Unification bout: Joshua won't take Parker's drug-cheat bait
World Heavyweight boxers Anthony Joshua of Britain pauses during a media conference with New Zealand's Joseph Parker in London, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Their unification title bout with Joshua's IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles and Parker's WBO heavyweight title on the line will take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on March 31, 2018.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
By Rob Harris, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — If Joseph Parker wants to rile Anthony Joshua it's going to be tough.
Not even being branded a drugs cheat ahead of their heavyweight unification fight provoked a mellowed Joshua.
"There's so much boring trash-talk that nothing is new anymore," Joshua said after a news conference with Parker on Tuesday to launch their March 31 fight in Cardiff, Wales.
"A lot of things used to bother me, seven or eight years ago. It takes a lot more to get to me now. Still savage, but I'm more mentally focused now."
It's why the IBF and WBA belt-holder can laugh off Parker using a radio interview in New Zealand to give him the moniker the "king of steroids" and claim he has evaded drug testing.
"Can I sue?" Joshua quipped.
There's no prospect of Joshua taking on Parker in court, only in the ring to capture the New Zealander's WBO crown.
"I know my records are clean. Every time I am tested," Joshua said in his hometown of London. "I know what I've paid to be voluntarily tested. That's why I don't bite at what he says.
"If I'm not clean, you'll find out during this fight. If I haven't been clean for all my other fights, you'll see me struggle against Parker because anything I have been taking will be out of my system."
The big-punching rivals will be defending unbeaten records in the Principality Stadium. Joshua is 20-0 and Parker 24-0.
"You'll find out in this fight whether I'm the super-human," Joshua said, "or I've got something pushing on this super-human power that he claims I have."
Joshua already has Parker on the ropes after the doping accusations were withdrawn on Tuesday.
"It's not really my thing you know, playing the bad guy," Parker said. "There has to be a good guy and a bad guy in order to hype it up and get some interest but I think we'll go back to being nice guys, just two nice guys."
Parker left it to his promoter, David Higgins, to do the goading in London, saying his man has "definitely got a better chin and (is) mentally tougher."
While Joshua was knocked down as an amateur, the only time as a professional came in last year's fight with Wladimir Klitschko when the Ukrainian was stopped in the 11th round.
"All those (knockdowns) do you know what it taught me?" said Joshua, who is seeking to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999. "It will take more than a human to stop me from where I'm destined to be."