By George Heagney
British boxer Anthony Joshua's big win over Charles Martin is just what Joseph Parker's camp were after and has set the Kiwi heavyweight up for a "mega fight".
Duco Events owner David Higgins was in London to watch Joshua's second-round demolition of Martin on Saturday, which, provided Parker beats Cameroonian-born Frenchman Carlos Takam next month, will set Parker for a world heavyweight title fight.
Joshua was the man Higgins and the rest of Parker's team wanted to win, rather than the American Martin.
"[Joshua is] orthodox, he's a right-hander and in my opinion he looked great," Higgins said from London. "That will build his legend in the UK.
"The public and the media will talk him up like he's the next Lennox Lewis."
Watching on from Las Vegas with trainer Kevin Barry, Parker congratulated Joshua on a "powerful and dominating performance".
But he believed Martin was overawed by the occasion.
"I think the size of the event got to him and he didn't really show up," Parker said. "It just shows the importance of being mentally prepared for a big event like this."
Parker's bout against Takam is an IBF heavyweight eliminator fight.
Higgins said Saturday's result sets them up for a mega fight between Parker and Joshua.
"We're now down to the wire. Joseph wins on May 21 and we're guaranteed a world title shot for the IBF world heavyweight title.
"It could be Joshua, it could be [Tyson] Fury, it could be [Wladimir] Klitschko."
?There are other permutations for Parker's fight, which will depend on, first Parker beating Takam, then who wins out of Fury and Klitschko, then if Fury and Joshua end up fighting.
Klitschko and Fury have just had their rematch confirmed for July 9 in Manchester, after Fury beat Klitschko in Germany in November.
Higgins picked Klitschko to come back embarrassed from that loss and beat Fury this time.
"If that's the case Joshua fights Klitschko. We can't worry about that.
"The important thing for Team Parker is beating Takam."
Higgins said Joshua looked like a bodybuilder and slower than Parker, whose hand speed is one of his strengths.
Fighting Martin would mean a bout in the lucrative United States market, but Higgins believed fighting in England would be the better option.
It was one market in England, compared with multiple TV networks in the United States, Higgins said.
Barry echoed Higgins' feeling that they wanted to see Joshua win rather than Martin.
"What it will come down to is two big guys, both with a lot of power, so it will be how they control their emotions," Barry said. "The big thing about Anthony Joshua is he's been fighting under pressure since his Olympic gold medal [in 2012].
"There's huge expectation."
Barry said Parker had been under the same scrutiny when he first started out, but for a young man he has handled it well.
He believed Martin had been a deer in the headlights in front of 20,000 screaming Brits.
Barry praised Joshua and said he was more composed than in his last fight against Dylan White.
"There's no secret about Anthony Joshua," Barry said. "He's had 16 fights for 16 knockout punches.
"He's a very, very hard puncher and we've known that for a long time. If you're going to stand there right on the end of his punches you've got to have a good chin or you're going to get hurt."
But Higgins and Barry weren't worried about Parker facing Joshua, despite his powerful win over Martin.
The Englishman, though, had a warning of his own for Team Parker ahead of the Takam bout.
Speaking after his victory, Joshua admitted he doesn't know a great deal about the South Aucklander's next opponent.
But based on what he has heard, Parker should be prepared for a long night at the office.
"I know when certain people have sparred Takam they've said that that guy is strong and that he can take a beating."