Anthony Joshua makes no claim to being the new Muhammad Ali, but he has predicted the rounds in which he will knock out his next opponent, Joseph Parker.
‘This ain’t no jive, Cooper falls in five,’ said Ali with psychic precision when he came to London to beat Our ’Enery.
‘I usually know the time, Parker fades in eight or nine,’ says Joshua as he divines the outcome of Saturday night’s world heavyweight title unification battle with Kiwi Joe in Cardiff.
By way of evidence, he cites his preceding championship defence: ‘A lot of people thought I would stop Carlos Takam in two or three rounds. I said it would take me ten and I was spot on.’ There speaks a natural born fighter who is immersed in the history of the hardest game.
His next comparison is with the legend he conquered in his first unification battle For Wladimir Klitschko, the effort of coming back from defeat by Tyson Fury in an attempt to find redemption by beating Joshua was a self-confessed obsession which he fell short of gratifying…
Joshua remains the 1-9 favourite with Ladbrokes but the bookies are feeling nervous about the money flowing onto the New Zealander whose lone WBO belt.