By Tim Royner
WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is doing a lot of roadwork in working on his cardio to get ready for his unification fight next month against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Parker is 5 miles a day most of the time. He’s also running hills to help build up his endurance. It’s unclear whether Joshua is running or not. Joshua does a lot of weight lifting in preparation for his fights, and it’s likely that he’s hitting the iron hard building up his physique for their unification fight on the 31st of March on Sky Box Office.
It would be wise for Joshua, 28, to try and lose a bit of his muscle weight, as he’s become too heavy at 254 pounds, and it’s now become a problem for him in his last 2 fights. In recent video of Joshua, he looks as muscular as ever. If Joshua has lost weight, it’s not enough to make any difference.
“Joe loves his road work,” Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said to Sky Sports news. “This is something that we’ve always done the five years we have been together. Most mornings he’s up at 5 o’clock, preparing himself in his room. He has a little bit of fruit and 5.30 he’s on the road.”
st. Parker moves better around the ring, and he doesn’t fatigue the way the 6’5” Joshua does. Movement may be the key for Parker winning this fight. Joshua was unable to cut off the ring on Wladimir Klitschko when he used movement against him last year in April. Wladimir was able to survive the early rounds by using movement. Joshua was at his strongest in the first 6 rounds. After that point, Joshua gassed out and was at the mercy of Wladimir’s shots.
Wladimir didn’t want to finish Joshua off once he tired out. Maybe it was age or it could have been fear on Wladimir’s part. Whatever the case, Wladimir let Joshua survive when he was totally depleted in rounds 6-10. Parker isn’t going to do the same. If Joshua gets tired against him, Parker plans on unloading on him with his best shots to get him out of there. Parker doesn’t have stamina issues like Wladimir and Joshua. When Parker does get winded, he recovers fast. It doesn’t take him 4 rounds to get his second wind like it does with Joshua. That means it’s important for Joshua not to fade at all on March 31st, because if he does, Parker is going to take him out quickly with his heavy power shots. Parker doesn’t hit as hard as Joshua, but he doesn’t need to.
Parker hits harder than Dillian Whyte, and he had Joshua hurt in their fight in December 2015. Joshua gassed out in that fight as well, and that was when he was weighing only 245 lbs. That suggests that for Joshua to fix his stamina problems. He may need to drop all the way back down to 230 or 225 lbs. Given how Joshua’s weight hasn’t budged lately, it doesn’t look like he’s going to make a real effort to lose weight.