Skip to content
Home » Joshua-Klitschko/Parker-Ruiz semi final format keeps belts together, champ could then face Fury

Joshua-Klitschko/Parker-Ruiz semi final format keeps belts together, champ could then face Fury

Lonergan and Parker flew to the US in a bid to sign off on a clash for the soon-to-be vacant WBO heavyweight title currently in the precarious possession of Tyson Fury, with Andy Ruiz Jr. set to be the opponent.

Parker had been ready to challenge Anthony Joshua as the IBF’s mandatory challenger, although Fury’s misfortune means the WBO number one ranked New Zealander could now battle second in line Ruiz for the vacant belt.

Lonergan is attempting to secure an historic world title fight on home soil for his charge, dependant on the Fury ruling, which could be made at the end of this week should the Briton lose his license to box.

UK promoter Eddie Hearn, on the other hand, is on the cusp of Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko for December 10 and hoping to have all three belts up for grabs.

Unfortunately for Hearn, the rules would allow Parker v Ruiz for the WBO, but that could depend on some sort of compromise that means a returning Fury can be given his chance in the future.

The WBA seem likely to add their strap to Joshua v Klitschko and that’s where Lonergan wants the WBO to follow their own code and give the opportunity to the next two fighters in the ratings.

“Right from the start our intention was to get Joseph in this position, we couldn’t be in a better position,” said Lonergan.

“We’re number one in the WBO, we’re number one in the IBF, we’re mandatory in the IBF. The absolute worst outcome we could get, which is a real positive, is that in March we fight the winner of Joshua v Klitschko.

“How good’s that going to be for a title? The best outcome we can get, is in December and we get Andy Ruiz down here. I’m in ongoing discussions with Bob Arum, I think we’re close.

“Arum’s been 50 years as a promoter, done the world’s biggest fights for 50 years, put the most amount of money through sanctioning fees into the coffers of the WBO, him and Paco (Valcarcel) talk on a regular basis, Paco being the president of the WBO, so we’re going to be using Bob’s relationship to get done what we want to get done.

“What we want to get done is create history, and come down here for the heavyweight championship of the world, in an ideal world, in Auckland City, and show the world just how good we can be.”

In an update to on Wednesday, Lonergan also ruled out agreeing to let Joshua and Klitschko fight for the title, with Parker then challenging Ruiz for some sort of interim or lesser WBO belt.

“We are only doing this for the full WBO title,” he emphasised, with the best case for Lonergan being the two fights having the stipulation of a spring meeting attached.

That means, Joshua v Klitschko and Parker v Ruiz would effectively be a semi-final, with the final taking place in March for the IBF, WBA and WBO versions and the ultimate champion then facing Fury around summer time when back to full fitness.