A lot has been made about whether or not Joseph Parker really believes he can beat Joshua but judging from his comments today – he appears to be bullish and full of belief that he can.

Some fans have suggested that Parker is feeling the nerves being in such a big event with Anthony Joshua on March 31st and that his promoter David Higgins is speaking so much in his place for the lack of fire and passion in his own words.

But Parker doesn’t come across particularly as a guy who enjoys the trash talk.

Yes, he made some allegations about Anthony Joshua a week or so ago, but just because he’s not having a go at him much doesn’t necessarily means he’s not confident going into the bout.

However speaking to Sky Sports today Parker broke that mould and had this to say to Anthony Joshua:

“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.

It would be a brave man to smile at a punch landed by someone who hits as hard as Anthony Joshua.

Surely the smart thing to do would be to try to avoid getting hit again and hit him back. Not smile. The mind games continue. Whether they affect Joshua or not remains an open-ended question at this point.

So far he doesn’t appear to be rattled – but there’s a long way to go until March 31st just yet.