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Joseph Parker willing to face Tyson Fury, but needs to get past Jack Massey first

Joseph Parker with Andy Lee and Tyson Fury.

New Zealand’s Joseph Parker 30-3 (21) would have no qualms about fighting good mate and reigning WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) if given the opportunity.

“Listen, if I said to Tyson, ‘Hey, let’s put our friendship to one side and fight,’ I think he would consider it,” Parker said on the The Main Event Boxing Podcast.

“He’s one of those guys who would give you the opportunity because you deserve it, or give you the opportunity because you need it, or give you the opportunity because you want to look after your family.

“He’s one of those who would just do anything for you, if he could.”

Despite sharing a trainer in Fury’s cousin Andy Lee, who is 2IC to SugarHill Steward in Fury’s corner and head coach in Parker’s, the 31-year-old Kiwi believes the fight is doable.

In fact, he almost got the call up to face Fury last year.

“I’ve said it for years that I’m keen to fight him because I feel that he’s the best in the division and I always want to test myself against the very best,” Parker said.

“I was on standby to fight him if [Dillian] Whyte didn’t show up to the fight, but everything went to plan and they fought and he got a good win.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the future. At the moment, I’m trying to rebuild and get my way to the top whereas he’s still staying on top.”

That rebuilding starts on Saturday night when he takes on Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey 21-1 (11) on the undercard of Chris Eubank Jr 32-2 (23) vs Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith 32-3-1 (19) at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

It will be Parker’s first bout since being knockout out by Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-0 (14) in the penultimate round of their 12-round bout last September.

The 29-year-old Massey, who is moving up from cruiserweight to face Parker and will give away 32-pounds in weight, is making all the right noises going in to the bout.

“This fight is the golden ticket. Taking Joseph Parker’s scalp is going to change my life forever,” Massey said. “It is like having a lottery ticket. I’m going to be a very dangerous man on Saturday night.”

Parker is confident his extra size and bulk will play a factor in the fight.

“I’m going to smash him,” Parker said. “He’s got big balls I’ll give him that. But there are divisions in boxing for a reason. I’m going to be the bigger man. I’m going to fight like the bigger man, back him up and push him back. I’m going to make him think about if he really wants to be in the heavyweight division.”

Team Parker know that a loss to Massey will relegate him to the list of also-rans, but his trainer Lee is confident that the work they have put in and the sacrifices they have made will see the former WBO heavyweight champion with his hand raised at the end of the night.

“He’s missed Christmas, New Year’s and he also turned 31 years old on January 10. All of those have been spent in training camp preparing,” Lee said.

“There was no need to lift the spirits after the Joyce defeat, he is as motivated as I’ve ever seen him.

“He was owed a fight before the end of last year so they’ve got him out quickly in 2023. We were offered a few fights, some of them didn’t make much sense to us because of the risk/reward factor but we decided to go with Jack Massey.

“Joseph is a favorite but we are aware of the dangers and will be taking nothing for granted. He has to look spectacular in this fight.

“We have made sure everything in this camp is perfect. And I don’t just mean in the gym but outside it as well. It has been train, go home, eat, sleep, get up, train again.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Joe Joyce’s victory but Joseph wasn’t well in the lead up to that fight and that was because he had been out and about, interacting with people. Just things like cinema, haircuts, grocery shopping, all of that.”

Parker added: “I’m in great shape. I’m ready to go. When I’m sleeping well and feeling good I am dangerous. I’ve put in the work, made the sacrifices, because I know what it takes to win.”