The heavyweight championship unification between undefeated champions Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker on March 31 will be aired live on Showtime from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, the premium network announced Monday.
Joshua, the British star who has knocked out all 20 of his professional opponents, unified the WBA and IBF titles last April with his stunning knockout of long-reigning champ Wladimir Klitschko, voted fight of the year by the Boxing writers.
In two fights in 2017, Joshua drew 168,000 fans, first at Wembley Stadium in London vs. Klitschko, and then in his 10th-round TKO of Carlos Takam in October in Wales.
Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) a native of New Zealand, is defending his WBO belt for the third time.
This will be the second heavyweight championship unification in history between undefeated champions. The only fighter to win a matchup of unbeaten heavyweight champions was Mike Tyson, who defeated Tony Tucker in July 1987.
Showtime will air another heavyweight title fight on March 3, when undefeated Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs), from Alabama, defends his WBC title against Cuban Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua and Parker boast a combined record of 111-0 (100 KOs).
“The heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance, and Showtime is delivering all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar, and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, world title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th heavyweight world championship match on Showtime since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015.”
Source: Bob Velin|| USA Today