Hearn: Parker won’t laugh at AJ’s punches
Eddie Hearn says Joseph Parker is underestimating the power of Anthony Joshua, after the New Zealander claimed he could "smile" at his shots.
Parker, a heavy 6/1 underdog to defeat the WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion, has never been knocked down during his professional career, carrying a perfect 24-0 record before facing Joshua in Cardiff on March 31.
That caused the WBO heavyweight champion to tell Sky Sports: "If he hits me in the chin and doesn't hurt me then obviously I'll smile and try my best to hit him back.
"I think some fighters when they throw a punch and throw everything they have and it doesn't affect the other person, it might crush them a bit."
However, AJ’s promoter Hearn insists laughing will be the last thing on Parker’s mind, should AJ catch him flush on what has thus far proved to be a solid chin.
"Apparently he's going to laugh when Anthony Joshua hits him on the chin. I hope he doesn't," he said.
"If he does, I think we've got something to worry about, because when Anthony Joshua hits you on the chin, I don't think laughing is one thing you'll be doing. But interesting comment.
"They say he's got a granite chin, but he's never been hit with the ferocity and speed of Anthony Joshua.
"It's going to be a huge event on March 31 and one we cannot wait for."
This will be the second successive fight in which Joshua has competed at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, having defeated tough Frenchman Carlos Takam via 10th round TKO back in October.
Parker’s promoter David Higgins has been especially outspoken in the early buildup to the fight, having questioned the mental strength of Joshua, and Hearn described the relationship between the two camps as "frosty".
"He actually wanted to get stuck in with David Higgins and Joseph Parker, and they were just a little bit on the cautious side, and that's why I was trying to egg Higgins on to have a go," Hearn added.
"Since they've been back, they've been talking again, there is a little bit of spite. 'The Gloves are Off' was good. It was frosty at times.
"But a lot is on the line. This isn't just about talking. This is about the unified heavyweight championship of the world."