Joseph Parker to announce new opponent Wednesday in NZ, six strong candidates emerge

Phil Jay 25/04/2017

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has called a press conference for Wednesday at 2pm (New Zealand time) where the fighter will reveal who he’ll face on May 6.

Parker was due to battle Hughie Fury in a mandatory defense of his belt early next month, although the Briton pulled out with an injury this week and left the title holder in search of a ranked foe to fill in.

The 27 year-old’s team at Duco Boxing have now informed WBN their search has been successful and they intend to make the announcement public ahead of the Auckland encounter.

Plenty of potential suitors have been in contact with Parker since Fury dropped out of the running, with even Tyson Fury jokingly offering to step in at 26 stone and take the fight.

More realistically would be American Dominic Breazeale who made it clear on social media he wants the fight last Sunday and all since then has gone quiet.

Australian Lucas Browne also threw his hat into the ring, but without a ranking with the WBO, ‘Big Daddy’ faces an uphill battle to persuade President Paco Valcarcel to let him have a title shot at late notice.

Other options for Parker would be Andriy Rudenko, who hasn’t fought since December, Andrey Fedosov, out since last June, Agit Kabayel, who was in action two months ago or Razvan Cojanu, another without a contest since late 2016.

Kyotaro Fujimoto may also be a strong consideration as he’s due to fight Herman Ene-Purcell on May 8 and is already in full training for the same week.

Current WBO Top 15 ratings:

1 Hughie Fury (Int-Cont.) UK
2 Christian Hammer (WBO Europe) GER
3 Jarrell Miller (NABO) USA
4 Andy Ruiz USA
5 Kubrat Pulev BUL
6 Dominic Breazeale USA
7 Dillian Whyte JAM
8 Tom Schwarz (WBO Youth) GER
9 Andriy Rudenko UKR
10 Luis Ortiz CUB
11 Andrey Fedosov USA
12 Agit Kabayel GER
13 Kyotaro Fujimoto JPN
14 Razvan Cojanu ROM
15 Zhilei Zhang (Oriental) CHN