It goes without saying that Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) has the power to knock out Joseph Parker 33-3 (23), but the New Zealander’s promoter David Higgins has warned the American puncher he should be worried about the artillery coming back at him.
Former WBO heavyweight champion Parker, 31, will meet former WBC champion Wilder, 38, at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23.
The intriguing crossroads bout will see the winner move one step closer to becoming a two-time heavyweight champion while the loser will have to go to the back of the line.
Wilder has erased the dreams of all but one of his opponents, with his two losses and a draw coming against Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24). Every victory he has scored bar one has come within the distance.
Despite Wilder’s impressive knockout ratio, Higgins believes his boxer has the skills and experience to avoid getting taken out while racking up points.
“It was a fantastic performance by Joseph Parker,” Higgins said to Sky Sports of Parker’s most recent win over Canada’s Simon ‘The Grizzly’ Kean 23-2 (22) in late October.
“He showed he was explosive and showed great power. Simon Kean was a big guy and Joseph knocked him out with an uppercut. It was his third victory this calendar year and Deontay Wilder will be the fourth. We like the momentum that Joseph has heading into this massive opportunity in Saudi Arabia.
“Any heavyweight can knock out a heavyweight. Joseph has got over 20 knockouts on his resume. Wilder has got a huge punch, one of the biggest in history, but Joseph does have some advantages. He is the better boxer, he’s quicker. It’s naïve to write anyone off.
“Joseph was a world champion, so was Wilder. Wilder may have a massive punch, but outside of that, he’s not as well developed as Joseph.
“It’s a winnable fight for Joseph Parker if he brings his A-game and we see the best Joseph Parker on the night.”
Activity may well be the key to picking a winner in this fight. Parker has boxed five times in the past two years going 4-1 including three victories on the trot this calendar year alone.
By contrast Wilder has fought just once in that same time frame, a one-round blowout of fringe contender Robert Helenius in October last year.
The layoff will not affect Wilder’s power, but it could well have an impact on his timing. And now less than two years removed from his 40th birthday, it is fair to wonder how much he has left in the tank, particularly after the gruelling Fury trilogy that saw him on the deck five times in the last two bouts.
Higgins is bullish about Parker having an early night with Wilder the one on the canvas.
“Yeah I do [believe Parker can stop Parker],” Higgins said. “He put [Derek] Chisora down a few times with the uppercut. It’s all about connecting with a well-timed punch. Of course he can knock out Deontay Wilder.”
Higgins sees a bright future for his boxer providing he comes away with the win.
“Victory will catapult him right up back to the top of the conversation,” he said.
“He could credibly ask for a rematch with Anthony Joshua for example, but also challenge for a world title in 2024.”