Heavyweight title holder Joseph Parker is all set for a top 15 defense in December before the New Zealander embarks on a two-fight mission on UK soil to claim the unified championship of the world.
WBN has been informed that Parker will make his choice from the WBO ratings for a pre-Christmas contest, possibly on home soil or in Japan, before taking on the winner of Tony Bellew’s imminent rematch with David Haye.
Bellew v Haye II is pencilled in for the O2 Arena in December, live on Sky Sports Box Office – in what will effectively be an eliminator for Parker’s coveted strap. The Parker encounter would then take place in March on UK soil, maybe even at the same London venue in Greenwich.
Should Parker come through those two bouts in the next six months, a huge four-belt unification contest with Anthony Joshua lies in wait for the undefeated ruler, currently pencilled in for July at England’s famous Wembley Stadium.
This blueprint would see WBC champion and knockout specialist Deontay Wilder forced to wait until later in 2018 to potentially realise his own dream of adding another crown to his green and gold haul.
‘AJ’ v Wilder is most people’s choice as the biggest top division fight out there, and should Joshua’s mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev go down well in Cardiff this October – as expected, UK fans could see the pair collide at the home of Welsh sport around the same time next year.
Whatever lies ahead, 2018 is set be a huge year for the heavyweights, with Tyson Fury already planning his comeback as the ex-king plots his route to regaining former status.
With Joshua and Parker on their own collision course, Fury may now see Wilder as his best opportunity for future glory, but would need to secure a ranking with the World Boxing Council first and set up a meeting with someone on the WBC ladder at that time.
The likes of Johann Duhaupas, Andy Ruiz, Carlos Takam, Eric Molina and Lucas Browne may be looked upon favourably by Team Fury as Tyson bids to make what would be one of the most remarkable comebacks of the modern era.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay