Through his first 20 fights fans of Anthony Joshua in the United Kingdom and around the world were used to witnessing explosive knockouts from their heavyweight champion. Yet in the first unification match between undefeated heavyweight champions since Mike Tyson fought Tony Tucker in 1987, Anthony Joshua went the distance for the first time against a game Joseph Parker (much like Tyson did 31 years ago).
Leading into the fight Joseph Parker had promised a war with Anthony Joshua; however, from the first round it was readily apparent that the fight was going to be a chess match. Parker started the fight strong behind a double jab, with Joshua looking to land his own jab. Joseph Parker continued to seemingly outwork and outbox his opponent in the early rounds before Anthony Joshua began to take over the fight in the middle rounds by landing harder and cleaner counter punches on the now former WBO heavyweight champion.
Although far from a war, the fight was a highly skilled entertaining affair. Anthony Joshua won by unanimous decision to retain the IBF, WBA, and IBO titles and he claimed Joseph Parker’s WBO title. Now the unified champion of 3 out of 4 heavyweight titles, only Deontay Wilder’s WBC title stands in the way of Joshua becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. Immediately following the decision Anthony Joshua named Deontay Wilder or linear champion Tyson Fury as the opponents he wants to face next. Promoter Eddie Hearn also called out the WBC heavyweight champion. Look for talk between the Joshua and Wilder camps to continue to heat up in the coming months and the world waits to see if the biggest matchup in boxing will happen.