Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker: What we learned

Anthony Joshua remains undefeated but showed he is not as fierce as was perceived. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

What did we learn from Anthony Joshua's unanimous points win over Joseph Parker to unify three versions of the world heavyweight title?

AJ is not so scary

By taking Joshua to points for the first time as a professional, Parker showed the Briton is not a relentless knockout monster who stops everyone he gets in the ring with. Parker's display will offer the WBA-IBF-WBO champion's rivals some encouragement.

But Joshua and his trainer Rob McCracken prepared for the possibility of a long fight. Parker has never been stopped and being taken the distance was always on the cards. It explains why Joshua tipped the scales at nearly a stone lighter than he did for his previous fight.

Parker's speed and movement denied Joshua the openings to force a stoppage and with it goes the Briton's 20-fight knockout run.

When Daniel Jacobs took middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to points for the first time after a 23-fight knockout streak, Triple G went straight into a megafight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

Let's hope AJ versus WBC champion Deontay Wilder, for all four world heavyweight title belts, can follow suit.

Joshua is still the man to beat

Joshua was a worthy winner by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in boxing's first three-belt unification fight for seven years.

Despite missing out on a KO win, Joshua now has the experience of going the championship distance. It will stand him in good stead if another opponent resists his power and avoids danger like Parker did.

Joshua confirmed his status as the world's leading heavyweight, but expects criticism for his latest performance, as it did not have the usual explosive finish.

But any criticism will seem harsh. Joshua did what he had to do and, while Parker deserves a lot of credit, it was a measured and controlled display from the Brit to earn win No. 21.

Joshua wants home rule to continue -- but U.S. beckons

Joshua's desire to fight on UK soil remained after his latest victory -- although he could be tempted to the United States by a big offer. "All the time people used to have to go out to America to watch it, they don't need to anymore. They can come to Cardiff, or Wembley. We will stay here," Joshua, 28, said in the ring post-fight.

But he added in his later news conference: "If there was healthy offer [to fight in the U.S.] I will consider that. But there hasn't been one yet."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn talked earlier this year about a plan to take him to Brooklyn this summer. And Hearn's father and head of Matchroom Sport, Barry Hearn, believes Joshua would consider fighting in the U.S.

"Anthony Joshua wants all the belts -- that is the big card Deontay Wilder has got to play. Commercially, Joshua is far, far bigger than Deontay Wilder," Hearn told BBC Radio 5Live Sunday.

"I think negotiations will start next week. I think it's a fight Anthony Joshua wants and I think he really wants it this year. I think Wilder would come over here [to the UK] because in the world we live in, in boxing, the couple of million dollars Wilder is currently getting for a fight is pretty small fry in comparison to the rewards that await him for a Joshua fight.

"I still think in the long-term, when Anthony sits down and thinks it through he makes up a decision that to become a truly global sports star perhaps he needs to go to America. I wouldn't rule out AJ fighting in America despite his comments last night."

Hearn also said a clash with Wilder in the UK would only take place in August or September due to the weather. Joshua has so far had all 21 fights in the U.K. and his last three bouts have pulled in crowds of 90,000, 78,000 and 78,000 again.

Wilder aside, who else is there for Joshua?

If it's not Wilder next, Joshua will most likely fight in the UK again; possibly against Russia's Alexander Povetkin, who is No. 1 in the WBA and WBO rankings. Beyond Wilder and Povetkin, the most dangerous tests are rematches against Parker and British rival Dillian Whyte.

This current heavyweight division is not as deep in quality as previous eras but there is interest for future fights against British rivals for Joshua. It is yet to be seen whether Joshua's fellow Briton Tyson Fury will reemerge from a two-and-a-half year exile following his shock points win over Wladimir Klitschko for the three titles Joshua now holds.

If Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) can get close to the mobile performance that separated Klitschko from his titles, then a potential clash would be a big test. It would also generate big interest in the UK. David Haye would also be an option, should he win his rematch with Tony Bellew.

Perhaps the biggest threat lies outside the heavyweight division in Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), the Ukrainian who holds two cruiserweight world titles and faces Murat Gassiev for the other two on May 11.

Usyk has burgeoning reputation and, if he steps up to heavyweight in 2019, he will bring with him boxing skills, speed and movement. Many will question if he is big enough to worry the likes of Joshua.