By Barry Holbrook: Joseph Parker believes Anthony Joshua still has the talent needed to be a world champion again.
However, he’s not sure whether he’s got the ability to do that against Oleksandr Usyk, who he feels will be coming into the August 20th rematch with a lot of “confidence” from his win over Joshua last September.
Parker says whatever chance Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has of winning will depend on where his head is at mentally. Even if Joshua is great shape physically, he can lose the fight against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) if he’s not 100% upstairs.
Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether Joshua is still the same fighter he once was after his loss to Usyk. Joshua’s decision not to take a tune-up fight means he won’t have the luxury of getting one or two confidence boosters ahead of time.
The only confidence that Joshua can gain before his August 20th fight with Usyk is from how he’s performing against his sparring partners. Who knows what kind of sparring help Joshua has had for this fight?
“He can always be dangerous. He possesses the natural heavyweight ability to hurt people and to hurt other heavyweights. Let’s see where his heads at,” said Joseph Parker to Sky Sports about Anthony Joshua.
“You can be physically in great shape, but mentally if you’re not there it’s a waste of time,” said Parker.
In terms of power, Joshua has the strength to make him very dangerous for Usyk, but he doesn’t have the stamina to use his power for very long. Joshua can have all the power in the world, but if he gasses out after two or three rounds, Usyk will take advantage of the situation.
“He was a good champion, and he can be champion again. It’s up to him and his new team to make the changes that he needs to attack what Usyk’s going to bring,” said Parker.
If Joshua loses this fight, he can always target WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois to win a belt.
“I would have to side with Usyk [winning] just because of the confidence that he’s going to come in with from the first fight,” said Parker.