NEW YORK – Eddie Hearn would like to reschedule the Dereck Chisora-Joseph Parker fight.
That’ll depend, however, on whether Chisora beats the replacement Hearn secures for Parker. The former WBO heavyweight champion withdrew Tuesday from their fight, which was scheduled for October 26 at O2 Arena in London, due to what doctors believe is a virus caused by a spider bite.
Hearn told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday that he expects to have Parker’s replacement under contract by the end of this week. New Zealand’s Parker (26-2, 20 KOs) wanted to reschedule their fight for toward the end of this year, but Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs) is already halfway through training camp and wants to fight October 26.
“Parker’s only gonna be out two or three weeks, where he’s not training and resting, and he’ll be all right to go,” Hearn said following the Gennadiy Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko press conference at Madison Square Garden. “But it’s frustrating because it was a great fight and a lot of people were excited about it. The last 24 hours, it’s been like an audition for the Chisora fight. They’re like, ‘I’ll do it! I’ll do it!’ Because they see Chisora and they think, ‘Oh, he’s beatable.’ And obviously, the money’s good. We’re just working out who it might be to replace him.
“For Parker, I don’t know, because there is a small chance Parker could [fight before] the end of the year. But Chisora wants to fight. So, Joseph’s like, ‘We’ll reschedule.’ And I’m saying, ‘Well, Dereck’s got the option to fight or reschedule.’ And right now, his plans are to fight on October 26th. So, that’s what we’re looking to do, find a suitable opponent. It’s probably a top-15 guy. That’s what we’re looking at.”
Whomever Chisora faces, their bout will be the co-featured fight before the 140-pound title unification battle between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor. New Orleans’ Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) will fight for Prograis’ WBC championship and Taylor’s IBF belt in the final of the World Boxing Super Series’ 140-pound tournament.
Chisora, a London resident raised in Zimbabwe, argued during the official press conference last month to announce that October 26 show that he and Parker should’ve headlined. A Chisora-Parker main event is possible for some time early in 2020, but that’ll depend upon how Chisora fares October 26.
“I do want to reschedule it, but I think Chisora will fight on October 26th,” Hearn said. “If he was to lose, do you want to reschedule it? Maybe, but then it doesn’t become as big a fight. And he will be in a dangerous fight [October 26th]. You know, he was the underdog in that fight [against Parker], and he may be the underdog in the new fight, which he probably will be. It’s just the matter of picking the right guy and getting [it announced] this week.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.