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David Higgins eyes homecoming bout for Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker

Anthony Cocks

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Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 24-1 (18) could return to the ring in his home country of New Zealand after suffering his first career loss to unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20) in Cardiff, Wales in late March.

The 26-year-old Aucklander has just returned from a holiday in his ancestral home of Samoa and has been running every day as he plots his next move with his promoter David Higgins of Duco Events.

The plan is for Parker to return in late July or early August either in the United Kingdom or on home soil against a world ranked contender.

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“The absence of a good opportunity in the UK would necessitate looking at New Zealand and whether we can mount a credible promotion here with a big name opponent,” said Higgins to Radio NZ.

Despite losing his world title to Joshua, Parker lost no fans with his competitive performance against the 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medallist and Higgins is keen to capitalise on his high profile.

“[Joseph’s next opponent] is someone that’s big and tall, because a lot of the top guys are big and tall and he can learn from his mistakes [against Joshua],” he said.

“It’s ideally someone in the top 15 or top 10 of the sanctioning bodies and someone with a name that’s promotable.”

A dark horse in the equation could be the winner of this weekend’s heavyweight clash between former cruiserweights Tony Bellew 29-2-1 (19) and David Haye 28-3 (26). The two Englishmen met a year ago in a fight that Bellew won by eleventh round technical knockout after Haye ruptured his Achilles tendon in the sixth round, eventually prompting his corner threw in the towel in the penultimate round.

“Look, I don’t think either would be willing to fight Joseph because they’d be worried about losing,” said Higgins. “But I think we’d be willing to fight the winner or the loser [of that fight].”

Parker’s last two fights have taken place on British soil. He last fought in New Zealand last May when he successfully defended his WBO heavyweight title against late replacement Razvan Cojanu in Manukau City in a lacklustre bout that he won on points.

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