Former heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker (25-2, 19 KO) remains a solid name in the division even after suffering back-to-back losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018, and has his sights set on getting a big name fight.
One name that came up recently was Dereck Chisora (29-9, 21 KO), and with it a date to fight: April 20 at the O2 Arena in London. But Parker and his team don’t feel there’s enough time to get properly prepared, and promoter David Higgins laid it out to Sky:
“I saw comments by Dereck Chisora’s manager or promoter David Haye basically saying that our reasons for pulling the pin are trivial. That totally undermines the historical reality. We ran a short camp for Whyte, and we weren’t quite happy with the length, and we learned from that. ... I think they thought they could get unfair advantage again by leaving Joe with a jet-lagged, short camp. That’s not going to happen under my watch. ... Derek Chisora should give Joseph a fair and decent camp. We’ll fight Chisora anywhere, any time, but we want at least a nine or 10-week camp, and fair terms.”
A Parker-Chisora fight would basically be an eliminator — not for a title shot, but to stay relevant in the heavyweight division — and would be an intriguing matchup.
Parker, 27, is also still hoping to get a rematch with Whyte (25-1, 18 KO) following their July 2018 bout, where Whyte controlled for the most part but wound up having to fend off a serious late charge from Parker, who dropped Whyte in the 12th and final round. (Parker was down twice before that.)
And then there’s an even bigger potential option: Tyson Fury. Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO) fully re-established himself as one of the world’s best heavyweights in his disputed Dec. 1 draw with Deontay Wilder, and while those sides are still in talks for an ordered WBC title rematch, there is some genuine doubt about it getting done now that Fury has signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank.
If Wilder-Fury II doesn’t happen, then Fury needs an opponent. Parker would be a pretty good pick from the field, and Parker and Higgins have worked with Bob Arum and Co. before, for the Parker-Andy Ruiz Jr fight in 2016. Higgins isn’t banking on a Fury fight, but he leaves the door open and says they’d be interested to hear offers.
All things considered, Parker’s in a pretty good spot. Nobody wants to lose two fights in a year at the top level, but he’s still a name in the division, still in his prime, and should be able to find himself a good fight.