Joseph Parker challenges Anthony Joshua: I can knock him out

Anthony Joshua, left, Joseph Parker, centre, and Deontay Wilder all hold world heavyweight title belts. Getty Images

WBO heavyweight champion Jospeh Parker is still hopeful of a showdown with Anthony Joshua in 2018 and has challenged his fellow world title holders, including WBC holder Deontay Wilder, to see who the real heavyweight champion is.

Eddie Hearn has been in negotiations with Parker's camp over a unification bout with WBA and IBF champion Joshua, although there have been roadblocks along the way.

"I'm very happy [that negotiations are progressing] and that is one of the reasons that I am being a bit loud on Twitter a little bit more if because if we weren't talking on Twitter then they wouldn't be negotiating with us," Parker told ESPN. "Negotiations were at a standstill, but after a few tweets we are back at it again. It is exciting to be negotiating, exciting to see if we can make it happen."

While the negotiations are not quite there yet, the New Zealander remains optimistic that both camps can come to a suitable agreement.

"I'm hopeful it can happen in 2018. I have enjoyed what I have done in my career so far, but as a champion, I want to see who the real champion is, who the top [fighter is] and I think someone should unify the belts. It is one of the things we should make happen. I'm pretty keen to make it happen in 2018. That's my goal.

"When we looked at it, voluntary [defence] was 20 percent, mandatory is 30 percent so it is only fair that when you unify it's 40 percent. That is what I think is fair. I'm not saying that is what is going to happen. I think we will negotiate and see what everyone is happy with."

Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) made a second successful defence of his WBO title after defeating Hughie Fury in September, and has viewed a unification bout with Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) since the Englishman stopped Carlos Takam.

Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs), meanwhile, threw his hat into the ring after his knocking out Bermane Stiverne inside three minutes, but Parker has felt that he has not received the respect a world champion deserves.

"I don't think I've ever gotten the respect of being a world champion but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I feel as a world champion I have achieved something incredible in our country and very happy with what I have achieved but I don't think I get the respect [it deserves].

"My last few performances weren't the best and maybe that is the reason why people don't see me as a threat or a challenge. But styles make fights. I like the style that he brings. I think my movement will cause him a bit of trouble and my punches. I'm still young in the sport but I have a really strong feel on what I can actually do in the ring and the power that I have."

In recent weeks, Joshua, Wilder and Tyson Fury have all taken to social media ahead of potential fights, while Parker has stayed relatively quiet.

"Boxing is a sport where you have to be a gentleman," Parker said. "You have to respect everyone but when you are in the ring, the bells goes, it is time to take care of business. Outside or the ring, before or after the fight you are friends but when you are in the ring, you know what you have to do. That is the only place you should leave it, in the ring."

As long as Parker is a title holder, he will be on Joshua and Wilder's radar, and that gives him the opportunity to unify the straps.

"Now I have the WBO, I want the WBC. I want the IBF. I want the WBA," Parker said. "AJ is a fighter who is champion of the world. My goal is to unify. My goal is to grab his belts and to say that I am the real champion. It is everyone's goal. It is just who works hardest, has better skills and technique at the end of the day.

"I don't think I would have problems knocking them [Joshua or Wilder] out. Joshua has been dropped within his professional, amateur, sparring [rounds] and Wilder has been shaken up a few times."