Explosive heavyweights Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte and Joseph Parker will collide head on at The O2 in London on July 28 (July 29 NZ) in a bout that is sure to be seen as a ‘people’s eliminator’ for a rematch with WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Whyte, who famously staggered Joshua with a crashing left hook in a 2015 British Heavyweight Title bout, has vowed to do what Joshua couldn’t and KO recently dethroned WBO champion Parker – a result which would bolster the 23-1 slugger’s already compelling case for a rematch with his only conqueror.
Parker, too, is viewing what shapes as another blockbuster on UK soil as a stepping stone back to Joshua – and chance to pick up where the pair left off in April after 12 rugged rounds that ended with the Kiwi surrendering his WBO title.
Whyte has already come out swinging in the pre-match jousting, questioning Parker’s bravery in what he viewed as an overly defensive display against Joshua.
“There’s going to be blood, pain and a knockout. I’m bang up for this,” Whyte said.
Parker, whose 24-1 (18 KO) record closely mirrors Whyte’s, laughed off Whyte’s barb, insisting he was looking forward to taking on an opponent who wouldn’t hide behind his jab all night.
“We’ve both been in with AJ. One of us ended the fight on our feet, the other didn’t. That pretty much speaks for itself,” said Parker – the only fighter to so far take Joshua the full distance.
Parker’s promoter David Higgins of Duco Events predicted the fight would be the most compelling heavyweight contest of the year – and would be viewed by boxing fans the world over as an unofficial eliminator for a rematch with Joshua.
“This a proper 50-50 fight,” Higgins said. “It could go either way. That makes it the most interesting heavyweight fight this year.”
Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn paid tribute to both fighters for taking on a huge challenge.
“We are planning a big night and a huge card at The O2 on July 28 and I really do take my hat off to Dillian and Joseph for taking on this challenge.”