Former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has targeted a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. following his latest win over Alex Leapai.
Parker landed the vacant WBO title against Ruiz Jr. via a wafer-thin decision at Spark Arena, Auckland in December 2016.
Ruiz, whose recent stunning win over Anthony Joshua in New York has thrown the division wide open, was handed the verdict on the WBN Scorecard.
Despite the 113-115 scoring for the Mexican-American, no other judges in Parker’s home country gave the bout to Ruiz.
Now, Parker is keen for the pair to meet again. The Kiwi was in the Big Apple on June 1st to witness Ruiz v Joshua after signing a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and Eddie Hearn.
The 27 year old had warned former opponent Joshua that Ruiz was a real threat to the unbeaten Briton’s World reign.
With Ruiz and Joshua set to meet in a rematch later in the year, plus another old foe Dillian Whyte meets Oscar Rivas in another blockbuster clash in England’s capital in a month’s time.
WBC king Deontay Wilder and former World champion Tyson Fury likely to clash in rematch in 2020, so Parker knows his win over Leapai puts him back in the mix.
“Right now, I will sit down with my team and Eddie. I want to take any fight that comes my way and I really want to stay busy,” said Parker.
“I would fight Andy Ruiz, I know that he thinks he won that fight. Big ups to him for winning his fight against AJ but if he wanted to settle his score, I’d do it.
“The only way to settle the score (of the judging) is to fight again. But I will fight any top fighter as I want to fight for World titles again. I know where I am and that I need to climb to the top again.
“Andy’s got a great chin and so do I. We’re different fighters from 2016. He’s improved dramatically and we saw that in the performance. I’m a lot better than I was when we first fought back then.”
It could be a long wait for Parker as Ruiz has plenty of interest and potential suitors.
Another bout is likely to take place for Parker in the fall before a bigger step up at the back end of 2019 or early 2020.