Win or lose, US beckons Parker
NEW Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker will be kept busy, hoping to squeeze another fight in this year, though getting the appropriate opponent to achieve that could be complicated.
Parker is defending his WBO world heavyweight title against Britain’s Hughie Fury in Manchester this morning.
Win or lose, Parker is adamant the show must go on.
A victory sets up a massive pay day in Britain. A loss means a potentially lengthy and costly rebuild to get him back into the top frame.
The busy British scene hasn’t stood still and two potential opponents for Parker if his arm is raised in victory, Tony Bellew and David Haye, are set for a heated rematch in London on December 17, taking them out of the equation.
That fight would be seen as an eliminator with the winner to challenge Parker for his title with the fight after that being a unification bout with WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua, providing he beats Kubrat Pulev in his mandatory defence next month.
There are a lot of ifs and buts around the fluid heavyweight division right now.
Big talking and bruising Brit Dillian Whyte is another lucrative option though he may not be ready until January.
With the Fury fight being a mandatory, there is no rematch clause and that seems unlikely.
If the UK market has no vacancies, then Parker could easily look to the United States where Duco’s co-promoter, Top Rank legend Bob Arum, is eager to see the Kiwi enhance his profile in that important market.
Resurgent American heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings is now on Arum’s books and would be a fight Parker certainly wouldn’t ignore under the right circumstances.
The main thing is, he wants to keep busy. The protracted negotiations to get the Fury fight happening have seen him in the MARK ROBINSON/PHOTOSPORT ring just twice this year, when he is used to fighting five times annually.
He will return to Auckland to see his baby daughter for a break and then hit the gym in Las Vegas again, ideally lacing up his fight gloves again for a December bout.
The same theory applies if he lost his unbeaten record to Fury. Duco’s plan has always been ‘‘to MATTHEW IMPEY/PHOTOSPORT
‘ I think it’s a good heavyweight division right now’ TRAINER PETER FURY
jump back on the horse straight away’’.
But that could mean a lesser class of opponent and even returning to New Zealand to rebuild the foundations where the 25-year-old Parker has made his name during a 23-0 career.
Peter Fury, the clever trainer in charge of his son Hughie for this title fight, said there would be no shame for whoever lost their unbeaten record in Manchester and insisted both fighters were young enough to rebound.
‘‘Absolutely, that’s all about who makes the mistakes and learns from them,’’ Fury said.
‘‘Everyone goes on about the ‘0’ and being unbeaten, but it doesn’t mean anything. Did Muhammad Ali come back from it? Did the greatest fighter of all time come back from it? Of course he did.
‘‘You wipe yourself down and go back in the gym, you’re a fighter. These guys are both young heavyweights, they don’t really come into their own until they’re 28 to 30 years old. They have all to gain and nothing to lose really.
‘‘I think it’s a good heavyweight division right now, it’s red-hot and there are some good fighters out there.’’
Joseph Parker in London ahead of his WBOheavyweight boxing title defence.
Hughie Fury at the weigh-in for his fight against Jospeh Parker.