Anthony Joshua to fight Joseph Parker in March

Anthony Joshua to fight Joseph Parker in March

Anthony Joshua has accused Joseph Parker of lacking respect and says he will not shake the New Zealander's hand after he wins their unification bout.

The division's other undefeated champion, World Boxing Council belt holder Deontay Wilder, defends his crown against Cuba's Luis Ortiz at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on March 3, it was announced earlier in the day.

Parker (24-0, 18KOs), who also beat Takam himself back in May 2016 via unanimous decision, first won his heavyweight title in a hard-fought majority decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. back in December 2016, and the WBO champion believes Joshua is in for a "huge shock" on March 31.

"I'm delighted to get this fight made". "I know we ruffled a few feathers along the way but, as Eddie acknowledged, when you come from a small country and people perceive you as a small player, sometimes you've got to make a bit of noise". Everyone has their job. Listen mate. I know I am the best.

"It's a great opportunity to make a statement". Joshua is 20-0 and Parker 24-0.

Parker's camp had been desperate to hold a unification match-up with Joshua and held a press conference last November where they showed video footage of the Briton being floored during his time as an amateur.

"These fights aren't easy because there's a lot on the line so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge".

"You never really can tell what sort of weight [Joshua is] going to be, but I know Joseph Parker will definitely be coming in a little lighter than he was for the Hughie Fury fight".

Joshua beat Carlos Takam, stopping the 36-year-old Frenchman in the 10th round, at the same stadium in Cardiff back in October.

"Joseph Parker is the absolute epitome of the Kiwi sporting battler".

Parker, 24, has won all his 24 pro fights, winning 18 by stoppage.

"He's never been stopped, never even been wobbled in the ring". He won a lopsided decision against Razvan Cojanu in New Zealand on May 6 and then he traveled to Manchester, England, and won a majority decision against mandatory challenger Hughie Fury, the cousin of former world champion Tyson Fury, in his hometown on September 23.

The 29-year-old said his team settled for Parker because negotiations with WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, have proved too hard.

Wilder, 32, is 39-0 with 38 knockouts.

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