Joseph Parker believes it will be Oleksandr Usyk who prevails in his highly anticipated rematch with Anthony Joshua.
The New Zealand heavyweight is a former opponent of Joshua, with the two going head-to-head in 2018 which saw ‘AJ’ adding Parker’s WBO belt to his collection, as well as going the 12-round distance for the first time.
Joshua is now at a much different stage of his career since that bout, having lost his heavyweight belts twice, most recently being outclassed by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
Now the 32-year-old heads back to Saudi Arabia on August 20 looking to regain those heavyweight belts from the Ukrainian, just as he did against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019.
Despite having praise for his former opponent, Parker told Sky Sports he believes it will be Usyk with his hand raised at the end.
“He was a good champion, and he can be champion again. It’s just that it’s up to him now.”
“It’s up to him and his new team to make the changes that he needs to attack what Usyk’s going to bring.”
“There’s a lot of support for him. Everyone’s supporting him here in the UK. But also, Usyk’s got a lot of support as well from his home, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Andy Lee trained heavyweight then made his pick for the rematch in Jeddah.
“I would have to side with Usyk [winning] just because the confidence that he’s going to come in with from the first fight. But it’ll be interesting.”
Parker will hope to face the winner of Usyk and Joshua should he come through his next fight against Joe Joyce on September 24 in Manchester.