Former WBO heavyweight titleholder Parker (25-2, 19 KO) was originally supposed to face Eric Molina, but Molina wound up pulled from the fight, which is to be Parker’s Matchroom debut.
Leapai (32-7-4, 26 KO) is 39 years old and hasn’t had a notable win since 2013, which set up a 2014 fight with Wladimir Klitschko, who predictably pummeled Leapai.
“A stoppage would be nice, that’s the goal going into every fight,” Parker said. “I just have to change up the mind set to not only go in there and win, but go in and KO someone and make a statement. This is my first fight with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN so I want to make that statement, there’s no pressure but I do have to go out there and look good.”
Parker lost to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in back-to-back fights last year, and says he’d like to get rematches.
“I would love to avenge the losses that I have had against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. I’ll fight them tomorrow. But Dillian is trying to fight for the WBC title so respect to him for that, but if the opportunity came along I would love that fight again.”
Leapai realizes he’s being counted out, and like every heavyweight underdog for the next however long, invoked the name of Andy Ruiz Jr.
“I am the Samoan Andy Ruiz – the guy everyone writes off,” said Leapai. “This will be the second massive upset this year because Parker is getting sparked. Then I’m going to take Andy’s Snickers off him!”
“For Joe, it’s about looking good and making a statement to the division that he is ready to try and reclaim his world title,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “For Alex, it’s a shot to nothing to put himself right back in the mix — he’s talking a great game but we expect a show stopping performance from Joseph Parker in Providence on June 29.”