Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi champion wants to make New Zealand, Samoa proud in unification heavyweight fight in Cardiff

  • 24/03/2018

Joseph Parker wants to make both New Zealand and Samoa proud by dropping Anthony Joshua to the canvas in their heavyweight title fight on April 1 (NZ time).

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

The 26-year-old Parker knows he is the underdog heading into the biggest fight of 2018, but speaking to reporters at his first press conference since arriving in the UK, the Kiwi is motivated by the fact he thinks "the public are underestimating my team and me".

"They're basing it on my last three fights and see Joshua as unbeatable but I have an element of surprise," he added.

Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi champion wants to make New Zealand, Samoa proud in unification heavyweight fight in Cardiff

"People think it's an easy win for him and it's extra motivation for us. Everything has been clicking well in camp and we've done everything right.

"My motivation is being unified heavyweight champion of the world, making New Zealand and my family proud.

"Me and my team have worked hard to get here and now I want to put on the best performance of my life."

Parker was asked about his thoughts on Joshua refusing to speak to New Zealand and Samoan media earlier in the week.

Joshua was scheduled to speak with the Kiwi and Samoan reporters at his training base in Sheffield, but instead, he only spoke with British journalists, which angered the visiting contingent, including Newshub European correspondent Tova O'Brien.

The Aucklander believes the Brit needs to be "more respectful".

"I think it's a little disrespectful because they have travelled a long way to come and see him and they respect him. They respect him as a fighter and what he's achieved, but I think it's a little disrespectful.

"When we're in camp in Vegas we have a lot of British media come over, and we're very friendly and just being ourselves.

"Invited them into our home and Tanya (Barry) made them some nice food - which I was very sad to see because I was eating other food.

Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker Photo credit: Reuters

"But I think he should just be a bit more respectful in talking to everyone that was there and maybe in the future hopefully he can make it better."

Parker also opened up about his recent elbow surgery he had late last year. The Parker camp revealed on Friday (NZ time) the unbeaten heavyweight underwent an operation in November to alleviate a restriction in his elbow movement which had been causing pain over the last two years.

"We tried to schedule surgery numerous times, but opportunities came up which pushed it back and pushed it back," he said. "In the last two years, I've been training and fighting while not 100 percent and you can see that from the previous fights.

"They weren't the best displays and no questions the surgery has had a lot of benefits. We haven't had any troubles in camp or complaints.

"I feel like this is the best shape we've had in a long time. That's why I'm so confident. It's made a big difference, and I look forward to showing you guys the difference it's made."