Not only would a Joseph Parker underdog triumph over Anthony Joshua on March 31 prevent a massive trans-Atlantic collision of power punchers, it would also mean Deontay Wilder would be out of the unification picture until 2019.
Parker’s promoter David Higgins, who recently informed WBN he is unwilling to open any talks with Wilder until April 1, says even then the New Zealander has to commit to a rematch clause with Joshua.
This puts Wilder in a precarious position when he travels to Wales at the end of the month and potentially sees the unlikely scenario of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ cheering Joshua on from ringside.
Should Joshua be on the wrong end of a shock result, Wilder would be sidelined for 2018 on the unification front as Parker plows on with the return defense.
“If Joseph wins, there would likely be a rematch anyway (so we couldn’t face Wilder),” Higgins exclusively told World Boxing News.
Higgins had previously stated he’d be open to speaking with Wilder after the first fight, although his admission on the contract with Joshua wouldn’t make this possible anyway.
“That’s the beauty of the 31st of March, you have got Parker with a granite chin against Joshua, where there are some question marks. So if I was him, I would ease the Wilder negotiations until April 1st,” Higgins told WBN earlier in the week.
“I mean, I won’t start negotiating with Wilder until we beat Joshua – that’s not our style. I’m not sure about the other camp though, as it seems there seems to be public Wilder negotiation going on currently.”
Wilder crushed Luis Ortiz in one of the heavyweight fights of the year on March 3 and has since stated his desire to battle the winner of Joshua v Parker.
But that can only happen is Joshua wins to potentially set-up a huge Pay-Per-View battle in Las Vegas by the end of 2018.
Any result in favor of the WBO title holder would then see Parker v Joshua II happen by October and leave Wilder to follow up his mandatories until at least another year passes.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay