Sunday Star-Times - - SPORT -

What: WBO world heavy­weight ti­tle fight

Joseph Parker v Hughie New Zealand heavy­weight Joseph Parker will be kept busy, hop­ing to squeeze an­other fight in this year al­though 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 (NZT).

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. Fury

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