The heavyweight division is now one step closer to having one undisputed champion with Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set to unify three of the four main world titles in the division.
The bout that will pit two of the biggest stars at heavyweight is now official, taking place on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales, the site of Joshua's last fight back in October. The fight will unify Joshua's WBA "super," IBF and IBO titles with Parker's WBO titles with the winner presumably being the front runner to fight WBC champion Deontay Wilder later this year to unify all four world titles. Below is promoter Eddie Hearn officially confirming the fight on Twitter.
Parker won the WBO title in late 2016 in front his home country fans in New Zealand when he defeated Andy Ruiz by majority decision. Parker last fought in September, retaining his title when he beat Hughie Fury by majority decision.
Joshua won the IBF title in 2016 when he knocked out Charles Martin and then proceeded to win the then-vacant WBA title when Joshua knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in front of a record-setting crowd at Wembley Stadium. That fight would later go on to win Fightful's "Fight of the Year" award for 2017. Joshua has only fought once since beating Klitschko, defeating Carlos Takam at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October.
The three major world title belts that will be in play on March 31 previously belonged to Tyson Fury, who is mounting a comeback and has been trying for months to get a fight with Joshua. Fury still holds the lineal heavyweight championship as well as The Ring Magazine's heavyweight title although he is in danger of having that title stripped.
Joshua and Parker have a combined professional record of 44-0 with 38 knockouts. According to Hearn, it is the first time in history that two reigning world heavyweight champions fight each other in Great Britain.