Joseph Parker is set to fight in Australia for the first time in his nearly eleven-year career, taking on Faiga Opelu atop a May 24th Fox PPV in Melbourne.
This marks Parker’s (31-3, 21 KO) second appearance since last year’s knockout loss to Joe Joyce, having beaten Jack Massey by decision on January’s Smith vs Eubank show. This looks to be about that same level of competition; Opelu (15-3-2, 11 KO) got stopped in seven by a debuting Justis Huni (understandable) and a 42-year-old Lucas Browne (less so), but did manage to cause a stir by stopping unbeaten Hemi Ahio last October.
So, yeah, standard Parker affair.
Joseph Parker said: “I’m very excited to be heading to Australia to headline a massive fight. I’ve been to Australia numerous times and the amount of support there is amazing and everyone is always so welcoming.”
“I look forward to the atmosphere from both the Aussie and Kiwi fight fans and I know everyone will be pumped to see two world class heavyweights go at it.”
“The Commonwealth Heavyweight title has been held by some of the biggest names in the sport so I’m looking forward to adding my name to that list on May 24 in Melbourne.”
“He [Opelu] is a great fighter and deserves his shot but there’s levels to this game and I plan to show that. I’m not taking this lightly and I look forward to putting on a great performance for the fight fans. Credit to him for stepping up and taking this fight.”
Nikita Tszyu (5-0, 4 KO) makes a two-month turnaround in the co-feature, which pits him against fellow unbeaten Benjamin Bommber (5-0, 4 KO). The press release calls Bommber “the best kept secret in Australian boxing,” which is almost certainly hyperbole, but he has worked with The Money Team and Devin Haney.
Kayne Clarke (14-0, 10 KO), Paddy Donovan (10-0, 7 KO), and David Nyika (5-0, 4 KO) will also be in action alongside a bout between AFL veterans Cameron Mooney and Tom Bellchambers.