Put up or shut up - Parker’s pro­moter

Waikato Times - - Sport - DUNCAN JOHN­STONE

Joseph Parker pro­moter David Hig­gins says he won’t be ‘‘low­balled’’ by ri­val Ed­die Hearn and has hit back at the cre­den­tials of the Brit’s heavy­weight stable of An­thony Joshua and Tony Bellew.

Hearn has re­peat­edly ques­tioned Parker’s mar­ketabil­ity in the United King­dom after the Kiwi’s dif­fi­cult WBO world ti­tle de­fence against Hughie Fury in Manchester late last month.

Ea­ger to have his IBF and WBA cham­pion Joshua fight a uni­fi­ca­tion bout with Parker, or have Bellew take on the Kiwi, Hearn now sees Parker as a hard sell.

Hearn be­lieves peo­ple see Parker against Joshua as a mis­match and feels even the value of a Parker-Bellew fight has ‘‘di­min­ished’’ on the back of the Kiwi’s per­for­mance against Fury, his third vic­tory in a row with­out a knock­out fin­ish. The brash Bellew, who has a lu­cra­tive re­match against David Haye in De­cem­ber, be­lieves he could ‘‘beat Joseph Parker in my sleep’’.

Hig­gins is fu­ri­ous at the crit­i­cism of his man, feel­ing it is un­war­ranted and has ba­si­cally told Hearn to put up or shut up. Hig­gins turned the ta­bles on Hearn who he be­lieves is try­ing to cut his costs over any po­ten­tial tan­gles with Parker.

‘‘It’s be­come ap­par­ent that Ed­die and his two big­ger named box­ers are all lev­el­ling var­i­ous crit­i­cisms at Joseph Parker ... the box­ers sug­gest­ing he is beat­able and Ed­die talk­ing down the fight a bit, prob­a­bly want­ing to pay less,’’ Hig­gins told yes­ter­day.

‘‘We aren’t going to have Ed­die Hearn low-ball us be­cause we are from New Zealand or be­cause he didn’t like the Hughie Fury fight.’’

Parker has one of the four gen­uine belts and that is mar­ketable in it­self. Joshua de­fends his belts against Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff later this month with the fight at Mil­len­nium Sta­dium al­most sold out.

Hig­gins is adamant Joshua’s con­fronta­tional ap­proach would suit Parker far bet­ter than Fury’s hit and run tac­tics.

‘‘Joshua’s style is more square-up, come for­ward, so the ques­tion for Ed­die Hearn is, if Joseph Parker and An­thony Joshua stand in front of each other trad­ing, who is more likely to go down? Based on the facts, it looks like that might be Joshua.

‘‘Look, it could go ei­ther way and Ed­die Hearn will know that ... it’s the heavy­weight di­vi­sion and any heavy­weight can knock out an op­po­nent with the per­fect punch.

‘‘So that’s why we are quite ex­cited about the Joshua pos­si­bil­ity. But it’s it a fight we would only take if the deal was right. We won’t be low-balled.’’

Hig­gins be­lieved some per­spec­tive needed to be put on the re­cent ma­jor­ity points win over Fury.

‘‘The re­al­ity is Hughie Fury is in­cred­i­bly awk­ward. His own father said to us after the fight that peo­ple just don’t un­der­stand how awk­ward Hughie can be,’’ Hig­gins said.

In the mean­time, Hig­gins is work­ing on fi­nal­is­ing a De­cem­ber op­po­nent for Parker, look­ing to keep him ac­tive.

He hopes to have that sorted out next week.

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