Joseph Parker claims upcoming opponent Anthony Joshua is already looking past him and insists that he will be “in for a surprise” if that is the case.
Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who is the current WBO heavyweight world champion, is set to fight Joshua on March 31 in a much-anticipated unification clash where the Brit’s WBA and IBF straps will also be on the line.
However, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn stated at a press conference Tuesday that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist could make his U.S. debut against Jarrell Miller in August, hinting that they may be looking beyond Parker at other future bouts.
“I think they might be looking past me, but it’s part of his [Hearn’s] job to look at future fights,” Parker told ESPN. “But it might be too early to start looking, as there is still a fight in front of them.
“Despite the stories in the media of them setting up fights and looking up future opponents, I think they are taking this seriously.
“They see this as a great fight that can go either way. I am the underdog. People think that he will blast me out in a few rounds, but I think it will be a lot better fight than people think it will be.
“With a lot of his fights, he’s finished off his opponents with a combination of punches, not just one punch, but everyone has one-punch knockout [power] if they land the right punch at the right time.
“My focus is myself and my training. If they are looking past me, they will be in for a surprise.”
New Zealander Parker is currently preparing in Las Vegas alongside trainer Kevin Barry, and the boxer revealed that tweaks to his training for this camp have proved beneficial.
“Training is going great. Every day of training we’re getting good work in,” Parker added, before revealing he has three sessions each day. “I’m lean, feeling sharp, feeling strong, so training is going wonderful.
“We’ve added a few things which we feel will benefit us for this camp and how we feel come fight time. So I think this camp is a lot better than any other camp we’ve had before.”
The fight is set for Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the same venue where Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) claimed stoppage victory over Carlos Takam in October 2017 in his last ring appearance.