By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn obviously wants Dillian Whyte to beat Joseph Parker on Saturday night.
Hearn’s company, Matchroom Boxing, promotes Whyte and Hearn eventually wants to make a rematch between Whyte and Anthony Joshua. Whyte’s promoter admits, though, that he could see the Parker-Whyte fight going either way at a sold-out O2 Arena in London.
New Zealand’s Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) has returned to the United Kingdom for his first fight since Joshua out-pointed him unanimously in their 12-round heavyweight title unification fight March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Parker also lost the WBO title to Joshua.
Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) knocked Australia’s Lucas Browne unconscious in the sixth round of his last fight, March 24 at O2 Arena.
Parker and Whyte have lost only to Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), the British superstar who owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles.
“Joseph Parker is a softly spoken and likeable man,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “But make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian. This is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in world title action very soon.”
The 30-year-old Whyte has won seven consecutive fights since Joshua stopped him in the seventh round of their December 2015 bout at O2 Arena. The 26-year-old Parker is a slight favorite over Whyte entering their 12-round fight (-140/+110).
“This is a hugely important clash for the heavyweight division that has captured the imagination of the public,” Hearn said. “Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now and his popularity is continuing to grow. Dillian’s brutal KO of Australian Lucas Browne at The O2 in March underlined that prowess at the top level, and now another visitor from Down Under is here to try to halt Dillian’s rise to the top.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.