Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Anthony Joshua on Joseph Parker - 'I would have KO'd Takam'

Anthony Joshua, the IBF heavyweight champion, says he respects Joseph Parker, the mandatory challenger to his title.

However, the Englishman said had he fought Carlos Takam he would have knocked him out. Parker beat the tough Takam by unanimous decision in Manukau last month, a victory which sets him on a collision course with Joshua.

The pair probably won't meet in the ring until March next year, with Joshua this weekend fighting American Dominic Breazeale in his first defence in London, and then eyeing up a possible unification fight with fellow Englishman Tyson Fury in November, a bout which would be extremely lucrative for both.

Asked in an interview what he thought of undefeated New Zealander Parker, Joshua said: "Styles make fights, Takam is tough but I just think he should've knocked out Takam. You know how I roll."

Asked whether he would have been disappointed not to have knocked out Takam, who had been stopped only once in 36 professional fights, Joshua said: "Hand on my heart, I'm not even disrespecting anyone's talents ...

but me? You're asking me? Yeah man, I would be disappointed. Even if it was a bad performance, even if I had a cold or had a broken hand, over 12 rounds, I still expect to knock him out because it's just the way we're built, I think.

"I don't know, that's just the way I've been built, it's just a different mentality so, yeah I'd like to go in and know I'm going to cause some damage.

He added, when asked whether he respected 24-year-old Parker: Yeah, [I'm] giving him respect but he ain't beating me..."

The 26-year-old Joshua, an Olympic gold medallist in London in 2012 and also undefeated as a professional, said he would take on Parker without hesitation.

"Yeah, that fight is going to happen, 110 per cent... 110 per cent. I've been watching Parker since the Commonwealth Games in 2010. I've known of Parker since then, Parker is not new on my radar. Parker ain't this professional kid from New Zealand, I've known him since he was an amateur. I know a bit more about Parker than a lot of people think."

Joshua is respected within Parker's camp, with trainer Kevin Barry saying recently he thought the powerful Joshua had improved significantly over his last couple of fights.

However, he hasn't been in the ring with anyone as tough or as talented as Takam, and questions remain about his chin. A single power punch from Dillian Whyte rocked Joshua when the pair met last year, but Joshua recovered to record yet another knockout victory.

He has 16 in his 16 professional fights.

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