Unbeaten Joseph Parker, the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua and his IBF heavyweight title, was confident before this past Saturday’s defence by Joshua against Dominic Breazeale, but the New Zealander and his team are even more confident of taking the title when the fight happens; so says Parker’s manager, Dean Lonergan. Speaking with Sky Sports, Lonergan said he wants the fight to happen this year, ideally in November or December, and that he has no doubt his man will win when the big night comes.
“After Saturday night, we’re very confident, Joseph is very confident,” Lonergan said. “Breazeale was plenty tough, plenty brave, but I always question how good he can be going into that fight when he’s 30 years-old and he’s only had 17 pro fights. Joseph is 24 and by the time he fights Anthony Joshua, he will have had 20, maybe 21 fights. He [Breazeale] did show a hell of a chin, but Joshua showed a lot to us that makes us very confident. How is AJ going to be when he’s eating Joseph’s jab all night?”
Lonergan said Parker – who will next face Solomon Haumono on July 21st – will probably fight again in September or October, depending on when the Joshua fight happens. But Lonergan says his man is ready for Joshua “now.”
“We’re ready now,” he stated. “If Eddie Hearn rang me tomorrow and says we want to fight in the mandatory period, we want to fight in November or December – that would be fantastic. We’ll probably fight in late September, early October, and then the mandatory period comes up November 19. Any day after that, Joseph would be ready.”
It’s great, and a sign of his confidence, that Parker, 19-0(16) is wanting to fight so regularly and remain active instead of sitting idle as he awaits his guaranteed shot at the IBF belt. It will be interesting to see who Parker fights in September or October before he gets in there with Joshua. One thing is clear though: this fight between the Londoner and the New Zealander is the toughest test yet for both men. Team-Parker feel they have seen flaws and things that can be taken advantage of in Joshua, while many good judges feel Joshua is the future of the division.
Joshua-Parker is a fight that will tell us plenty about both young and unbeaten fighters.