Joseph Parker has been among one of the top heavyweight contenders in boxing for better parts of the last half-decade. 

Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) held the WBO heavyweight title from 2016 when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr. all the way to 2018 when he lost a decision to Anthony Joshua.

After suffering his first career loss to Joshua, Parker didn’t fare much better the following time out, losing a decision to Dillian Whyte as well. 

Parker has rebounded in recent years, however, most recently with back-to-back wins against rugged challenger Derek Chisora, and now, the 30-year-old is ready for another breakthrough when he takes on Joe Joyce (14-0, 13 KOs) on Sept. 24 at the Manchester Arena in the United Kingdon. 

“It’s the first press conference I’ve been involved in that’s quite fiery. Usually, it’s quite calm, and everyone is respectful, but because this fight has taken so much time to make, there’s a lot of frustrations in the air,” Parker told talkSPORT. 

“I back myself 100% going into this fight. I’m going to have a great camp. How am I going to beat Joe Joyce? I’m going to break him down. They said, ‘what if you land a punch that doesn’t affect him?’ I said, ‘listen, even if it takes one or 10, I’m going to break him down to the body and head and get him out of there.’ There are plans for him to get me out of there as well, but we’ve both very durable with good chins.

“I think I have a very good engine as well. So I’m very excited about this challenge. I see it as a big challenge. He’s a great fighter and has achieved a lot of things with a good amateur pedigree behind him, but I’m still here. I’m going to give it everything I have, and I believe I belong at the top.”

Parker’s promises will be tough to follow in what appears to be a coin-flip fight on paper. 

Joyce has looked solid over his last three bouts dating back to November 2020, as the 36-year-old has knocked out Daniel Dubois, Carlos Takam, and Christian Hammer. 

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce also has wins over Bermane Stiverne and Bryant Jennings. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on