Showtime lands Joshua-Parker heavyweight title bout; all four belts at stake in March

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
The March 31 heavyweight title unification bout between IBF-WBA champion Anthony Joshua (L) and WBO champ Joseph Parker will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime. (Getty Images)

March will be a huge month for boxing’s heavyweight division, as all four major belts will be defended. Showtime will be the place to catch it all.

The network announced Monday that it had acquired the U.S. rights to the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker unification bout, which will be held March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Joshua’s WBA and IBF belts as well as Parker’s WBO belt will be on the line.

It was previously announced that Showtime would broadcast the WBC heavyweight title fight on March 3 in Brooklyn between champion Deontay Wilder and challenger Luis Ortiz.

The four men have a combined record of 111-0 with 100 knockouts.

“The heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance, and Showtime is delivering all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” Stephen Espinoza, Showtime’s president of sports and event programing, said in a statement. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar, and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, world title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th heavyweight world championship match on Showtime since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”

If Joshua and Wilder each win, look for a unification bout between them later in the year.

More boxing coverage from Yahoo Sports:

Jose Benavidez makes surprising return to ring
Crawford expects to fight both Thurman, Spence
Samuel Teah uses faith in the face of tragedy
Alvarez, Golovkin set a date for rematch
What’s ahead for Deontay Wilder in 2018?