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02nd Jan 2018

Date agreed for Anthony Joshua’s unification clash with Joseph Parker

We've got a fight

Darragh Murphy

The final i’s are being dotted and the t’s crossed.

“I think we’re 95 per of the way there with completing with Joseph Parker,” Joshua told BBC 5Live when asked how negotiations had progressed for his first unification bout of 2018.

Talks have been underway for the best part of two months between Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Parker’s team, Duco Events, but headway was made after the stumbling block of the purse split was dealt with last week.

“We’re really, really close,” Duco Events’ David Higgins told ESPN.

“This fight has never been closer. And we’re a lot closer to a deal now because we’ve had a major breakthrough, which is that the two camps have formally agreed on the split.

“The Joshua side made a small concession and the Parker side has made a small concession.”

Having initially demanded a minimum of 35 per cent of the purse, Parker was willing to compromise and some wiggle room was found between the fighters’ management.

While, at the time of writing, a location has yet to be decided, it’s understood that the heavyweights have agreed upon a date, with March 31 set to be the day of reckoning. report that the final Saturday in March will see ‘AJ’ attempt to add Parker’s WBO heavyweight title to his already impressive collection.

Both Spain and Germany have been touted as potential destinations for Joshua’s next outing but it’s believed that Cardiff has taken a front seat in terms of possible host cities.

Joshua packed out the Principality Stadium in October, when he stopped late replacement Carlos Takam in the 10th round.

The massive benefit of the Welsh venue is that it has a roof so can be closed if the unpredictable British weather tries to get in the way of the fight but we should have confirmation of the where in the coming weeks now that the when has been established.