Anthony Joshua's attempts to become lighter in advance of his forthcoming showdown with Joseph Parker appear to be well on track after a weight check conducted a little over six weeks before fight night.

In the second unification clash of his professional career to date, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist will put the WBA (Super), IBF and IBO world titles on the line on his return to Cardiff's Principality Stadium on 31 March and hope to deprive Parker of his WBO belt to move one step closer to becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Coach Rob McCracken previously outlined Joshua's aim to dip under the 18-stone mark for his second successive bout in South Wales, with the 28-year-old having tipped the scales at 17st 12lbs for his memorable 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko last year before surprisingly measuring a career-heaviest 18st 2lbs for a somewhat laboured late victory over resilient replacement opponent Carlos Takam in the autumn.

In both of those fights questions were raised over his stamina in the later rounds and propensity to tire quickly - a refrain repeated on more than one occasion by Parker's camp in the build-up to next month's contest.

"Ideal world, AJ would like to come in around 17st 9lbs or 17st 10lbs," McCracken told Sky Sports in January. "[Joshua] is a huge man - very tall, very big, there's no body fat on him. We'll take the training camps as it comes.

"We'll see how he feels doing the sparring, doing the longer rounds, and we'll work out an optimum weight for him. But at the moment my feeling, and his feeling, is 17st 9lbs or 17st 10lbs."

That would bring Joshua down to a similar weight to when he blasted through Eric Molina in three rounds during the second defence of his IBF title in December 2016.

Those plans seem to be progressing nicely, with promoter Eddie Hearn taking to social media to post a video of his leaner fighter's latest weigh-in in Sheffield on Thursday (15 February) in which he comes in at 112.9kg - around 17st 7lbs.

Parker, who gives up around two inches in height to Joshua and a 15cm deficit in terms of reach, is also planning to drop weight ahead of 31 March in order to better utilise his foot and hand speed, with trainer Kevin Barry stating his desire for the New Zealander to reach around 108kg - four kilograms lighter than when he secured a controversial points victory over Hughie Fury in Manchester last September.

"I can't speak for Anthony Joshua, but I can speak for Joseph Parker, and yes we'll come in lighter for this fight," Barry said. "I think it's very important that Joe is very fast on his feet and very mobile.

"I sort of laughed at Anthony's last fight where Eddie Hearn made a statement a couple of days beforehand, and I thought he might have known, when he said we're going to see Anthony come in very light for this fight, and of course he weighed a career heaviest.

"You never really can tell what sort of weight he's going to be, but I know Joseph Parker will definitely be coming in a little lighter than he was for the Hughie Fury fight."