Former WBO heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker had a bit of a rough 2018, losing his belt to Anthony Joshua on March 31 in Cardiff, and then losing in London to Dillian Whyte on July 28.
But the 27-year-old New Zealand fighter is potentially in a great spot in the fractured heavyweight division, and David Higgins says they’re open to working with anyone to make a good fight.
“It’s very simple. My job is to get the best deal possible for Parker, and it’s halcyon times in boxing with massive money flowing. ... Eddie Hearn has been great to work with. Arum has been fairly good too. The only one I haven’t worked with is Al Haymon, but we’re basically going to have a sit down with all the major players, see who will put the best offer on the table.”
Hearn wants to make a fight between Parker (25-2, 19 KO) and Dereck Chisora (29-9, 21 KO), who is coming off of a knockout loss to Whyte in December, and is scheduled to face Senad Gashi (17-2, 17 KO) on April 20. Hearn wants to make Parker-Chisora for this summer.
But while that’s an attractive fight — and quite winnable for Parker, not that Chisora isn’t always tough — there are potentially even bigger fights out there.
Top Rank really don’t have a lot for Tyson Fury to do, which is one of the reasons Fury is fighting little-known German Tom Schwarz on June 15. WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder is facing mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale on May 18, but if he wins as expected, he’ll need an opponent, too. A rematch with Whyte could be doable later this year; Parker dropped Whyte in the final round and nearly rallied for the win after going down twice himself.
Basically the only top heavyweight Parker almost surely won’t face is Anthony Joshua, as Joshua routed him in a dull fight and there’s no unsettled business there.
Higgins is right, too: money is flying around boxing these days, whether wise or desperate or whatever. It’s a great time to be a credible, second-tier sort of contender in any division, not just the heavyweights, and Parker may be able to cash in big.