By Edward Chaykovsky
WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36KOs) has embraced the idea of an April unification with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18KO).
Parker captured the vacant WBO title last month in New Zealand, with a twelve round majority decision over previously undefeated Andy Ruiz. Wilder became champion in January 2015 with a domination of Bermane Stiverne. Since then he's retained the belt four times.
Wilder suffered several injuries in his July knockout of Chris Arreola and required multiple surgeries in the aftermath. He is scheduled to make a voluntary defense of his title on February 25th against Polish contender Andrzej Wawrzyk at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Parker was required to make a mandatory defense against David Haye within 120 days, but the Hayemaker signed on to face WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew on March 4th at the O2 Arena in London.
With Haye already committed to another fight, Parker could be ordered to fight Hughie Fury - but his promoter prefers the unification with Wilder, and a unification would trump a mandatory defense.
"We would consider all options. The other thing is to reach out to Al Haymon's people about Deontay Wilder, potentially seeking to unify all of the belts. My understanding is that if we go to unify, it potentially overrides the mandatory, so that means we have options. We are not scared of anyone, we're not going to look to pad or dodge - we want to unify," Duco Events' director David Higgins told Sky Sports.
Word of Higgin's interest has reached Wilder - and he's fully on board with making that unification happen in April.
"When I heard that I immediately called my people and said if all goes well with this fight I have in February, I have no injuries and my hand is healed and can take 100 percent impact on it as well, then I want that fight (Parker) next," Wilder told 78SPORTSTV
"They are talking about fighting in April and I'd love to come back and fight again in April. At lot of fighters wouldn't do it, come straight back ... but I want to make a great impression in 2017.
"If all goes well with this fight, I wouldn't mind turning right around and coming back and fighting Joseph Parker to unify the division with his WBO belt and my WBC belt, and do it that way. It's easier said than done of course and boxing is a business, there are going to be a lot of rules and regulations for that match to get it to happen. We are going to see what happens, but we are going to take a stab at it. They say they want it, I definitely want it."