Joseph Parker has targeted a rematch with Anthony Joshua after signing on for a UK collision with top-rated contender Dillian Whyte on July 28.
The pair collide at London’s O2 Arena just months after Parker lost his WBO belt to Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality stadium.
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.
“It’s the people’s eliminator. Whyte shook up Joshua and Parker is the first man to take him the distance. There’s no doubt the winner should move into a mandatory challenger spot.
“Dillian’s a good fighter who takes chances. He’s incredibly dangerous. We saw that with the way he KO’d Lucas Browne. Joseph will have to deal with a physical and verbal onslaught – but he’s well and truly up for the challenge.
“He’s coming off what is probably the second biggest pay-per-view event in European history and has already earned respect from the British public.
“His goal is to shut Whyte up by knocking him out and then get a rematch with Joshua – with a different referee,” he added.
Despite Joshua being the main end goal for both fighters, the current heavyweight king is set to be tied up to a double-header with Deontay Wilder for the next twelve months.
Mandatories against Alexander Povetkin and Dominic Breazeale will then be long overdue for the winner of Joshua v Wilder and could see Parker or Whyte disappointed unless they can win a final eliminator themselves in the meantime.
Whyte passed up similar chances with both the WBC and IBF, a move which could end up being detrimental to the Londoner’s long-awaited championship hopes unless the future undisputed ruler is willing to drop one of his belts after finally unifying them all.