Anthony Joshua is now the owner of three of the four major world titles in the heavyweight division as a potential superfight with Deontay Wilder now appears to be close to being a reality.
Joshua defeated Joseph Parker by unanimous decision (118-110, 118-110, 119-109) to unify the WBA “super,” WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.
The bout took place in front of nearly 80,000 people at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, breaking the Welsh boxing attendance record which was previously set in Joshua’s last fight against Carlos Takam last year. The fight was slow-paced from the start with Joshua controlling the pace, but Parker did his best to establish his jab in the fight. Most of the rounds in the fight were close, but mostly devoid of any meaningful action from either boxer. Joshua was patient and fighting a smart, tactical fight, while Parker seemed reserve at times, only throwing the jab, but not connecting with it.
Parker did manage to get a few good hits in on Joshua, but Joshua was in control throughout most of the fight. The only real visible damage on either fighter was a minor cut near his left eye. The fight was also marred by referee Giuseppe Quartarone repeatedly stopping the fight at seemingly strange times, much to the annoyance of the Showtime broadcast team.
Parker actually threw more punches throughout the historic fight, but Joshua actually outlanded the now-former WBO champion. According to Compubox, Joshua landed 139 out of 383 total punches (36.3 punches) while Parker landed 101 out of 492 punches (20.5 percent).
Now that Joshua holds three of the four biggest prizes among the heavyweights, the fight boxing fans and pundits want to see is Joshua vs. Wilder, who holds the WBC heavyweight championship. A fight such as Joshua vs. Wilder would produce the sport’s next undisputed heavyweight champion with the winner being the first man to hold the WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC heavyweight titles at the same time. When asked about the fight, Joshua said he wants to hold all four titles but wouldn’t go to the United States for his next fight. In regards to who he wants to fight next, Joshua said he wants Wilder next, but if not, then he would like to battle it out with former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.