CARDIFF – Anthony Joshua believes he must “simplify the madness” when he faces Joseph Parker in their eagerly anticipated world heavyweight title unification bout in Cardiff Saturday.
British fighter Joshua’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) title will be at stake, with New Zealand’s Parker putting his World Boxing Organisation belt on the line.
Some 78 000 fans are expected at the Principality Stadium for the first heavyweight title clash between two unbeaten champions staged in Britain.
But while Joshua has experience of fighting in front of a huge sell-out crowd in Cardiff, the same cannot be said for Parker, who has yet to compete in front of more than 10 000 spectators on any one night.
“If he loses composure in the ring, I will be able to tell,” Joshua told BBC Radio on Friday.
“Even though it’s a phenomenal atmosphere, there is one ring, one referee. If I’m in any arena, you just have to simplify the madness and the chaos.”
Joshua weighed in at 17st 4lbs (110.4kg) on Friday, well down from a career high of 18st 2lbs (115.5kg) against Carlos Takam last time out, while Parker came in at 16st 12lbs (102.3kg).
The lighter weight suggests Joshua is well aware of the need for ring movement against Parker, who was some 9lbs lighter since outpointing Britain’s Hughie Fury last year.
“Taking that bit of weight off makes this fight a little easier,” Joshua after the weigh-in.
“I feel better. Training is all about rehearsal and so is sparring, but it has gone well. You will see I will be a lot sharper.
“My reflexes will be sharper and my speed will be much sharper,” he added.
Parker’s team have insisted he will be operating at full fitness after undergoing surgery on both elbows to alleviate pain he felt while punching.
“There are no excuses from my side,” said Parker.
“I am 100 percent ready. No injury, no niggles, I back myself to be the best in the world, there’s no need to be flinching.
“So many scenarios can play out in the first round. If it’s down to me, I’m going to chase him.”
He added: “The first few rounds could go either way, depends who follows their game-plan better – I’m ready for anything. I’m here for war. You’ll have to do everything to beat me.”