Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn plan to "goad" Joseph Parker and David Higgins in their head-to-head press conference in London tomorrow in what will be an attempt to further hype the fight and to get under the skins of the New Zealanders.

The coverage of Parker in the British press so far has been overwhelmingly positive due mainly to the 26-year-old's laidback charm and extremely accommodating nature.

He has been accessible and open here in the capital. Joshua, hidden away at his camp in Sheffield nearly 300km north of London, has not.

Hearn is looking for a way to wrest back the initiative, in terms of headlines at least, and has settled on a strategy to force the issue at what could be a fiery press conference at the Sky Sports television studios in west London late tomorrow night NZT.


The Kiwi camp's campaign to draw attention to what they believe is Joshua's vulnerable chin – or "glass jaw" - before the contract was signed, has not been forgotten by Hearn or, apparently, Joshua.

Hearn feels Higgins didn't front on the issue at the initial press conference back in January when the fight, which will be held on Sunday at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, was announced, and so he is going to have another go at it. For his part, Higgins has always said the campaign, successful in hindsight, was devised to make some noise from New Zealand and to get Hearn to the negotiating table.

Joseph Parker during the training session at the Hayemaker Gym in Vauxhall. Photo / AP
Joseph Parker during the training session at the Hayemaker Gym in Vauxhall. Photo / AP

"I like David Higgins and I want him to speak up," Hearn told Sky Sports UK. "I want him to look Anthony Joshua in the eye and tell him the banterish stuff he says to me.

"I just told Anthony that he basically said you are going to get knocked spark out, and Joshua said: 'Okay, let's hear it next Tuesday then at the press conference'.

"I'm giving him notice and I'm saying next Tuesday we want to hear it from you and Joseph Parker."

Joshua v Parker: How Does Parker Win? / Supplied by TAB

Hearn added, with reference to Higgins: "They are on notice. I want you to look in the eyes of Anthony Joshua and tell him what you truly believe will happen in this fight."

"Eddie and I have a funny relationship," Higgins told Sky Sports UK in reply. "We get on good, and there's banter. Maybe he's trying to wind AJ up? I don't know. I can't answer.

"Do I back stab Joshua? No, I don't say anything that I don't think is factual.

"It's hard to wind AJ up. Maybe Eddie showed him a message to fire him up a bit. There's no cloak and dagger. I have talked publicly about Joshua's weaknesses.

"I stand by them. I think he's a bit slow and less mobile than Joseph Parker. I think his chin on paper is not as good. He has been dropped a few times. Parker has never been dropped in his life. That's not trash talk, that's fact."

Joshua v Parker: The Reach Difference. / Supplied by TAB

In an interview with video blogger Boxing Social, Hearn was asked whether he thought Parker or Higgins would repeat the claims to Joshua's face. "No," Hearn replied. "They might do. I'm going to goad him because I want to add spice to this fight. Joshua wants spice in this fight. I wouldn't say he doesn't like Parker, but Parker has said a lot of stuff that he's heard."

Given Parker's form in front of the media this week - charming, engaging and, occasionally, humorous, plus the fact that Hearn has telegraphed his strategy like a ponderous left hook, Parker might just be looking forward to it.