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Team Parker want 70-30 revenue split to fight Oleksandr Usyk for WBO title

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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Joseph Parker’s team insist they are the A-side in a clash with former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and are expecting a 70-30 revenue split if the fight come to fruition.

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is widely expected to drop the WBO belt to pursue a mandatory title defence against IBF number one contender Kubrat Pulev, paving the way for Parker and Usyk to fight for the vacant belt.

The 28-year-old Parker, who defeated Andy Ruiz Jr for the same title in 2016 before losing the belt to Joshua in a unification bout 15 months later, has built a profile in the UK with three consecutive fights in 2017-18.

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The New Zealander’s manager David Higgins believes this entitles his fighter to the lion’s share of revenue.

“Usyk has not earned his stripes at heavyweight,” Higgins told Sky Sports. “Joseph Parker is the A-side and Joseph Parker has sold out the Principality Stadium with Joshua, he’s sold out The O2, with Whyte.

“He’s the A-side and so if Usyk wants to share the ring with Parker, I would be expecting 70-30 open book revenue share in Parker’s favour. I’ll get ridiculed for that, but listen, Parker has beaten Andy Ruiz, he’s sold out the Principality and the O2 and he’s a big name in the UK, so Usyk is the B-side.

“Absolutely Joe would fight him, as long as the Usyk team recognise and understand that they are the B-side, there’s no problem.”

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said that the undefeated Ukrainian southpaw would welcome the opportunity to fight for the WBO strap against Parker.

“In case it turns out that the WBO title is vacant, Usyk will be happy to fight for it,” Krassyuk said to Sky Sports. “And Joseph Parker is the highest available contender.”

Higgins believes Parker has a better chance of matching the speed of Usyk than Joshua.

“There’s a saying that styles make fights,” said Higgins. “I think Joseph Parker has a better chance against Usyk than say Anthony Joshua. I think Usyk would dissect Anthony Joshua, too big and slow, whereas Parker is quick. We haven’t seen the best of Joseph yet.

“It’s a very good fight and we really respect their team, but we are the A-side, and as long as they are willing to accept a small percentage of the revenue, then there might be a deal.”

Next up for Parker is a fight on the Mikey Garcia-Jessie Vargas undercard in Texas on February 29 against an opponent to be named.

“Joe is focused only on the fight in front of him, which is the 29th of February,” said Higgins.

“He’s got to win that. He should win it, he’s in great shape, and if he does, and this becomes realistic then we’re at the table. Joseph Parker will be absolutely willing and ready to take on Oleksandr Usyk.”

The 32-year-old Usyk made his heavyweight debut in October when he stopped late replacement Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

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