It's close but Joseph Parker tips Wladimir Klitschko to beat Anthony Joshua
WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has changed his thinking and believes Wladimir Klitschko will beat Anthony Joshua in this weekend's super fight in London.
New Zealander Parker will have a keen eye on the fight which has the IBF and WBA belts up for grabs. He's eager to line up a fight with either Klitschko or Joshua and would welcome a title unification bout with his WBO belt.
Parker's mind has been swaying backwards and forwards on who might win at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday (NZ time), in front of a 90,000 crowd.
"Leading up to the fight I was thinking of Joshua and his power but now the more I think about it, I come back to the experience factor of Klitschko," the 25-year-old Parker said on Friday.
Parker believes the 41-year-old Klitschko is relishing the rare situation of being the underdog and has his hunger back after his surprise 2015 loss to Tyson Fury, his first defeat in 11 years.
"It's heavyweight boxing, one punch can end the fight but, yeah, I'm leaning towards Klitschko," Parker said.
Parker has been involved in one of Klitschko's previous camps as a sparring partner and said the Ukrainian's preparation was meticulous. He expected no less in the current circumstances.
Parker, who defends his WBO belt against Romania's Razvan Cojanu the following weekend in a hastily rearranged fight in Manukau following the controversial withdrawal of Britain's Hughie Fury, said the London extravaganza reflected the rebirth of interest in the heavyweight division.
"The welterweight division was taking over for a while but the heavyweight division has got exciting again and you can feel people are interested.
"The fight sold out very fast, 90,000 seats ... it shows that the heavyweight division is coming back and the UK fans are hungry for big fights."
If Parker can get past Cojanu his handlers are eager to target the British market.
They had hoped to do that through Fury and may still have to if the WBO maintains the Brit is the mandatory challenger.
The other fight that has appeal in terms of Parker staking his name in Britain is against Tony Bellew.
A fit and eager Parker continued his training on Friday with an Auckland workout.