Home Boxing News Resurgent Joseph Parker wants chance to avenge his loss to Anthony Joshua

Resurgent Joseph Parker wants chance to avenge his loss to Anthony Joshua

Joseph Parker. Photo credit: Mark Robinson

Ex-WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 35-3 (23) has found his sweet spot.

Six years ago the 32-year-old New Zealander’s career hit a rough patch when he lost his world title to Anthony Joshua 28-3 (25) in a unification bout and he failed to rebound against Dillian Whyte 30-3 (20), losing both fights on points.

Even though he won his following six bouts, he wasn’t always convincing. Gatekeeper Derek Chisora 34-13 (23) dropped him in the first round of their first fight in May 2021 before Parker eventually prevailed by split decision.

Their immediate rematch in December of the same year was another close affair, with three knockdowns from Parker being almost all the separated them on the cards. An 11th round knockout loss to Joe Joyce 16-2 (15) in September 2022 looked like it would close out Parker’s career as a serious contender.

But then a few smart choices got Parker back in the mix. He took on three lower level opponents while trying to bed in trainer Andy Lee’s game plan and style of fighting after the Irishman took over coaching duties from Kevin Barry in 2021.

The duo have become a formidable force. In his last two outings, Parker has claimed victories over former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-4-1 (42) and one of the leading heavyweight contenders in Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang 27-2-1 (22).

The Ring magazine now rates Parker as the number three contender at heavyweight, behind only undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk 22-0 (14), Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) and Joshua.

Parker is enjoying his career right now and can see many more big fights in his future.

“I’ve been boxing 11 to 12 years and I’ve found what works for me, the formula I’ve got, Andy Lee head trainer, George Lockhart and the work that we’ve been doing together,” Parker told Sky Sports.

“It’s been a grind ever since we’ve linked up the three of us. But everything is working very well and whatever we’re doing we want to keep it up.”

What he wants most right now is a chance to gain his revenge against Britain’s Joshua, 34, who is flying high right now after a career rebuild of his own.

“There’s a lot of people that want to fight Anthony Joshua. I feel like with what I’ve done I can be in a position to fight him,” Parker said.

“To be honest, it’s not really about what I want and what he wants. It’s what everyone else wants and a lot of fights are happening in Saudi Arabia.”

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 37, is set to rematch Fury in Saudi Arabia in December after defeating the 35-year-old Brit on points last month.

There is every possibility the IBF will strip him of their title before then for failing to meet his mandatory obligation.

If the title does become vacant, Parker thinks his name should be in the mix to fight for the red belt.

“I hope so,” he said. “With the belts all being [held by the] undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, there’s a rematch clause in place, but again these things may or may not happen.

“You never know how things are going to unfold, so we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. But you’ve got Anthony Joshua… I let whatever happens happen and whatever fights they lock, they lock in and I’m ready for whoever.”

As for the 34-year-old Joshua who has been linked to a bout against interim IBF titleholder Daniel Dubois 21-2 (20) at Wembley Stadium in London on September 21, he posted to social media: “Nearly finished my negotiations for my next fight. Feeling motivated.”