Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry: “Joshua is talking to other camps at the moment”

By James Slater - 07/26/2016 - Comments

Unbeaten Joseph Parker’s team feel the fight the New Zealander is mandated to have, against reigning IBF heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua, will almost certainly come next year, not this year. Speaking to the media in New Zealand, Team-Parker announced an October 1st date with experienced fringe contender Alexander Dimitrenko and it was also announced how Parker, unbeaten at 20-0, will then almost certainly have another fight after that; while waiting for the shot at Joshua.

“All we know is [Anthony] Joshua is talking to other camps at the moment,” Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said as reported by “He’s definitely not talking to us. The fact we’re taking this fight on October 1st, there is a pretty fair assumption we’re not fighting Joshua in November. After this fight there’s every indication that, everything going well, we’ll fight another tall guy later in the year.”

Parker’s shot at Joshua looks more likely for the spring of 2017, with Joshua lining up a second voluntary defence before the end of this year (with names such as David Price and Kubrat Pulev being bandied around as possible foes) and the 24-year-old is making sure he keeps himself sharp. Parker, though, is not just looking at facing Joshua; he is confident he will beat him, take the IBF belt, and then get in line to fight the other big names of the heavyweight division; all of whom – Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko – are, like Joshua, taller than Parker.

“These are the guys we’re targeting,” Barry said of Fury, Wilder and Klitschko. “These are the guys who hold the titles and dictate all the big purses in heavyweight boxing so we need to go after them.”

Parker is, in an age of giant heavyweights who regularly stand at 6’6” and above, a comparatively small heavy at just over 6’3” (whoever thought the day would come when a 6’3” guy would be considered to be at a size disadvantage against anyone!) and his team clearly feel they need to test him against the Dimitrenkos (6’7”) of the world to get ready for Joshua (6’6”), Fury (6’9”) and Wilder (6’7”). Klitschko might have retired by the time Parker is ready for the absolute elite, who knows.

But it’s clear Parker and his team are aiming high, very high.

Last Updated on 07/26/2016