Sure thing: Joseph Parker welcomes possible bout with title-chasing Joe Joyce

Joseph Parker survives knockdown, beats Dereck Chisora by split decision - The Ring

With both men insistent on making big fights and an aim to eventually earn a heavyweight title shot, former WBO champion Joseph Parker is prepared to face Joe Joyce, per recent comments by his manager David Higgins. If they could agree terms, this would matchup #2 and #3 in the rankings for Anthony Joshua’s WBO belt, which he defends vs. Oleksandr Usyk later this month.

makes sense: Joyce, Parker both keen to only make big fights

Joe Joyce reviews Takam victory, weighs in on Joshua-Usyk showdown - The Ring
Joyce celebrates after his sixth-round TKO victory over former title challenger Carlos Takam in July
  • Parker’s manager, David Higgins, wants the former champion to face the very best
  • “They are welcome to contact me, sure thing, we would fight Joyce,” he said
  • Joyce’s manager, Sam Jones, named Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz as other potential foes

Cast your mind back a few weeks, to my Joe Joyce piece after his latest win – a shaky but important one – over French veteran and former title challenger Carlos Takam. It was titled time is of the essence and after recent comments, his team should be on the phone immediately.

Confirmation of the AJ-Usyk date, September 25, means Joyce will be upgraded to #1 by the WBO once that heavyweight title showdown takes place in north London later this month.

READ: Time to trim – Anthony Joshua preparing for Oleksandr Usyk’s movement

Despite derailing the Daniel Dubois hype train, DDD has recovered from the broken left orbital bone and nerve damage suffered last November and already been more active than Joyce since.

Joe celebrates his 36th birthday on September 19 – two-and-a-half weeks – and he doesn’t have time to wait, biding time for potential high-level opponents to emerge calling his name.

As such, Higgins’ recent comments should be treated with action after the New Zealander said Parker is willing to fight him. After all, they’re still awaiting an offer to rematch Derek Chisora (32-11, 23 KOs) and time is running out. Parker won their first matchup via split decision in May.

“I think it’s a good time to be ranked no. 3 with the WBO, the key is to keep busy and winning. After a relatively uncertain period in the division, if you’re up there, then the next year or two could be quite good.

Places could shuffle around and a world title fight might come up for those there at the right time. Yes, sure thing. They are welcome to contact me. Yes, we would fight Joe Joyce.”

  • Higgins on the heavyweight landscape, challenging Joyce’s team to make an offer

Sam Jones meanwhile, was bullish about Joyce’s future opponents and said this:

“Nobody will be excited to fight Joe but, unfortunately for them, he’s ranked at no. 1 so somebody will have to fight him. Joseph Parker is a great fight – if it presents itself, we’d take it in a heartbeat.

Andy Ruiz Jr, Luis Ortiz. It’s a real possibility, Joe is game for either of those. We are looking forward to making big fights now, that’s what we’ll get.”

Well, what are you waiting for? As I discussed Joyce’s next fight options at the time:

“Why not step it up a notch? Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz aren’t booked, neither is Parker – who is conveniently #3 in the WBO and has spoken of a desire to return to world title contention.

Joyce gets to justify his standing as a top heavyweight, while facing his toughest test yet – best resume, a former world titlist, who has previously fought both Joshua and Dillian Whyte.”

It makes too much sense not to negotiate and soon, even if that means bypassing a Chisora rematch – high-risk and doesn’t help Parker get any closer to a title shot, especially after watching how he has laboured in recent bouts since losing to the aforementioned pair in 2018.

Picture source: RingTV, DAZN

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