The promoter of former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 24-1 (18) has denied reports that a fight has been made between the New Zealand ex-champ and American contender Bryant Jennings 23-2 (13) to take place on August 18 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
David Higgins of Duco Events released a statement on Wednesday responding to reports that the fight was a done deal.
The Ring had earlier quoted Top Rank CEO Bob Arum as saying: “We’re very excited with the fight… it will be a 12-round fight. Great event opening up Ocean Resorts to boxing in Atlantic City. It’s a fight you don’t know who’s going to win and it’s world-class heavyweights.”
Jennings was also reportedly excited about the fight, replying to a text message from The Ring with: “This is a chance that most don’t get again. The pace and the back uphill battle is deemed to be a successful one unlike the last.”
But Higgins threw a spanner in the works, revealing that the deal in not, in fact, signed and that there are still details that need to be worked out if it is to go ahead at all.
“Contrary to media reports, a fight between Joseph Parker and Bryant Jennings has not been confirmed,” read the statement from Higgins. “Whilst we are in negotiations with the Jennings camp, we have other options on the table, including Alexander Ustinov.
“No deal will be made on the next fight until Joseph and his team are satisfied with the final terms and a contract has been fully negotiated and signed. We won’t be making any further comment for now.”
Parker is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision loss to WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20) of England in a unification bout in March.
Higgins worked hard in the negotiations for that fight with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn to get his fighter the best possible deal, reportedly securing a third of the fight purse for Parker.
Jennings took two years off from the sport after back-to-back losses to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz in 2015 before returning to the ring last August to string together four wins against journeymen as he hit the comeback trail under the auspices of his new promoter Top Rank.