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Joseph Parker: ‘I think we’re very close’ on Anthony Joshua fight

Is a unification fight coming? Parker thinks the sides are close to a deal.

Joseph Parker Press Conference Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

WBO heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker thinks a deal is close for a 2018 unification fight with WBA and IBF titleholder Anthony Joshua, which has been negotiated now for weeks.

From ESPN:

"Negotiations are going good. I think we're close to locking something in. They're stuck at 30 percent [of the split], we're stuck at 35, so it's just finding the middle ground.

"We'll take 35 percent, which means Joshua will take 65, which is nearly double me, so I think that's a fair deal because he's the bigger draw card and he has two belts and I have one. I think that's reasonable and fair.

"I think we're very close. I'm excited as it's a chance to showcase my skills in the U.K. more."

From all reports, the Parker (24-0, 18 KO) side isn’t pricing themselves out of this fight, or making unreasonable demands, or ignoring that Joshua (20-0, 20 KO) is a significantly bigger draw. Parker is willing to go back to the United Kingdom — where he beat Hughie Fury in September — and willing to give Joshua the significantly larger portion of the split.

All of this sounds good. It’s more interesting that Parker fighting Lucas Browne in March, which seems to be the backup plan, and probably more interesting than anything Anthony Joshua plans to do otherwise in the spring, too.

Deontay Wilder would be a better and bigger opponent than Parker, and maybe Luis Ortiz could be argued as a tougher fight, but there’s really not much other than that as far as fighters ready to face Joshua who Joshua might actually fight in the spring. Jarrell Miller has been rumored as a potential Joshua opponent after beating Mariusz Wach in November. Parker is plenty more interesting at this point, and a clearly bigger fight.

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