KEVIN BARRY, the trainer of New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, has studied both Alexander Povetkin and Anthony Joshua closely. Russia’s Povetkin challenges Joshua for the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium on September 22.

Barry explains that Povetkin is a dangerous fight for him. He noted, “When Povetkin fought [Carlos] Takam he knocked him stone cold, even though he was losing the fight to Takam. I watched that fight closely because we fought Takam. You look at Joshua and Takam and Takam coming in on six days’ notice or whatever it was, he had done no training, was riding a bicycle and Joshua couldn’t knock him out. [Joshua stopped him on his feet].”

But Barry pointed out, “Then you look at, which is the more realistic way to look at it, Joshua – young guy, improving, developing, getting better. His style is becoming more sound. Povetkin at the end of his career, you would think that it would be an easier fight for Joshua.”

He added, “I look at the way Klitschko threw Povetkin around when they fought. He threw him around like a rag doll. But it’s heavyweight boxing, one punch can change things quickly. I think he’d do a smart job. They already knew that they weren’t going to fight [Deontay] Wilder. They’re going to leave that fight till they’re ready for it. There’s not like there’s six names for Joshua to fight. There’s only one or two or three guys who can possibly fight him at the moment. The winner of this fight between [Joseph] Parker and [Dillian] Whyte is definitely going to be one of them.”

Anthony Joshua

The unified champion is becoming a more complete fighter. “He wasn’t just relying on hitting him with that right hand cannon,” Barry said. “I thought Joshua had developed a lot. He showed a lot more skill in his fight with Joe than what he had shown before.”