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Joseph Parker planning ring return after suffering spider bite

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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Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has recovered from a suspected spider bite that forced his withdrawal from his October 26 clash with Dereck Chisora at the O2 Arena in London.

The 26-year-old New Zealander who holds a record of 26-2 (20) is still hopeful returning to the ring this year, preferable in a rescheduled fight with Chisora.

“He would love to return before the end of the year, absolutely,” manager David Higgins told Sky Sports.

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“He has recovered from what was a three-week lay-off and he’s back training, but that’s really a question for Eddie Hearn. He’s the promoter and we’re at their behest. We’re realistic and we’re just waiting to hear back from Matchroom.

“He’s in good spirits, he’s back in training. I saw the British media sort of mocked the spider bite thing, but the honest feeling for the doctors, we think it actually was a spider bite.

“I’m no expert, but it sort of destroys your immune system, your health. You are fatigued. He was ordered by medical professionals to stand down for three weeks.

“Make no mistake, we wanted to fight Chisora, we still do. We’ll just see what happens.”

Parker will be an interested party in Chisora’s fight against David Price, who stepped in to replace the Kiwi at short notice. The fight will be the main support bout to the final of the World Boxing Super Series between junior welterweights Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor.

Higgins said he is hopefully of landing a lost on the undercard of the unified heavyweight championship rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on December 7.

“It depends on how quickly Chisora can turnaround and whether Eddie Hearn or Frank Smith can pull some strings and get us on New York or Saudi Arabia,” continued Higgins. “It would be a shame if Joseph had to sit out for eight months, but we remain hopeful.

“He’s still in camp, his family are with him in Vegas. He’s sort of waiting. He is ready and willing, but hey, if not, we must be philosophical.”

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