It appears that WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) is not going to fight again in 2017.

Parker was slated to make a title defense on a date in December, but his promoter David Higgins told Newshub that it is 'highly unlikely' that Parker will defend his title again in 2017.

There was talk that Parker was going to fight Japanese heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto or former world champion Lucas Browne.

Parker was last seen in action back in September, when he traveled to Manchester to win a twelve round majority decision over undefeated Hughie Fury. It was the second defense for Parker since winning the vacant world title from Andy Ruiz in December 2016.

According to Higgins, there was simply a lack of interest from the television networks.

Parker will now make a voluntary defense of his title in the first quarter of 2018.

"It is highly unlikely now that he will fight in December this year," Higgins told Newshub. "Kevin Barry, Joseph's trainer and I has hoped to put something together for December but we have taken a team decision that it is best we restart next year.

"It's a risk-return business and when you have that world title, because it's so hard to win it, you don't want to take a risk all that unless the money and opportunity is right. We assessed several options and they were good – but there just wasn't enough money on the table and it's not worth risking the belt … we took the decision to look at other opportunities on our terms early next year.

"Joseph was fifty-fifty on fighting again this year – he has a young daughter who's birthday is in December and he wants to attend that. He would have done the job if the right opportunity presented itself but he is also very at piece and looking forward to having a bit of a break."