By Keith Idec
Joseph Parker prefaces practically everything he says about possibly boxing Anthony Joshua by noting that he isn’t looking past Hughie Fury.
The mandatory challenger for his WBO heavyweight title doesn’t believe him.
Fury figures Parker expects that, compared to a fight against Joshua, their battle will be relatively easy. The 6-feet-6, 230-pound Fury will challenge the 6-feet-4, 245-pound Parker on Saturday night in Manchester, England, Fury’s hometown.
“Parker is obviously overlooking me,” Fury told London’s Daily Mirror. “That’s the worst thing he could ever do and he will see that September 23.”
The undefeated Fury, a cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, admits he has been bothered by talk of a heavyweight title unification fight between England’s Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) and New Zealand’s Parker (23-0, 18 KOs). Joshua also has a fight scheduled – a mandatory defense of his IBF title against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (25-0, 13 KOs) on October 28 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
“Eddie Hearn is a cockroach,” Fury said, referring to Joshua’s promoter. “I hope Parker is well prepared, that’s for sure. I’ve had the best camp in my life and it will bring the best out of me.”
Parker is listed by most Internet sports books as a slight favorite over Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), even though he’ll face Fury in his opponent’s hometown.
“Being the underdog doesn’t really bother me,” Fury said. “I feel like the champion anyway, so it’s a matter of time. I will prove that.
“I’m not going to give anything away, but it’s going to be an exciting fight – the fight of his life. It’s going to be a complete war.”
The Parker-Fury fight was supposed to take place May 6 in Auckland, New Zealand, but Fury withdrew on short notice due to a back injury. Parker out-boxed Fury’s replacement, former sparring partner Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs), on his way to winning a 12-round unanimous decision that night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.