By Tim Parsons-
Joseph Parker was booed at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena before he walked out to weigh in for his world title unification fight against Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on Saturday.
A sizeable crowd of 4500 were on hand for the official weigh-in ahead of Saturday’s (Sunday NZ time) unification bout at the nearby Principality Stadium. British fans are backing Joshua to produce another major win on his planned journey to unify all four world title belts. American Deontey Wilder holds the WBC belt, and has called out Joshua on many occasions. Joshua promoter, Eddie Hearns, has promised boxing fans that the clash with Wilder will happen sometime in 2018, but Joshua ‘s first task is to beat unbeaten Parker. The bookies have the Londoner as a favourite to win on Saturday night, but Parker and his team are confident Joshua will be beaten and lose his belts.
The crowd had predominantly turned out to support Joshua and were instantly hostile to the Australian heavyweight who is here to defend his WBO belt and add Joshua’s IBF and WBA heavyweight belts to his own. allegiance to Joshua. Boos and chants of ‘oh, Anthony Joshua were heard ‘to the tune of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ could be heard. The boos became even louder when Parker walked up to the scales with his theme song ‘Can’t be Touched’ by Roy Jones Jr playing in the background.
“It is going to be on, and hopefully, if New Zealanders hear the haka, they can stand up and represent and show us where they are.”
Parker weighed in at 107kg and was 4kg lighter than his last fight against Hughie Fury in September which he won on points.
Joshua weighted in slightly heavier, tipping the scales at 110 kg, over 5kg lighter than for his previous fight against Carlos Takam in October. British fans have generally wanted Joshua to lose weight after he struggled to beat Wladimir Klitschko when he claimed the vacant WBA belt which they both fought for. It was Klitschko first fight since he lost his belts to Tyson Fury in 2015. Joshua stopped Klitschko in the 11th round of a tough fight that saw both heavyweights hit the deck.