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Joseph Parker looking towards rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr, not a fight against Filip Hrgovic

David Higgins breaks down why their team have no interest in a Filip Hrgovic fight and their plans to build Parker’s profile stateside.

Parker is said to be nursing some lingering injuries and has no interest in fighting Filip Hrgovic.
Parker is said to be nursing some lingering injuries and has no interest in fighting Filip Hrgovic.
Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Just this week alone we’ve seen two top IBF heavyweight contenders pass on a final eliminator bout against Filip Hrgovic. First it was Luis Ortiz, who cited a hand injury as being the reason why he passed on the fight, and then it was Joseph Parker’s team who promptly opted out of that proposed fight.

Parker’s promoter David Higgins now tells Sky Sports that Parker is dealing with some lingering elbow issues, but also makes it clear that financial considerations are a large part of their disinterest in Hrgovic.

“There is an economic problem with Hrgovic,” said Higgins. “When we built up Parker, we built a fan base in New Zealand. We funded, paying big money, to stage Parker vs Andy Ruiz Jr in New Zealand. Does Hrgovic have a home fan base anywhere? He has attained a high ranking but has no fan base so the money on offer is laughable for somebody like Parker. Also, this fight is at the back of the eliminator queue because the other belts must be sorted out.”

Higgins would continue by saying that if Parker accepted a Hrgovic fight he’d barely be earning enough money to cover his training expenses and would still likely have to wait in line for his mandatory title shot anyway. Therefore Parker’s team is much more inclined to seek out a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, whom he beat by majority decision in 2016, believing that Ruiz will bring more money to the table with a fight in America.