24
Jun
2019

WBO consider four-man tournament: Parker, Ruiz, Haye, Hughie in the mix

Phil Jay 14/10/2016

Duco / Mikey Williams

WBO President Paco Valcarcel has thrown a spanner into the works of a proposed fight between New Zealander Joseph Parker and American Andy Ruiz Jr.

Number one rated Parker and third placed Ruiz (Wladimir Klitschko being at two but unavailable due to talks to face Anthony Joshua) began talks this week in the USA as both assumed they’d have first refusal on a fight for the vacant WBO heavyweight title recently relinquished by troubled Tyson Fury.

Promoters Dean Lonergan and Bob Arum have detailed amicable talks for the contest in late 2016 or early next year, which would then be put forward for the strap left behind by the now former champion.

That plan may now face uncertainty following information relayed on Thursday by Valcarcel who intends to wait until the upcoming WBO Convention next month before making a decision on the title.

A four-man tournament could be the avenue the governing body go down, which would then bring number four and five ranked Brits David Haye and Hughie Fury into the equation.

The quartet will have a big decision to make should the WBO confirm the plans in the coming weeks, although negotiations between Parker and Ruiz would leave Haye and Hughie Fury with little option but to face each other.

Haye has famously burned his bridges with the Fury’s after pulling out of two fights with Tyson a few years ago, leaving a contest between the two highly-doubtful and may open the door for six and seven rated Jarrell Miller and Michael Wallisch to be considered.

It could take some convincing for Arum and Lonergan to get the WBO to agree that the top two contenders should only be considered for the belt, although more will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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