Former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker has it all planned out. The New Zealander will return to action this Saturday (live on DAZN), against countryman Junior Fa in what is a big and attractive grudge-match (the two splitting four amateur bouts way back when, the two rivals finishing at 2-2) – and after that, Parker wants Dereck Chisora and then the winner of the anticipated but still to be announced Oleksandr Usyk-Joe Joyce fight. Parker spoke with Sky Sports News, informing the news broadcast of the pathway Eddie Hearn and the rest of his team have laid out for him.
Parker, 27-2(21) will have a big, big year if he can get the three fights he wants – and a huge year if he can win them all.
“I’m open to fighting anyone,” Parker told Sky Sports. “But with the talks from my promoter, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom and Dave Higgins, they’ve got a clear pathway for me this year. Take care of Junior, then fighting Chisora, then fighting the winner of Usyk and Joyce. There is a path and it’s quite exciting that there’s a path, because a lot of fighters want to know what they’re going to do after their next fight. But again, the focus is on Junior because if I don’t get past him, there’s no point even looking at those fights.”
But could Parker be looking past Fa all the same? Sometimes when a fighter says he is not looking past his upcoming fight, he is in fact doing just that. Parker is widely expected to beat Fa, as big an edge in experience as he has over the man who is two years older than him, and maybe Parker feels Fa, 19-0(10) is just not on his level. Either way, Saturday’s fight is an even bigger contest for Parker, what with all he has to look forward to if he can get the win.
If Parker does defeat Fa – and the former champ is talking a KO win, possibly a quick one – a fight with the seemingly tough as ever Chisora would be a hard fight for Parker. You can maybe call this one a 50/50 affair. And then, if he did manage to get past “War,” Parker against either Usyk or Joyce would be very interesting. Again, if things unfold the way Parker wants them to he will be having a big and very high-profile 2021. Parker last fought a year ago so he must be itching to get back in there. Can Parker beat Fa? Can he beat Chisora? Can Parker beat the Usyk-Joyce winner? Could it be that Parker’s biggest fights and his biggest victories still lie ahead of him?
Three fights inside a year is a lot for a modern day heavyweight, especially these days. Credit to Parker for wanting to fight so often.