As much of a big deal as unbeaten heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua is in the UK, Joseph Parker, a legitimate contender/threat to any heavyweight you could care to mention, is as big a deal in New Zealand. Parker, unbeaten at 18-0(16) has plenty of good judges believing he is the next dominant heavyweight in a division that is suddenly red-hot again.
And Parker, who has been calling out “A.J” for some time now, will continue to target the Londoner, if he beats Charles Martin in April as the bookmakers say will be the case. If not, Parker will happily challenge reigning IBF heavyweight boss Martin.
Parker’s promoter, Dean Lonergen spoke with Sky Sports recently, and he outlined the plans for his exciting, powerful fighter:
“The IBF mandatory is up, I think, on January 16 next year,” Lonergen said. “If Joseph Parker can get to the mandatory position, which is our goal as well as being the number-one mandatory for the WBO, the IBF champion will have to face him – if he’s in that position – or relinquish the title, and no-one is going to relinquish the title. It’s absolutely a fight we would love to have. If Anthony Joshua wins the fight (vs. Martin), it’s a fight you would have in England. If it’s in England, it would be an absolutely enormous fight. We’ve said we’ll take that fight tomorrow and I understand where Eddie Hearn sits. He’s probably got 100 fighters who want to fight Anthony Joshua, but at the end of the day only one is number-one with the WBO and has got the credentials of Joseph Parker.”
Parker, with his blend of speed, two-handed power, conditioning and sheer desire, is arguably the best, or one of the best, young heavyweight hopes on the scene today. Lacking only in world class experience (as is Joshua and, you could argue, is pretty much the case with Martin as well) Parker and his team clearly want the chance to rectify this. Is Parker, who has sparred a lot with Wladimir Klitschko (as has Joshua) ready for the world’s elite? No. But neither is Joshua.
It might not matter, as these two young guns could very well rumble, with a major belt on the line in an already sellable match-up, some time next year. Both the New Zealander and the Brit are very much on the radar of one another, and soon fans on both sides of the planet could get to know both young fighters very well.
24-year-old Parker is next scheduled to fight on April 17th against TBA.