Parker vs Joshua: Deontay Wilder's comments motivate Kiwi champion ahead of unification title fight

Kiwi Joseph Parker has received a big confidence boost ahead of his unification heavyweight title bout against Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on April 1 (NZ time). 

Fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder, who retained his WBC title with a 10th-round TKO win against Luis Ortiz on Sunday, believes Parker has a "100 percent chance of winning".

"He has to be smart and stick to the game plan," Wilder said. "In this ring it's not about how much a person weighs, or about how big a person's muscles is - it's about heart, that dog that he's going to bring to the fight. The mind is powerful ... speak it, believe it, receive it."

Parker and Joshua will square off against for the Aucklander's WBO title, and the Brit's IBF, IBO and WBA crowns at Principality Stadium in Wales.

Speaking to Trackside Radio, Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said Wilder has meant a lot to the 26-year-old WBO champion.

"We have a relationship with Deontay. We were sending him messages during the week, he actually sent a couple of messages to us," Barry told Trackside Radio.

"He wants to hang with us in Cardiff so there is good mutual respect there. He is an experienced guy and he knows it is all about following a game plan and it was good for us to hear him say that.

"Everything is on track to have Joseph peaking by March 31."

Barry watched Wilder's bout against Ortiz with plenty of interest as the American will likely face the winner of Parker's fight against Joshua later in the year.

Deontay Wilder agaist Luis Ortiz.
Deontay Wilder agaist Luis Ortiz. Photo credit: Getty Images

With the win, the 32-year-old Wilder extended his unbeaten record to 40-0 (39 KO) in his career - while the loss was Ortiz' first.

Barry saw similarities between Wilder's win over Ortiz and Joshua's previous win over Wladimir Klitschko.

"It was a smart fight by Wilder, but I think that is a fight that Ortiz and his people will be looking at it today and asking why they didn't go harder in the eighth round.

"There are similarities between Wilder's performance against Ortiz and Joshua's performance against Klitschko.

"Both guys fighting very good opponents, both guys being hurt, coming back from some dark places and winning sensation performances.

"Wilder has set himself up as the guy to beat and he is now 40-0 which demands lots of respect. I've always thought he is the most dangerous puncher against the heavyweight group.

"He showed once again he can lose rounds, he can look unorthodox, he can look dangly but when he hits you with that right hand there is nobody in the 40 opponents he has put on the canvas."