After the stare-down, Parker and Joshua shook hands and briefly chatted on the stage. Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), a native of New Zealand, presents the challenge of balanced boxer/puncher with good size at 6-foot-4 who is now operating at his physical prime.
The victor will leave Wales with the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO world heavyweight belts, leaving hard-hitting American Deontay Wilder as the only other champion in the division.
The crowd had been warmed up by yet more banter between rival promoters Eddie Hearn and David Higgins, the New Zealander playing his part of cartoon-like villain to perfection and the boos rang out loud and long.
Ring announcer Michael Buffer just climbed through the ropes. Both men were cagey but Joshua was especially so. For Parker it was the culmination of a gruelling 11-week camp which it is understood he began weighing 121kg.
Parker's last outing was in September 2017 when he faced Hughie Fury in Manchester, UK. I'm ready for anything. You will see I will be a lot sharper.
Parker said afterwards: "I lost to the better champion tonight".
All you need to do is buy the fight through the streaming box office site - go via the NOW TV website to get there - for the same price of £19.95.
"The incredible worldwide TV sales for Saturday night's event prove that Anthony Joshua is main man in the game", said Hearn. It seems very unlikely that Joshua will allow the fight to go 12 rounds, so Parker will have to dance his way there himself, if not achieve a seemingly unlikely knockout. There's always been talk of what's happening next and I've said this is my main focus.
"My strategy in there was to stick behind the jab", Joshua said.
"I think this is AJ's time to step up".
"We're both going to be fast for tomorrow night and we're both going to move well".
"My job was to perform, control the fight, and he didn't give me any problems apart from the head-butt, and people are looking past the boxing IQ".
Anthony Joshua dominated the center of the ring but barely landed a punch of note on Joseph Parker in the first two rounds. It depends who follows their game plan better - I'm ready for anything. I would, if he would like to, but you will have to find out from his side.
A cut opened up near Parker's left eye in round 10, and although he produced his most effective punch of the contest in the next round, Joshua had already done more than enough.
Parker, however, believes an edge in movement and ringcraft, will help him overcome the heavier Joshua's reach advantage. But what I mean is Parker will have to just go for it, pushing himself that little bit more.