Joseph Parker underwent elbow surgery as his team attempted to secure a fight with Anthony Joshua, promoter David Higgins has revealed.
Ahead of what were precarious but ultimately successful negotiations with the Londoner at the time, the decision was made to rectify a problem which was blamed for below-par performances prior to March 31.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Higgins explained how the events unfolded.
“We’re pretty transparent, we’ve got nothing to hide, especially given it was so damn successful,” Higgins said.
“We were negotiating while Joseph was having surgery, but now seems like an opportune time to end speculation and front foot the issue.”
Trainer Kevin Barry, who has overseen meticulous preparations, added his input on what he says was the correct procedure.
“I think it was a very important decision for us to make. We’ve had a lot of pain in the last two years, and I believe it has really impinged his performances,” Barry told Sky Sports.
“We have been managing pain in nearly every single training camp, and for us now to go into a camp for the biggest fight of Joe’s career, and have no pain at all, it was a very good move for us getting the surgery.”
Parker remains a massive underdog to end the 20-fight winning streak of Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium as the New Zealander puts his WBO heavyweight title on the line for the second time.
Last time out, Parker defeated Hughie Fury on points, in a less-than-convincing triumph that could now be attributed to the ailment.