Some boxing aficionados believe that there is now an established ‘big four’ in heavyweight boxing, with Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury all winning world titles without losing a fight. Their combined records stand at an impressive 109-0, with 95 knockouts. On 31 March, however, someone’s perfect record will be consigned to history.

Though Joshua’s odds of victory have lengthened of late, he remains a huge odds-on favourite. The only real justification for backing Parker, it seems, is the old adage that anything can happen in boxing – especially heavyweight boxing. This was the case with Joshua’s fight against Kiltschko, where the Ukrainian was close to a shock victory. Then, in Wilder’s last fight, the undefeated champion was saved by the bell after an onslaught from Luis Ortiz.

A collection of Joshua’s best knockouts.

Joshua is odds-on to win by knockout, and given the fact that he has stopped everyone he has ever been in a ring with, it seems like a safe bet. Parker, however, may be his most difficult opponent in this respect. The New Zealander is very tough and is a smart boxer, who claims to have never been knocked down. Current form suggests that this is a stat which could be rubbished once and for all, with the prize of belt unification on the line.

The rank outsider, Parker is clearly unfancied. He does, however, remain a potentially shrewd way to utilise the current array of Joshua vs Parker free bets available online, including £200 bonuses and free bets of up to £125 in value. Parker can also be specifically backed to score a points victory. A man whose skills have always gone underrated until now, the New Zealander has been talking a good game, highlighting the times his opponents have hit the canvas – though, that seems unlikely to happen in this fight. That noted, Parker’s last three fights have been via decision, and he simply doesn’t have much raw power. Ultimately, for that reason, a stoppage by Parker also seems very unlikely.

Joseph Parker: training hard

Despite near-universal belief that Joshua’s victory will be a dominant one, the fight is odds-on to last over 5.5 rounds. This is because the days of Joshua cleaning out his opponents in the first round appear to be over. Four of Joshua’s last six fights have gone over halfway and with Parker’s durability, this could well be the same. The most likely scenario in this fight is the same way Joshua won his last two fights against Klitschko and Carlos Takam, with the smart money thus being on a late stoppage.

Interestingly it is currently 6/1 for both fighters to walk away with their unbeaten records intact with a draw. It may be a close fight on boxing ability, but Joshua’s height and power advantage could well be the difference, and Parker will have to pull out the performance of a lifetime in the Welsh capital. The odds may be against him, but the man from the tough suburbs of South Auckland will be setting out to prove everyone wrong.

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