Joseph Parker is finally confirmed to fight Anthony Joshua

What's Fresh 15/01/2018

After months of negotiations, it's finally official - Joseph Parker will fight Anthony Joshua in a unification heavyweight bout.

Joshua and Parker have agreed to put their IBF, WBA Super, IBO and WBO belts and unbeaten records on the line, ending a period of intense negotiation between the rival camps.

They'll collide at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on March 31 (local time) - the place where Joshua defended his belts in October against Carlos Takam.

The winner of the highly anticipated bout will put themselves within touching distance of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Parker is undefeated in his 24 professional fights, with 18 of those wins coming by a knockout, and is determined to see who is truly the best in the world.

"Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock," Parker said. "A couple of months ago I heard him say: 'Why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand?'

"Well, now he's about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch.

"I am a relaxed, calm person. I have respect for Joshua, you do not have a 20-0 record if you are not that good.

"But I think I can beat anyone in the world - I would not be here if I did not believe in myself."

Joshua is unbeaten in his 20 career fights - all by knockout - and is predicting a gruelling contest.

"It is a unification heavyweight championship fight. We all know what happened last time I was in a unification heavyweight championship fight - it was gruelling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.

"These fights aren't easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. And you know me, I love this game. I am looking forward to it, training camp is underway and before you know it March 31 will be upon us."

The fight will be the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in the United Kingdom.