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Joseph Parker: Fight of my life when I face 'rattled, angry' Anthony Joshua

Joseph Parker insists the next 10 weeks will be make or break for him before his heavyweight unification fight against a "rattled and angry" Anthony Joshua on March 31.

Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who hasn't fought since September 2017, was en route to London before a deal was concluded, acknowledging he heard the news once he arrived and that the fight was "locked in and signed off."

After months of talking, the fight between Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua has been confirmed. Shirley Kwok/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
"I think Joshua has been rattled [by it]," Parker told ESPN about the prefight talk. "I would just like to say this. It is part of the sport. It is part of the game. I think we did [get under his skin]. It is not only myself to be honest.

"My team came up with the ideas and how to approach Joshua and his team. I guess it was my team that got under his skin but I fronted that. Now he is rattled and angry and that will bring out the best of him in the fight."

Those ideas included promoter David Higgins offering £10,000 to the first person who sent proof that Parker had ever been knocked down, an offer Parker was willing to match.

This led to the fighters agreeing on the split, with Higgins stating it was "between 30 and 35 percent" for Parker.

"Now the deal is locked in, signed and we have a press conference," Parker added. "I am planning to leave as soon as I can to prepare my training camp in Vegas where we're all set up.

"Everything is all ready for us and we are going to have a good sparring partners. Most of the camp will be in Vegas and we will probably be here a week and a half, two weeks before the fight."

While sparring partners are something that has yet to be decided -- with Parker insisting that he's just "come off a massive holiday" -- he knows the serious work starts now.

"The only thing my mind is focusing on now is that the fight is happening, but s--- there is a lot of work to do," Parker said.

"The weight isn't an obstacle. My body is growing and we're looking to get a bit more muscle. But the lighter I am, the better I will be. I am more agile, I move a lot better when I am lighter.

"I think the goal for us is to be under 110 kgs, maybe around 108 kgs or 109 kgs. I have 10 weeks to really focus, to really give it everything. This is make or break."

While the New Zealand fighter was shocked at the bitter weather which greeted him in London off the plane, he hopes to pull off a shock of his own in one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in the heavyweight division.

"On April 1, what everyone will have seen will be a great contest between myself and Joshua," he added. "I truly believe I'm going to come out victorious and I'm going to fly back home to see my family and I'm going to celebrate it and enjoy it.

"But you can never predict what is going to happen. It comes down to the day, who performs better and who feels better.

"This will be the biggest fight of my life so far and the excitement that I have to be part of this massive event fighting someone like Joshua who is undefeated.

"The challenge he is going to bring, I am over the moon. I am excited. The world should have one champion."

Author: Cillian O'Conchuir, ESPN
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