Parker (22-0, 18 KO) won the vacant title against Andy Ruiz Jr, beating Ruiz by majority decision on December 10, 2016. The title had previously been held by Tyson Fury, Hughie’s cousin, who vacated while missing all of 2016.
Fury (20-0, 10 KO) and promoter Frank Warren had hoped to bring the fight to the United Kingdom, but were outbid. The 22-year-old Fury will be taking a big step up in competition to face Parker, but can’t be counted out, either.
He fought twice last year, beating veterans Dominick Guinn and Fred Kassi in March and April. By the time he faces Parker, he’ll have been out of action for just over 12 months, which could be an issue.