Early signs that Anthony Joshua may have been rattled by team Parker emerge as the usually respectful Britain reveals he will not go about things the usual way with Parker.
Usually, Joshua is very respectful with his opponents.
Even in the face of hardcore trash talk from long time bitter rival Dillian Whyte Joshua managed to keep his composure right through the build-up and save his fury for fight night when he viciously knocked his rival out.
However there’s been a change in Joshua this past few months.
He’s come out of his shell and is being more and more himself.
The carefully media trained persona seems to be getting abandoned more and more, as he enjoyably shoots from the him and speaks from the heart more.
Team Parker have tried to get under his skin in recent weeks with various criticisms of him and an infamous video (at this stage) they put on display in a press conference in New Zealand that showed all the times Joshua has been hurt in his career to date.
It seems to have had the desired effect for team Parker. Speaking to Sky Sports, Joshua said:
“He’ll (Parker) be respectful after I whoop him. He might try to shake my hand. I won’t shake his hand though.”
I can’t recall Joshua refusing to shake an opponents hand before. Most likely he won’t look to engage Parker or his promoter in any way before hand.
To avoid the mind games I’d expect him to switch off from what they say about him completely.