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Joseph Parker vents his frustration after year marred by inactivity

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 26-2 (20) has voiced his frustration at new promoter Eddie Hearn after suffering the most inactive year of his professional career.

The 27-year-old New Zealander has fought just once in 2019 – a 10th round knockout of Alex Leapai in June – after he was forced to withdraw from a bout with Dereck Chisora last month following an illness brought on by a spider bite.

Parker is still waiting on a date from Hearn.

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“They were supposed to give us a decision last week,” he said according to Newshub. “Now they’ve said they’ll give us a decision this week.”

Earlier this year he signed a lucrative three-fight deal with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing that promised to lead him back to the top of boxing’s glamour division.

“I wanna see him win a world title,” Hearn. “I want to give him exposure in the US and then move forward.”

Parker was excited by the prospect at the time.

“They have a big stable of heavyweights, and we can pick and choose who we want to fight,” he said.

Six months on and that seems to have changed.

“They tell you when to fight, when you can be on,” Parker said. “It’s good to be with them, but also it’s frustrating at times.

“I have no regrets in my life, I just wanted to fight before the end of the year.”

Parker was angling for a slot on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua versus Andy Ruiz Jr rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7, even offering to fight for a reduced purse just to get some rounds in.

“They said the cards were so full and planned well ahead that there was no space or opportunity for us to be on the card,” he said.

“We tried to get on any card, lowered the purse… we did everything we could.”

As it stands now, it looks like Parker will be waiting until 2020 before lacing up the glove in the prize ring again.

“Get in the ring, fight well and smash my opponent, and that’s the only way that will make me a priority – because, at the moment, we’re not,” he said.

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