Joseph Parker helped Tyson Fury prepare for his sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London.
Now that his time as Fury’s sparring partner has come to an end, the former WBO heavyweight champion can focus on facing another gigantic, unbeaten Brit in a fight that’ll count on his record. Promoter Frank Warren announced between bouts during BT Sport Box Office’s pay-per-view broadcast of the Fury-Whyte undercard that Parker will face Joe Joyce next.
Warren told BT Sport’s Steve Bunce that London’s Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) and New Zealand’s Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) will square off “sometime in July,” probably at a stadium somewhere in the United Kingdom. Joyce is ranked number one by the WBO in its heavyweight ratings, one spot atop the second-ranked Parker.
The winner of their 12-rounder would move into position to fight whoever wins the immediate rematch between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) and former champ Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs). The date and site for the Usyk-Joshua rematch haven’t been set, but Usyk is committed to facing Joshua again after initially indicating that his involvement in his native Ukraine’s war with Russia might delay the second fight that Joshua is contractually owed.
“It’s been brewing for a while now,” Parker told Bunch when asked about boxing Joyce during their televised interview. “We’re nearly done. We’re nearly done agreeing to fight. We’re so close. We just need Frank to sign the contract and then we’re on. I would love to fight Joe Joyce. He’s standing right here. I’ve always wanted to fight him. He’s always wanted to fight me. So, let’s get it done.”
The 30-year-old Parker’s past five fights were streamed by DAZN and promoted by Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, Warren’s rival in the United Kingdom. Fury, with whom Parker has become close, is co-promoted by Warren’s company, Queensberry Promotions.
In his most recent bout, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Parker defeated Dereck Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 12-round rematch December 18 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The 36-year-old Joyce, meanwhile, will end approximately a one-year layoff when he opposes Parker. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Joyce stopped Cameroon’s Carlos Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs) in the sixth round of his most recent fight, which took place July 24 at Wembley Arena in London.
“We didn’t spar for a reason, because it’s such a great fight,” Joyce said regarding the Parker bout. “It’s gonna be made now. It’s almost there. So, I’m just really excited to get the party started and get in there. It’s on. … It’s the best fight out there for either one of us, so let’s get it on.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.