Heavyweight Anthony Joshua improves to 21-0 with a unanimous-decision victory against Joseph Parker in front of 78,000 fans at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The opening bell: What now after Joshua-Parker?
Now that Anthony Joshua has unified three major heavyweight title belts, the obvious fight — easily the most important in boxing — is a fight for the undisputed title against Deontay Wilder.
A Joshua-Wilder fight would undoubtedly be much better and probably more exciting than the Parker fight, which Joshua won by overly generous scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110. Joshua said after vanquishing Parker that he was game for Wilder next, but in the ring Joshua said he wants the fight in the U.K.
For some reason, Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn continues to say that Wilder doesn’t want the fight when Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and his team say (loudly) otherwise.
WBC Heavyweight World Champ @BronzeBomber’s message to @anthonyfjoshua is a simple one: “Let’s make the fight happen.” pic.twitter.com/QVL2cnvcYo
– PBC (@premierboxing) March 31, 2018
This is the dance that always happens before really big fights get made. Joshua-Wilder is an enormous event and, given that Joshua looked beatable, Wilder has to be licking his chops for the bout.
I believe the fight will happen, but probably not next. It seems like each man would have one more fight first — Joshua-Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller and maybe Wilder-Dominic Breazeale — and then the big one in the first part of 2019.
The Joshua-Parker hype was heavy and the crowd electric but the fight was a massive dud. Nonetheless, the forgettable fight is in the books (hopefully, non-stop interfering and apparently clueless referee Giuseppe Quartarone will never be seen again) and now it’s all about just one thing: Getting Joshua in the ring with Wilder to crown an undisputed champion.
Best weekend fight and KO: Povetkin-Price
Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs), 38, a former secondary titlist who has failed random PED tests twice, and England’s David Price (22-5, 18 KOs), 34, turned in a fun fight that ended with a brutal knockout.
Price’s chin has failed him in all of his losses and did so again against Povetkin, who dropped him with a clean left to the chin in the third round. Price was more upset than hurt and pounded the mat with his fists. Later in the exciting round Price landed his own left hook that sent Povetkin reeling across the ring into the corner post, which held him up and resulted in a count from referee Howard John Foster. But in the fifth round, Povetkin badly hurt Price with a right and then annihilated his defenseless opponent with a free left hook to the face.
The shot, a KO of the year contender, caused blood to flow and floored Price very hard as Foster immediately stopped it at 1 minute, 2 seconds. Price, whose chances for a career revival are probably over, took to Twitter:
Hello everyone just letting you know all is ok. I took this fight and understood the risks involved, but if you don’t have a go- you’ll never know. I’m proud I put it all on the line in front of a massive audience and I’d do it all again. Loved every minute
– David Price (@DavidPrice_1) April 1, 2018
More undercard results from Cardiff, including wide-decision wins from bantamweight titlist Ryan Burnett and former lightweight titlist Anthony Crolla can be found here.
The next step: Povetkin sits atop two sanctioning body rankings, putting him in position to face Joshua. If the two fights being discussed for Joshua next — Wilder or Miller — don’t happen, Povetkin could get the call. I’d like to see Burnett in a unification fight with South Africa’s Zolani Tete and as for Crolla, with back-to-back wins over former titlist Ricky Burns and Ramirez, he’s a solid opponent for anyone, but how about an all-British showdown with Luke Campbell?
Prospect on the rise: Josh Kelly
Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder is the biggest fight waiting to be made in boxing and would be the first four-belt world heavyweight title fight. Will it happen? Joshua and his promoter say it should be in 2018.
What did we learn from Anthony Joshua’s unanimous points win over Joseph Parker to unify three versions of the world heavyweight title?
Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin got up from the canvas to stop David Price, and Ryan Burnett overcame an apparent broken right hand to defend his bantamweight title against Yonfrez Parejo on Saturday in Cardiff, Wales.
Three of the United Kingdom’s top prospects — light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi of England, lightweight Joe Cordina of Wales and welterweight Josh Kelly of England, each 2016 Olympians — won on the Joshua-Parker undercard. But it was Kelly (6-0, 4 KOs), 24, who turned in the most impressive performance of the trio as he took a huge step up in opposition and easily outpointed former junior middleweight world titlist Carlos Molina (28-9-2, 8 KOs), 34, of Mexico, via scores of 99-92, 98-92 and 98-92.
Molina, who was hurt in the sixth round, lost his third decision in a row, but when he loses it’s usually to quality opponents.
The next step: Kelly is due back June 16 and another Molina-caliber opponent — meaning an experienced, but perhaps fading contender — would be ideal.
Welcome back: Jason Quigley
Middleweight prospect Jason Quigley (14-0, 11 KOs), 26, of Ireland, headlined the first-ever Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card on March 23, 2017 and won a grueling 10-round decision against Glen Tapia. But Quigley badly broke his right hand and tore a ligament in the effort and was out until returning Saturday night for this Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN co-feature against Daniel Rosario (11-4, 10 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico, in Quincy, Massachusetts. And, boy, Quigley let everyone know he was back in a big way with a thunderous sixth-round knockout. Quigley dominated until finishing in style. He knocked Rosario down with a wicked left hook to the body in the sixth round. Rosario barely beat the count, but Quigley sunk another digging left hook to the liver that floored him again. He was in visible agony as referee Mike Ryan waved it off at 2 minutes, 51 seconds.
“He was a tough kid and had never been stopped,” Quigley said. “I knew this was the perfect fight to come back and see where I’m at. I broke him down, and when I shook the ring rust out, I took him out.”
Jason Quigley sends Daniel Rosario to the canvas for the second time with a nasty left to the liver that calls an end to their middleweight bout.
In case you missed it….
Saturday at Nagoya, Japan:
Flyweight Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7 KOs) TKO9 Ronnie Baldonado (10-1-1, 7 KOs). Tanaka, 22, vacated his junior flyweight title and made his flyweight debut against Manny Pacquiao fighter Baldonado, 22, whom he dropped with a left hook to the gut in the fourth round and then stopped at 2 minutes, 26 seconds of the ninth round. Tanaka was essentially auditioning for a shot at flyweight titlist and countryman Sho Kimura (16-1-2, 9 KOs), who was ringside.
Friday at Philadelphia:
Welterweight Malik Hawkins (13-0, 9 KOs) W10 Raymond Serrano (24-5, 10 KOs), scores: 98-92, 97-93, 96-94. Hawkins, 22, is a quality prospect who stepped up in class against the experienced Serrano, 28, and ended his three-fight winning streak.