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The latest on Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker – Fight close to being signed

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WBO champion Joseph Parker’s promoters, Duco Events, have noted comments from WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn that a 75-25 per cent split of revenue in Joshua’s favour from a potential blockbuster unification bout in 2018 would be “undervaluing” Parker.

“We’ve said all along that a 35-65 per cent was both fair – and our bottom line,” David Higgins of Duco Events said.

“Now it seems that Eddie is pretty close to agreeing with us. That’s very encouraging.”
Hearn made the comment in an hour-long video posted to You Tube following Duco Events holding a media briefing in Auckland to illustrate Joshua’s habit of ending up on the canvas when being hit with power punches.

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“Eddie’s video was great,” Higgins said. “He’s a really funny guy. He certainly scored a few points when making fun of us colonials down here in New Zealand, but the funniest part is where he still insists Joseph Parker isn’t worth the 35 per cent we are demanding. Eddie’s having a laugh there and he knows it.”

Mr Higgins said Hearn’s lengthy monologue was also clearly intended to distract from the real issue – “that a growing number of fighters who have shared a ring with Glass Jaw Joshua claim to have put him on the canvas”.

“We’ve actually had another two more people contact us in the last 24 hours saying they have also footage of A.J. being flattened,” Higgins said. “That brings the total to seven. We’re still looking into these latest claims, but they do seem credible. It’s no wonder Glass Jaw Joshua doesn’t want to take a chance on getting in the ring with Joseph Parker – a genuine world champion who has never been knocked down at any level in his life.”
Mr Higgins reiterated that an offer of a £20,000 bounty for anyone who could produce evidence of Parker having been dropped at any time during his career still stood.

“We’ve put a sizeable bounty out there for anyone who can produce evidence that Joseph Parker has ever been knocked down, and we haven’t heard boo from anybody. That offer still stands, by the way.”

Meanwhile, veteran American promoter Bob Arum says he is perplexed by the Joshua camp’s rejection of a 35-65 per cent revenue split weighted in their man’s favour.

“I’ve been in this sport for decades and I can tell you that in a unification fight like this that split is more than fair,” Arum said. “Joshua has two belts and Parker has one – so 65-35 is about right. I can’t see why Eddie Hearn doesn’t see it as reasonable.

“The fact is this is a fight that simply must happen,” Arum said. “The world is desperate to see the heavyweight titles unified. This is the first step towards that happening. It will be a massive, massive fight. I just hope Eddie and David can come to an agreement because this fight needs to happen for the good of boxing.”

Parker himself is encouraged by recent events but insists his bottom line will not be shifting.

“I want to test myself against the best, so this is a fight I really want,” Parker said. “David Higgins is doing everything possible to make it happen and he seems to be flushing out A.J.’s real position. If he won’t entertain a 35-65 split, then it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t want the fight to happen.

“It seems like I am such a big risk that he needs more than 65 per cent – and a rematch clause.”

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