Parker vs Joshua: Anthony Joshua feeling pressure ahead of Joseph Parker showdown

Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry knows that Anthony Joshua is feeling the pressure and he plans to capitalise on that as the highly anticipated bout draws closer on Sunday (NZ time).

Unbeaten heavyweight boxing champions Parker and Joshua will unify their WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts next weekend at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Joshua heads into the fight as the big favourite, according to bookmakers around the world, and speaking to Stephen McIvor on RadioLIVE's Morning Talk, Barry said Joshua was visibly nervous before the most significant boxing fight of his career.

"I believe he is under a lot of pressure," Barry told RadioLIVE. "Everybody is expecting him to win.

Parker vs Joshua: Anthony Joshua feeling pressure ahead of Joseph Parker showdown

"He has 20 fights, all wins by knockout, and the bookmakers over here have made him just about unbeatable. The pressure is all on him to perform.

"He is fighting a fighter very similar to himself - a young man, an undefeated world champion and somebody who does not fear him at all."

But these are not only Barry's observations - they are echoed by journalists who have covered the Watford-born fighter from his amateur days.

Kevin Barry.
Kevin Barry. Photo credit: Photosport

"A lot of members of the media - the British media who have followed him throughout his amateur career and followed all his professional career fights - were saying to us they have never seen him like that.

"He is self-doubting himself, he is very angry and he is usually very relaxed, so he is under lots of pressure." 

But the news that Joshua is feeling the pressure isn't news to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Even Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has acknowledged that pressure.

"Anthony has been edgy in the preparation," Hearn told Sky Sports News. "[Promoter David] Higgins, Parker and Barry have tried to get under his skin - I wouldn't say it's worked.

Parker vs Joshua: Anthony Joshua feeling pressure ahead of Joseph Parker showdown

"The pressure is on him and he knows he has to perform. It's all about performance.

"He wants to show the world and show his coach how he's improved since the Wladimir Klitschko fight.

"He is learning and improving."

Things are the complete opposite in the Parker camp, with the 26-year-old Aucklander telling the AM Show that he is calm as ever. 

"I'm not that nervous," he said. "I am feeling very excited for this fight, but it is controlled excitement.

"I have my family and friends here. I got my crew here keeping me relaxed and calm, so we are going to take it easy until fight day and then once it's fight day, we're going into war."