Joseph Parker (31-3, 21 KOs) will be fighting next month against little-known heavyweight Faiga Opelu (15-3-2, 11 KOs) in a 12-round headliner on May 24th at the Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia. The fight card will be shown on FOX PPV in Melbourne. Parker and Opelu will be fighting for the Commonwealth heavyweight title.
Opelu suffered a pair of seven round knockout losses to Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne and Justis Huni in the last three years. It’s anyone’s guess why Parker didn’t choose the better-known Browne as his opponent for May 24th rather than the guy he knocked out.
All you can think is that Parker’s confidence, or lack thereof, has got to be an all-time low right now for him to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of opposition. Opelu did win a fight last year, beating Hemi Ahio, but still, it’s hard to forget that he was knocked out by ‘Big Daddy’ Browne.
Joseph Parker vs Opelu Start Time
For viewers in the United States:
- Eastern Time (ET) – 5am on Wednesday, 24th May 2023
- Pacific Time (PT) – 2am on Wednesday, 24th May 2023
For viewers in Europe:
- Central European Time (CET) – 11am on Wednesday, 24th May 2023
- Eastern European Time (EET) – 12pm on Wednesday, 24th May 2023
It could be that Parker’s eleventh round knockout loss to Joe Joyce last September affected him mentally more than some felt it would. Parker should have already bounced back from that loss mentally because he doesn’t need to spend the next five years taking tune-ups, which is what he did after suffering consecutive defeats against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018 in the UK.
Parker already took a warm-up fight last January when he fought a guy named Jack Massey and looked poor, winning a 10 round unanimous decision.
That fight should have been enough to get Parker’s confidence back to get him ready to resume fighting world class opposition. But facing Opelu is a regressive, backward move by Parker, showing his career is just drifting aimlessly with no real direction. If this way, Parker is going to let his career sink; he might as well hang up his gloves.
If Parker gets through this fight in one piece, it’s a good idea he starts fighting top-tier opposition one again because he can’t afford to invest five years of taking tune-ups.
“I’m very excited to be heading to Australia to headline a massive fight. I’ve been to Australia numerous times, and the amount of support there is amazing, and everyone is always so welcoming,” said Parker.
“I look forward to the atmosphere from both the Aussie and Kiwi fight fans, and I know everyone will be pumped to see two world class heavyweights go at it.”
“The Commonwealth Heavyweight title has been held by some of the biggest names in the sport, so I’m looking forward to adding my name to that list on May 24 in Melbourne.”
Also on the card, junior middleweight Nikita Tszyu (5-0, 4 KO) will fight Benjamin Bommber (5-0, 4 KO) in a six round contest in the chief support bout.
PARKER VS. OPELU FIGHT CARD
- Joseph Parker vs. Faiga Opelu; Heavyweight
- Jayde Mitchell vs. Max Reeves; Super middleweight
- Nikita Tszyu vs. Benjamin Bommber; Light middleweight
- Joel Taylor vs. Ben Horn; Welterweight
- David Nyika vs. Louis Marsters; Heavyweight
- Campbell Somerville vs. Isaias Sette; Light middleweight
- Luke Gersbeck vs. Jack Moore; Light middleweight
- Cameron Mooney vs. Tom Bellchambers; Heavyweight