Parker vs Joshua: Anthony Joshua snubs Kiwi media as tension ramps up

British world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has shunned Kiwi media in the build-up to next week's title unification bout with Joseph Parker in Cardiff.

The snub is the latest instalment of pre-fight tension between the camps, as WBA and IBF titleholder Joshua seeks to snatch the WBO belt off New Zealand's Parker on April 1 (NZ time).

Parker vs Joshua: Anthony Joshua snubs Kiwi media as tension ramps up

Newshub European correspondent Tova O'Brien attended the Sheffield media opportunity, interviewing other members of the Joshua camp, while the fighter worked out and chatted with local journalists in the background.

But when it came time to address his guests, Joshua refused to accommodate a small New Zealand and Samoan contingent. 

While his man spat the dummy, promoter Eddie Hearn charmingly challenged the Parker camp to "bring the trash talk" at next week's official press conference.

"We saw the trash talk all the way from New Zealand, but when they came here, they had the chance to say it and they couldn't say it," he told Newshub. "They couldn't pull the trigger.

"I said to David Higgins and Joseph Parker the other day, 'let's see it, we want to hear what you really believe'.

"There's a lot of respect between the camps, but we're both desperate to win - this is high stakes, this is what big time sports is all about."

Hearn had nothing but nice things to say about Parker, while still raising doubts about his ability to handle the very big occasion ahead.

"I think this is, potentially, the toughest fight of Anthony Joshua's career," he said. "But people talk about Joseph Parker's speed - I think Anthony's faster, I think Anthony's stronger, I think he punches harder.

"People talk about Parker's durability and his chin - we'll find out about his chin and his durability, but I do believe Joseph has an unbelievable amount of heart. New Zealand and Samoa are here behind him, he's a proud man and he's going to give it absolutely everything."

While both rivals bring unbeaten records into Principality Stadium, Hearn believes the expected 80,000 spectators and open-air setting may knock Parker off his game.

"It will be important to see how Joseph can handle that. Anthony talked about when he fought Klitschko for the first time outside, it was an overwhelming experience - this is the third time he's done that now.

"For Joseph, it will be new - it could motivate him to new levels or it could make him crack. I'm not sure, but we're going to find out."

Join us for our live updates of the Parker vs Joshua fight on April 1.