Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 24-1 (18) is looking forward to a return to Britain and he has the winner of next month’s match-up between Tony Bellew and David Haye in his sights.
The 26-year-old Kiwi lost his world title to unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20) last month but put on a good showing in defeat as he became the first boxer to last the distance with the big-punching Pom.
Now Parker wants to build on his growing reputation in Great Britain and the winner of the May 6 rematch between Bellew and Haye would make a perfect opponent according to his promoter David Higgins of Duco Events.
“Of course it would. Joseph Parker himself and our team would back him against almost anyone, and certainly would back him against the winner of Bellew-Haye,” Higgins told Sky Sports in the UK.
“The question is whether they would be willing to step up? I think most people would see Anthony Joshua at this point as the ‘Golden Goose’, and the big queue of people sitting on their hands and waiting a year, maybe two years for a shot, which may or may not happen.
“For those British contenders, respect to the one that does step up to Parker, because I think, despite Parker not quite getting the win, he gained a lot of respect, and is the first man to take Joshua the distance.”
Parker is keen to get back in the heavyweight mix since suffering his first career defeat to Joshua. If the winner of Bellew-Haye isn’t available another option being discussed is Dillian Whyte, who destroyed Australia’s Lucas Browne in six rounds a week before Parker took on Joshua.
The Joshua fight was the second bout in England in a row for Parker, who defeated Hughie Fury – cousin of lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – by majority decision last September in the second defence of his WBO world title.