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Joseph Parker: I Have 'A Lot of Options' Other Than Joshua, Wilder

By Keith Idec

Joseph Parker has drawn his financial line in the sand with Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua.

The unbeaten WBO champion won’t accept anything less than a 65-35 split for a heavyweight title unification fight against the British superstar. His handlers are pushing for a 60-40 split to secure a Parker-Joshua fight for either March or April.

New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) told London’s Daily Mail that while he wants to prove himself against Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), he’ll happily turn to WBC champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) or another opponent if he isn’t satisfied financially with the deal Hearn offers for a Joshua fight.

joseph-parker_18

“If it was about the money, I wouldn’t have been calling out AJ two years ago or a year ago,” Parker told the Daily Mail for a story posted to its website Friday. “I was calling him out and wanted to fight him then, even at that stage, even when it wasn’t worth a lot of money. But I’ve always wanted to test myself. I don’t mind fighting Wilder. If his team came and said, ‘We have a good offer for you,’ and it was a good offer that we’re all happy with, then maybe we’ll go down that route.

“I just want to fight the best out there and I think, respectfully, AJ is one of the best and Wilder is one of the best because they’re both champions. So I’d like to test myself against the best champions. … But there is Tony Bellew, Lucas Browne. There are a lot of options out there.”

England’s Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) first would need to defeat David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) in their rematch, scheduled for December 17 at O2 Arena in London. Australia’s Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) doesn’t have a fight scheduled.

From a financial standpoint, facing Joshua makes the most sense for the 25-year-old Parker. He wasn’t impressive in beating England’s Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) by majority decision in a mandatory defense of his title September 23 in Manchester, England, and would risk losing for a lot less money if he doesn’t fight Joshua next.

David Higgins, Parker’s promoter, has been vocal about Hearn’s initial offer being too low for a Joshua-Parker fight. He went as far as to call it an “insult.”

“Forty percent is what we think is a good deal,” Parker said. “That’s what our target is, but they’re not on the same page as us in terms of making 60-40. So anything below 35 percent wouldn’t be a go-ahead for us. We’re looking at fighting in March or April. If they’re keen to fight [then], we’re very keen to fight. It’s time that all the heavyweight champions unified, so we can see who the best in the world is.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by GhostofDempsey on 11-18-2017

So long as he keeps pricing himself out with demands of 40% he will have to explore other options. I would like to see Parker vs Ortiz or Whyte. He can beat Miller easily and likely dominate winner of Bellew/Haye.

Comment by BostonGuy on 11-18-2017

Parker should play the 'long game' or, at least, the 'mid game.' What I mean is: he should milk the (WBO) title and defend it a few times, like Wilder has done. Parker still is developing as a fighter and…

Comment by Karoriori on 11-18-2017

[QUOTE=sportbuddha;18219009]Yes he can fight anyone and they’ll all pay peanuts compared to a match up with AJ. If he calls out Whyte just once, Hearn will have it signed and sealed in a heartbeat and the bad news for Joe…

Comment by Elroy The Great on 11-18-2017

ok then, jp. go get it, then.

Comment by ScottWeiland on 11-18-2017

[QUOTE=AdonisCreed;18218141]He better accept whatever terms Joshua or wilder give him because he is on borrowed time with that belt. If and when he gets beat he'll wish he had accepted the fight with AJ when he had the chance!![/QUOTE] Or…

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