Holyfield Talks Up Parker
Boxing legend Evander Holyfield is talking up Joseph Parker's chances of beating Anthony Joshua.
Holyfield, the only four-time heavyweight world champion from a thrilling period through 1990-2001, attended Deontay Wilder's successful WBC title defence against Luis Ortiz in New York on Sunday (NZT) and was quickly questioned about the current unification process.
The first step towards that happens in Cardiff on March 1 when IBF and WBA champion Joshua and WBO champion Parker clash with all their belts on the line.
American Wilder is expected to meet the winner and there seems to be general acceptance that would be against heavy favourite Joshua.
"Anthony Joshua is fighting this boy named Parker and Parker is a good fighter. He has fast hands and he hits just as hard as he (Joshua) does," Holyfield emphasised to a large group of international media post-fight in New York.
"You can't look past opponents because you know what … styles make fights but the biggest thing is how much faith you have."
Holyfield praised Wilder's faith to survive a torrid seventh round against Ortiz and come back to score a TKO win in the 10th.
The British media continued to press Holyfield about whether a Wilder v Joshua fight should be made for this year.
Again, Holyfield didn't buy completely into that, bringing the subject back to Parker.
"If Joshua wins they (Joshua and Wilder) could both make about $250m so why not make the money while the money is there?
"But at some point of time who knows if Joshua will be there? I'm telling you Parker is great. He is another fighter with a good mindset."
The Wilder result didn't surprise the Kiwi camp as the fight ended the way that Parker had predicted – with the American's fast hands and power eventually catching the plucky Cuban Ortiz.
Parker's promoter David Higgins from Duco Events felt it was a good result for the division given Wilder's unbeaten record and constant presence out of the ring where he has made a habit of calling out both Joshua and Parker.
Higgins said the result kept alive the hopes of setting up a massive inter-continental unification bout for the Cardiff winner with Wilder as long as he was "realistic" about his monetary demands.
Wilder will be in Wales to help the TV commentary for the Parker v Joshua fight and Higgins expected him to be a larger-than-life presence at plenty of events in the week building up to the clash at the Principality Stadium where around 80,000 are expected to be in attendance.