Knockout year for boxing as Anthony Joshua confirmed to fight Joseph Parker for heavyweight crowns in Cardiff

Deontay Wilder will have to wait for his shot at British boxer as he confirms his own title defence against Cuba’s Joel Ortiz earlier in the month

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 January, 2018, 8:17pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 January, 2018, 8:17pm

Undefeated heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are confirmed to put their belts on the line in Cardiff on March 31.

World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belt holder Joshua and World Boxing Organisation champion Parker will go toe-to-toe in the Principality Stadium in the Welsh capital.

The long rumoured bout, which had stalled over financial demands, was confirmed on Twitter by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua is 20-0 with 20 knockouts while Parker is 24-0 with 18 wins by knockout.

Briton Joshua, 28, has expressed his desire to unify the belts in 2018 and begins his quest against the 26-year-old New Zealand fighter in the same venue where he defended his titles last against Carlos Takam last October.

Parker’s camp had been desperate to hold a unification match-up with Joshua and held a press conference last November where they showed video footage of the Briton being floored during his time as an amateur.

They also offered to pay £10,000 to anyone who could provide further footage.

The division’s other undefeated champion, World Boxing Council belt holder Deontay Wilder, defends his crown against Cuba’s Luis Ortiz at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on March 3, it was announced earlier in the day.

The American, whose three-year reign as champion is the longest in the division, wants a fight with Joshua, calling the British Olympic gold medal winner out after beating Bermane Stiverne in November.

“I been waiting on that boy for a long time now. Listen mate. I know I am the best. Are you up for the test? I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby.”

Wilder, 32, is 39-0 with 38 knockouts.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this story