FRIDAY, MARCH 30 – 8:30 a.m. ET
Official Weigh-In From Motorpoint Arena
Sky Sports Box Office will televise the hotly anticipated Joshua v Parker unification fight that will see Anthony Joshua step into the ring for the first time in 2018 in defence of his world heavyweight titles. The WBA ‘super’ and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua, will be looking to add heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s WBO belt to his collection, with both fighters battling to maintain their unbeaten run.
TUESDAY, MARCH 27 – 7 a.m. ET
Final Press Conference From Sky Sports Studios
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28 – 3:30 p.m. ET (Parker); 4 p.m. ET (Joshua)
Media Workout From St. David’s Hall
The Sky Ambassador will return to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday 31 March for the unification fight, having won his last defence in the same venue in October against Carlos Takam, after a 10th-round stoppage.
This will be Joshua’s second defence of the WBA belt he clinched by knocking out Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, whilst Parker will be launching his third defence of the WBO belt. The fight has the makings of a stellar contest: both fighters boast unbeaten records, Joshua’s 20 victories all by knockout, and the New Zealander has 18 stoppages from his 24 wins.
Barney Francis, Sky Sports Managing Director, commented: “Last year was the vindication of our belief in Anthony Joshua when we first started this journey together in 2013. We knew he could be the best heavyweight in the world, and last year the world saw that is the case. 2018 promises to get even better for Anthony, with a unification fight to kick things off. More excitement is guaranteed.”
Sky Sports Head of Boxing, Adam Smith, said: “We are starting 2018 with a bang on Sky Sports Box Office – there is no doubt that this will be an unmissable fight, with two unbeaten fighters, multiple heavyweight belts on the line and a battle to maintain their winning streak. It is absolutely the right fight at the right time for Joshua, it is what the fans want but also what he needs to cement the ‘AJ era’. Parker is a tough opponent with all the tools to cause an upset, but can he put a stop to Anthony Joshua and dent his legacy?”
Ahead of the bout, Sky Sports viewers will be able to enjoy a range of support programming across both TV channels and digital platforms, in addition to all the pre-fight build up from behind the scenes.
This fight is part of what will be another stellar year of boxing on Sky Sports. 2017 saw Joshua crowned the unified heavyweight champion of the world after defeating Wladimir Klitschko and then defend the title against Carlos Takam, alongside the record-breaking Mayweather v McGregor showcase. This year Sky Sports Boxing will bring customers more drama, twists and turns, with Joshua in Cardiff in March, Amir Khan returning to Sky Sports on 21 April, the long awaited Bellew v Haye rematch on Saturday 5 May, as well as action from Katie Taylor and Kell Brook.
The fight will also be made available to purchase for non-Sky TV customers, via the newly launched Sky Sports Box Office streaming service. Sky Sports’ partnership with NeuLion will provide the service via the NOW TV box, as well as PC, mobile and tablet devices.
Here’s what the fighters had to say on Wednesday:
“This is bigger than last time. Boxing is bigger than ever right now. This is the golden era and I’m happy to be a part of it.
“It’s good news that he wants a war. In boxing, all you need is a good chin and a right hand but I’ve been working on finesse, technique, counter punching. I hope Joseph Parker falls into my booby traps because I’m going to set him up with some power shots as well. Yeah, I’ll be up for a war. I’ll hopefully be up for some blood, sweat, and cheers from my corner.
“Physically I believe in my ability. I’m focused and I understand it’s a boxing match and the people are expecting the pinnacle of boxing. Hopefully they’ll be able to see me through to victory.
“You need to still keep that challenger’s mind-set. I’m still the challenger in my head, and sometimes I don’t want to be seen with the belts around me too much. Now that I’m the hunted, it’s no time to just put my feet up and relax. I’m out there defending my throne on Saturday night.
“I can’t worry about it [futures bouts]. Saturday night is where it’s at. Saturday night is big enough. Saturday night is massive.”
“Since we’ve been here we’ve been welcomed with open arms. I expect a good crowd, a fair crowd. There are a lot of people supporting Joshua here, but we have a lot of support back home. It’s great to see all my family and friends here, and we’ve got some support here, as well.
“All Black (New Zealand rugby) style has always done well here in Wales, so I’m looking to keep that record clean.”
“I think some of the things our team has said has gotten under his skin. I’m not unhappy. He looks a little unhappy and a little tense. I think everyone’s different in how they approach a fight. We’re quite relaxed and calm. I’m excited about this fight, but it’s a controlled excitement.
“Klitschko’s a great fighter and champion who we respect, but Klitschko is Klitschko. I’m a different story altogether. I’m young and hungry, I’m fit and strong and I got my speed back. I will show that on Saturday.
“I’ve got the speed, power, skills, technique, all of the above.
“See you soon, [Anthony Joshua]. Let’s go to war!”