Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker will meet in Cardiff on 31 March Getty Images

Anthony Joshua will be looking to secure his boxing legacy during his heavyweight unification bout with Joseph Parker, according to Andre Ward, who thinks the South Auckland fighter could spring an upset in Cardiff if he manages to keep his composure.

Joshua will put all of his belts on the line against Parker as he seeks to move one step closer to becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.

'AJ' is the overwhelming favourite going into the clash with the Kiwi, but Ward, a retired super middleweight and light heavyweight champion, does not think his bout with Parker is a foregone conclusion.

However, he does see it as a "great opportunity" for Joshua to become one of the sport's legendary fighters aged just 28.

"I haven't seen a lot of Parker, but I like Parker," Ward told Fight Hype, as relayed by Stuff. "He's big, he seems strong, the biggest thing for him is the moment not being too big for him.

"If the moment's not too big he's got a shot. I wouldn't say things are even, but he's got a shot. Half the battle for any fighter in a big fight is just believing they can win. But it's another great opportunity for Anthony Joshua to stake his claim, because it's for unification. He's fighting for another stripe, to secure his legacy."

Unlike many of his peers, Parker does not often engage in trash talk with his opponents, but his jibe over Joshua's "glass jaw" certainly got a reaction from the Olympic gold medallist, who saw fit to explain at length why the Pacific Islander's taunt was false.

He may have got the reaction he was hoping for from Joshua, but Ward has warned Parker that he must back his words with actions in the ring.

"I don't know how much it affected Anthony Joshua, but it goes both ways. Because if you say that, you've got to back it up on Parker's end," he added.

"On Joshua's end, he's been around a long time and even though he probably felt a certain way at the press conference, he's got plenty of time to get his mind right."