Joseph Parker questions Anthony Joshua's fitness ahead of title bout

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker has taken another jab at his upcoming opponent Anthony Joshua, this time questioning his fitness.

The two fighters are set to square off in front of a massive crowd at the Principally Stadium in Cardiff on April 1 (NZ time), in a unification bout that will see Parker put his WBO belt and Joshua his IBF, IBO, and WBA belts on the line.

In Joshua's last fight against Carlos Takam, the Brit appeared sluggish and fatigued after his 10th-round TKO win and Parker believes that Joshua's camp is making him work extra hard to prepare for a fight that has the potential to go the distance.

"My body type, even though it's not really muscular, [has] worked for us," Parker told Sky Sports UK.

"We know that we can fight hard from round one to round 12. It's all that matters.

"When you watch him when you see all the training, it's like they are doing all this new training and it looks really hard, and it looks intense, and it looks the type of training that will prepare you for 12 rounds.

"But, in saying that, just maybe their team need to work on a few things. We know that our team has a good structure and a good training programme that will allow us to fight 12 rounds if we need it.

"But I'm not sure why he tires, that's something he has to sort of figure out."

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has previously spoken out about Parker's body shape and how his lack of muscle could benefit him in the ring.

"Just because a person looks more muscular and looks like they have it all down-pat doesn't mean they are going to destroy everybody," he told RadioLIVE.

"I tell people that I would rather be the part then look the part. Looking the part isn't going to get me nowhere. I've seen many people look the part but when it's time to perform in a place where it really matters, they can't pull the trigger.

Anthony Joshua in the ring against Carlos Takam.
Anthony Joshua in the ring against Carlos Takam. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I think Parker is good at where he is to be a little bit slender, not having too much muscle, because when you start bulling too much muscle mass your flexibility starts to decrease."

Parker has proven his fitness and durability in the past by going the full 12 rounds in four of his last six fights - something trainer Kevin Barry believes will benefit his fighter in the ring.

"I see videos posted everywhere of him doing the most sophisticated, new age training methods that man has ever seen, and yet he's looked very tired in his last couple of fights," Barry told Sky Sports UK.

"Every time he's been asked to go on to the later rounds he's really struggled, so that's a question for his training staff.

"He wouldn't want to be slowing against Joe because I can promise you this: Joe will be coming on in the later rounds."