As fans may know, the WBO convention is currently underway in Tokyo, with many things being discussed; one of these issues being ring safety and how it can be improved. In attendance, hoping to see his fighter Joseph Parker put into position to be able to try and regain the WBO heavyweight title, is manager Dave Higgins. And Higgins, in speaking with Sky Sports, explained the path his fighter may well get to go down if the chips fall the way he thinks they may.
Higgins, along with quite a few people, thinks the WBO title currently held by Andy Ruiz (who Parker decisioned a couple of years ago to win the strap; and how good does that win look now?) will be vacated after tomorrow’s massive fight in Saudi Arabia – regardless of who wins. It is thought that the Ruiz-Joshua rematch winner will look to get another massive fight, with either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, and not concentrate on fulfilling the WBO or WBA mandatory requirements.
If it does turn out like this and if the WBO belt becomes vacant, Higgins feels his man Parker, ranked at No-4 by the WBO (behind Usyk, who is mandatory, Joshua and Fury) should fight Usyk for the belt. Dereck Chisora is hoping to fight Usyk (a fight Usyk, yet to have his second bout up at heavyweight, has expressed interest in), but Higgins feels a Parker fight, with a vacant world title as the prize, makes more sense for the former four-belt cruiserweight king.
“Usyk has been acknowledged as the mandatory for the WBO and rightly so,” Higgins told Sky Sports. “We don’t question that. But it’s possible that WBO title could vacate and as I said at the conference, if that title vacates, then Joseph Parker is possibly the next available ranked contender and could challenge Usyk for the vacant title. If you recall, that’s how Joseph won the heavyweight title, fighting Ruiz. History might repeat itself.”
Which fight would you rather see: Usyk-Parker or Usyk-Chisora? Or Parker-Chisora come to that (the two were supposed to fight earlier this year, only for that snake bite to force Parker out of action). Higgins argues that Usyk would, in fighting Chisora, be taking a risk, with no title up for grabs. Going by that logic, it does seem as though a Usyk-Parker fight, for the vacant WBO title, makes more sense for the Ukrainian.
But let’s wait and see what happens tomorrow night, and if the Ruiz-Joshua winner does indeed drop that WBO (and/or the WBA) belt.