By Keith Idec
Hughie Fury isn’t the only heavyweight in his family Joseph Parker hopes to fight.
Parker told Sky Sports during an interview this week that he would like to face Tyson Fury once the former heavyweight champion has resumed his career. Tyson Fury, Hughie Fury’s cousin, is expected to return to the ring later this year, assuming he can rectify his licensing issue with the British Boxing Board of Control.
“Tyson respects me and I respect him,” Parker said. “We’ve been in contact through social media. He’s the man who beat the champ, so he is the man. And he couldn’t have done it without his team. But for me, I rate Tyson as he’s at [the] top, you know? If no one beats him, then he’ll be the champ that beat the champ. And he deserved it. And I feel like he’s a character who brings a lot of enjoyment and entertainment to the heavyweight division.”
New Zealand’s Parker was able to win the WBO heavyweight title because Tyson Fury surrendered it last year, when his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko was postponed and ultimately canceled because Fury sought treatment for depression, drug abuse and alcoholism. Tyson Fury upset Ukraine’s Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs), who Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) out-boxed to win a unanimous decision and capture the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles in November 2015.
Parker (23-0, 18 KOs) edged American Andy Ruiz (29-1, 19 KOs) by majority decision December 10 to win the then-vacant WBO title in Auckland, New Zealand. The unbeaten champion is in London to watch Hughie Fury take part in an exhibition Saturday night at Copper Box Arena.
The 25-year-old Parker is scheduled to defend his WBO title against Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), his mandatory challenger, on September 23 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The Parker-Fury fight was supposed to take place May 6, but Fury withdrew due to a back injury. Parker instead out-boxed ex-sparring partner Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) in a 12-rounder that night in Manukau City, New Zealand.
“Firstly, I think I have to get past Hughie to be able to look at any other fighter,” Parker said. “But if I do get past Hughie Fury, I would love to fight Tyson. He’s a boxer I look up to and a boxer I would love to test myself against. So yeah, I would love the chance to.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.