well. Throw some big bombs.

“I saw confidence. He’s a good champion, I saw confidence, so I’m expecting a really good fight.

“The first few rounds, there’s a few ways they can go. We can either test each other out, or we can go in for the kill.

“It just depends on who is going to follow the game-plan first, and who is going to execute it to the best of their ability.”