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Anthony Joshua brings in Irish sparring ahead of World Title defence

Unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua [19(19)-0] is to bring in Ireland’s current top big man ahead of his world title defence at the end of the month.

Watford’s Joshua defends his IBF and WBA belts at the Principality (formerly Millennium) Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday October 28th on a Sky Box Office card which also features Bray lightweight Katie Taylor challenge WBA champion Anahi Esther Sanchez.

Joshua, whose paternal grandmother hailed from Ireland, faces Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev [25(13)-1(1)] in just over two weeks time, and the Matchroom megastar has enlisted the help of an Irishman for the bout.

Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy [9(5)-0] will spar with Joshua as the Englishman rounds off his camp under Rob McCracken in Sheffield.

The Gorey Garda last month had the biggest win of his career, upsetting New England champion Alexis Santos on a big Lou DiBella bill at Foxwoods. The win cemented his claim as Ireland’s top heavyweight, a position he has occupied since his win over Jesse Barboza for the Massachusetts State title in Match,.

33 year old Kennedy signed a promotional deal with Murphys Boxing in the aftermath of the break-out win.

It won’t be the first time Joshua has shared the ring with an Irish boxer either, having twice beaten Dubliner Sean Turner in the amateurs as well as edging out Belfast’s Cathal McMonagle in the European Championships.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie