Former champion Joseph Parker expects to fight in the UK this autumn and is calling out British heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Joe Joyce.
It is part of his three-step plan to win a heavyweight title once again after signing a new promotional deal with BOXXER.
“I believe with my full heart that I can be champion of the world again. I know there’s a lot of supporters, I know there’s a lot of doubters but I don’t care. I want to go out there and give it everything I have,” Parker told Sky Sports.
“I’ll fight any heavyweight out there, it doesn’t matter who it is. I want to fight the biggest and the baddest heavyweights out there because I know what I can do when I have a great camp and I’m mentally focused on the fight.”
Parker has fought Whyte before but is adamant that he can avenge that loss. “Dillian Whyte is another great fight, he’s coming off a loss to Tyson Fury but we had a very great fight in 2018, a very entertaining fight and a very close fight. If we do run it back, I’ll get the better of him,” Parker said.
“Dillian Whyte has been knocked out a few times now but it doesn’t mean that he’s got a weak chin, it just means that the guys that fought him landed real good punches at the right time, precise, hard punches.”
That is what the New Zealander intends to do. “I know I can knock anyone, I just have to land that punch. I know I haven’t shown it in recent times but the time will come where I start landing the big shots,” he said.
He includes tough Londoner Joe Joyce in that category. “He’s been rocked a few times and saying that if I do everything well in training camp, prepare the best I can and do everything right, [I can]. I know there’s a lot more give and a lot more to show. I just need more time with Andy Lee [Parker’s trainer], I need more time in the UK to work on these things,” Parker said. “I can do the business on Joe Joyce.”
It is a bout that is currently under discussion. “That’s a fight that can still happen, the Joe Joyce fight. I know that Ben Shalom [Parker’s new promoter] is in talks with Frank Warren and his team and Joe Joyce and his team, so it’s a fight that we can make.”
Joyce is an appealing contest in itself but beating him would make Parker the mandatory for the WBO championship belt that Oleksandr Usyk holds.
Parker has been training with Andy Lee in camp with leading heavyweight Tyson Fury. But if Whyte had pulled out of his April challenge against Fury, Parker was poised to step in himself. Tyson had made him the stand-by.
“During the camp when he did mention it, I was staying ready and staying prepared,” Parker explained. “Seeing how he operated, seeing how he moved. If Whyte didn’t turn up I would have the opportunity to fight for the world title and get paid good money. I was getting paid to stay ready so he looked after me both ways.”
Parker also expects Fury’s retirement to be short-lived. “When you’re world champion, when you’re at the top of your game it’s very hard to walk away from the sport knowing you can still give more,” Parker explained.
“It’s going to take big money to get him back into boxing and into the ring and for battle. I don’t think he should retire. I think he should fight the winner out of [Anthony] Joshua and [Oleksandr] Usyk and whoever wins that is the best in the world at this time and so he should come back and fight the winner.”
He believes that would be Fury by knockout, against either of them. “Those are both great fighters, Joshua and Usyk, I just see Tyson being too much for them. Everyone’s going to say I’m biased because I train with Tyson and we’re very close. If I step back as a friend and think boxing, he’s too much, able to put on the pressure, able to fight on the back foot, very good mover,” Joseph said. “If he does get the opportunity to fight either of those guys, I think he’d knock them out.”
Despite his friendship with Fury, he is determined to get back to the highest level himself. “It was a goal of mine to be champion of the world and I did achieve it, thanks to everyone involved who helped to get me there. But this time I want to be champion and I’m doing it for myself and for my own family,” he said. “I feel like the passion and the motivation is a lot more than what I had before.
“I can’t really pinpoint how it’s going to happen but I reckon two or three fights and then I can do it again.”
“I can’t wait to be back fighting top fights, I can’t wait to be back in the UK,” Parker added. “The fans there are the best I’ve seen.
“September, October, we’ve got something lining up very soon.”
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