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Eddie Hearn names next opponent for Joseph Parker

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Hot off the heels of his 10th round stoppage of Australian Alex Leapai in the United States on Saturday night, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is being lined up for a return to the UK to face perennial contender Dereck Chisora.

The 27-year-old Kiwi, who improved to 26-2 (20), charged after Leapai from the opening bell before settling into a boxing match in the middle rounds.

Leapai, 39, shipped big punishment round after round before referee Ricky Gonzalez stepping in at 2:18 of the 10th round to end the contest. The Brisbane banger dropped to 32-8-4 (26) with the loss.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn, who recently signed Parker to a three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing, praised the New Zealander for his composed performance and said he wanted the former titleholder to return to the UK to take on the 35-year-old Chisora on the undercard of Anthony Joshua versus Andy Ruiz Jr II.

“I thought Joe was really sharp, really good,” Hearn told iFL TV. “I think after about three rounds, he decided the risk wasn’t worth it and coasted through the rest of the fight.

“We can push on from here and Parker v Chisora on the AJ undercard in November. Makes perfect sense.”

Parker fought twice in the UK last year, dropping his WBO title to then-IBF and WBA champion Joshua by decision in March and losing a disputed 12-round points decision to leading contender Dillian Whyte in July.

Parker remains the only professional boxer to defeat Ruiz Jr, winning a majority decision against the Mexican-American in December 2016 for the vacant WBO strap.

Before the Chisora fight can take place, the Brit will need to get past Artur Szpilka at the O2 Arena on July 20 on the undercard of Whyte versus Oscar Rivas.

Hearn says there are other options for Parker, but Chisora remains the frontrunner.

“Loads of fights, but I really like the Chisora fight, if Dereck gets through his July fight,” he said.

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