Heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua added another world title to his collection Saturday at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, but went the distance for the first time in his professional career with a unanimous decision victory over Joseph Parker in an uneventful fight -- between the fighters that is.
It was a completely story for referee Giuseppe Quartarone, who kept getting involved in the action, sometimes for no apparent reason.
It was a close fight. However, most of those rounds went to Joshua, as shown by the judge's scorecards. Two scored the bout 118-110, with a third judge handing in a 119-109. FightNights.com had it much closer with Joshua winning 115-113.
”My strategy in there was stick behind the jab, it’s one of the most important weapons,” said Joshua (21-0, 20 KO's). “As the saying goes, a good right hand can take you around the block, but a good jab can take you around the world.
”12 rounds, baby, I thought it was hard, right? Light work. It’s light. Forget the hype; Joseph Parker is a world champion so I knew he would be determined. I knew this would be a boxing match, not a fight. Joseph Parker stated this would be a war, I said it would be boxing finesse, and I stuck to my word.”
But when will Joshua fight Deontay Wilder?
The WBC heavyweight champion knocked out former interim titlist Luis Ortiz in the 10th round of the toughest fight of his professional career to date in early March at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KO's) not only badly wants Joshua, but he also wants to knock him out senseless, and every other opponent that steps into the ring with him.
“I want a body on my record. I want one. I want one. I really do," Wilder told said on Charlamagne Tha God’s radio show, “The Breakfast Show.”
In the meantime, Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, of Matchroom Sport, has tried unsuccessfully to pitch a fight between Wilder and WBC Silver champion Dillian Whyte.
After Wilder vaporized Bermane Stiverne in one round last November, his promoter, Lou DiBella, erupted at the idea that his fighter face a secondary champion in England before getting his shot at Joshua.
“With all due respect dude, no one in this country knows who Dillian Whyte is,” he stated following the knockout. “I don’t give a (expletive) about what Eddie [Hearn] has to say. We don’t have to go to England to fight someone cause Eddie Hearn says so.
“I know Eddie Hearn has a lot of bread, and he grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, but it doesn’t mean we got to march to his marching orders. He doesn’t control boxing, and he doesn’t set mandatories.”
Whyte (23-1, 17 KO's), 29, defended the Silver title last week when he easily dismantled former world champion Lucas Browne with a brutal sixth-round knockout. Browne was stripped of the WBA "Regular" heavyweight title following multiple failed drug tests, and had absolutely nothing for Whyte, who appeared to be fighting a heavy bag.
“Deontay Wilder, where you at? June! Let’s go! I’m ready. I’m No. 1! June 11 at the O2! I’m No. 1 baby, let’s go!”
From a realistic standpoint, Whyte struggled against a once prized prospect Robert Helenius last October, and a brutal KO victory for Wilder would prove nothing.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KO’s), 28, of the United Kingdom, a 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, has done what Wilder has yet to accomplish. He knocked out future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in a bout that won FightNights.com 2017 Fight of the Year honors.
Furthermore, the bout sold 90,000 tickets, and the Parker bout sold around 80,000 tickets.
Wilder knows that Joshua is the A-side and has said that he will be the A-side if the super fight is ever made.
“He would definitely be the A-side,” Wilder said.
In the ring, it’s a 50-50 fight. You have two warriors with balky chins and massive punching power. Joshua-Wilder must happen, but now it's time for the promoters to get down the business.
The fighters are ready.. Is the business side ready?
Let's do this.