Anthony Joshua has transcended British boxing – 78,000 people will be in attendance in Cardiff for his world heavyweight bout with Joseph Parker, with millions tuning in on TV.
For many of those watching on, the idea of Joshua losing is inconceivable – but the unbeaten New Zealander will be hoping to cause a major upset.
Our boxing expert has taken a look at Saturday’s world title fight.
Joshua favourite to continue his unbeaten streak
AJ has won all 20 of his professional fights by knockout, most of those with minimal fuss.
His rollercoaster bout with Wladimir Klitschko 11 months ago has already gone down in the annals of great British performances, and proved he has the ability and stamina to go deep into the later rounds if needed.
His follow-up after claiming the WBA and IBO belts was against mandatory challenger Carlos Takam, who fought bravely, but didn’t really concern Joshua, as he made it 20 and 0.
The equation is clear for Joshua – he’s expected to win every time he walks into the ring.
Parker no fool, and could worry AJ
This certainly won’t be another one-sided affair that marked Joshua’s early fights at professional level.
Parker is the WBO belt-holder, and is unbeaten in his 24 fights.
You can back him at 9/2.
He knows a bit about silencing a British crowd too – defeating Hughie Fury in a split decision in Manchester last September.
He knows he is the underdog though, and his camp have been attempting to draw Joshua into a war of words to disrupt the Brits’ cool – easier said than done, and met with a wall of silence from AJ.
Joshua to keep his eyes on the prize
A lot of the talk in the build-up has been who Joshua will fight once Parker is out of his way, with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, and last week’s winner Dillian Whyte all speculating they could be next.
A lesser boxer may let that that distract him, but it shouldn’t worry Joshua though – he’ll have been preparing diligently, and will be focusing on the fight at hand, rather than the next one down the road.
Fans hoping for plenty of dramatic knockdowns may be disappointed, as Parker is more than mere cannon-fodder, but AJ should still put him on the canvas.
There isn’t much value in backing a straight Joshua victory, or even to win by KO – which is 2/7.
Instead, you may have more luck backing a round of victory.
Joshua’s last two wins have ended after the 10th round, with Parker winning his last three by split decision.
This should go the distance, and I’ll be backing Joshua to win in rounds 10-12 at 6/1.