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Boxing Latest: Buffer arrives, Joshua-Parker about to start

Boxing Latest: Buffer arrives, Joshua-Parker about to start
The Associated Press

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — The Latest on the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker fight (all times local):

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10:30 p.m.

Ring announcer Michael Buffer just climbed through the ropes. It must be time for Joshua-Parker.

The atmosphere has gone up a notch inside the Principality Stadium with the main event minutes away.

Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard is among those ringside.

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10:10 p.m.

Alexander Povetkin of Russia became the mandatory challenger for the WBA heavyweight belt after brutally knocking out David Price in the fifth round of an action-packed fight.

Povetkin had already floored Price with a big left hook in the third round when he sent the British boxer to the canvas with another powerful left that drew gasps from the crowd.

Price was a sitting target after being hit with a right jab from Povetkin, who becomes the WBA intercontinental champion. Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic champion, was WBA champion from 2011-13.

Price started his pro career with 15 straight wins but has now lost five times, four of the defeats coming against boxers who had served — or would go on to serve — doping bans.

The 38-year-old Povetkin twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a seven-month period in 2016. Either side of that, he has won eight straight fights, leaving the loss on points to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 as his only defeat in 35 bouts.

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9:30 p.m.

WBA bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett overcame a suspected broken right hand to beat mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo via a unanimous points decision in the first defense of his belt.

Burnett, who stayed undefeated after 19 fights, threw punches almost solely with his left hand in the second half of the fight. He said afterwards he thought he broke his right hand in the third round.

The Northern Irishman still won easily with all three judges.

Parejo, of Venezuela, previously won four straight fights after losing the interim WBA title.

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8:30 p.m.

British lightweight Anthony Crolla could be in sight of another world title fight, but he made heavy work of his unanimous points win over unheralded Mexican Edson Ramirez in one of the big three bouts on the undercard.

Crolla fought with a cut near his right eye from the third round and blood covered his face for large parts of an uneventful fight.

A former WBA champion, Crolla could yet get another shot at that belt — maybe against fellow Brit Luke Campbell — as it could soon become vacant.

Jorge Linares, who beat Crolla in back-to-back fights in Manchester, owns the strap and is soon fighting Vasyl Lomachenko. Linares, a 32-year-old Venezuelan, is coming toward the end of his career.

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8:15 p.m.

AJ is in the building.

Huge roars ring out inside Principality Stadium as the big screens show Joshua walking into the arena. Flanked by his team, the British fighter is all smiles.

Minutes earlier, there were boos for Joseph Parker when he came up on the screen. His mother, Sala, is already positioned ringside, with around two hours until the fight.

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5:30 p.m.

Either Anthony Joshua or Joseph Parker will be within one belt of becoming undisputed world heavyweight champion after they meet in a unification title fight in front of 78,000 fans at Principality Stadium later Saturday.

And someone’s ‘0’ has to go.

Joshua, the WBA and IBF champion from Britain, has won all 20 of his professional fights by knockout and has quickly become one of the superstars of boxing.

Parker, the WBO champion from New Zealand, has won all 24 of his fights — 18 by KO.

This is the only the second heavyweight unification title bout between unbeaten fighters, after Mike Tyson against Tony Tucker in 1987.

WBC champion Deontay Wilder holds the other main heavyweight belt, the WBC’s.

The fight is scheduled to start at about 0930 GMT.

Among the eight fights on the undercard in Cardiff is the WBA bantamweight championship bout between Ryan Burnett and Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo.

Alexander Povetkin and David Price fight for the WBA intercontinental heavyweight championship and will become the mandatory challenger for the belt.

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