Boxing: Joseph Parker showdown in March almost over the line, says Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua (left) thinks a deal to fight World Boxing Organisation champion Joseph Parker (right) in the next few months is close.
Anthony Joshua (left) thinks a deal to fight World Boxing Organisation champion Joseph Parker (right) in the next few months is close. PHOTOS: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Anthony Joshua said on Sunday (Dec 31) that talks over a March fight with Joseph Parker are 95 per cent complete as the British boxer bids to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

The 28-year-old currently holds three of the five heavyweight titles, having this year added the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) belts to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt he won in 2016.

He aspires to become the first boxer in history to hold all five titles and thinks a deal to fight World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion Parker in the next few months is close.

"What I think can be a reality is, I want to fight for the other championship belts," Joshua told BBC Five Live when asked what his ambitions were for 2018.

"There's only two left, I have three. There's five on the table and I have three of them, I want to fight for the fourth one, the WBO heavyweight championship of the world.

"I think we're 95 percent of the way there with completing with Joseph Parker," he added.

When asked when a fight with the New Zealander would take place and if it would be held on British soil, Joshua added: "End of March, I would say.

"It has to be (in this country), the British support, what we're achieving here is phenomenal."

Should he defeat Parker, Joshua would then need to take on and beat undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Deontay Wilder to realise his ambition.

He also suggested he would be willing to fight fellow British boxer Tyson Fury.

"Of course, he's a lively opponent when he's fit," Joshua said about the former heavyweight champion.

"He has his own battles and demons to face and once he's got over them, he's more than welcome to enter a ring with me. It's something that we should be focusing on in 2018."

Fury has not fought since his shock title win against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.