Joseph Parker is in prime position to run the rule over a rematch between Anthony Joshua and current heavyweight ruler Andy Ruiz Jr.
The New Zealander faced both with contrasting results. A wafer-thin decision over Ruiz to claim the WBO belt was followed by the relinquishing of his title to Joshua.
Both bouts went the distance, and Parker admitted he was shocked at the outcome of the June 1 battle in New York.
Ruiz took out Joshua in seven rounds having dropped the Briton four times. Parker also gave his thoughts on an imminent Ruiz v Joshua return.
“Everyone was leaning towards AJ getting an easy victory but we knew what Andy presented and what he brought to the fight, so it wasn’t a surprise to us. But we didn’t know he was going to stop him like that so it was a surprise in that sense,” said Parker.
“We knew he had the ability to put in a great performance like that so congratulations to him and his team.
“I don’t know how the rematch is going to go which is why it’s so exciting and people will look forward to it because we don’t know how it will unfold.
“We’re not sure if AJ is going to come back and look better, box from the outside, or if Andy is going to come and put on more pressure and throw more punches. I am excited to see it again.
“Andy has got the blueprint to beat him. I wouldn’t say exposed him, but you put pressure on, throw punches and combinations and you do your best to land, that’s what Andy did.
“I am a different fighter to Andy, he takes a punch to give a punch whereas I try my best to avoid punches, but he showed that it works and he took some to land a lot more.
One fighter who Parker has cemented a great relationship with is Tyson Fury. The pair enjoyed some nights out in Manchester when Parker defeated Tyson’s cousin Hughie in 2017.
Despite the friendship and time spent together since, Parker won’t rule out a future meeting.
“Tyson and I have a great relationship, he’s kind of like an older brother in the same division as me.
“From the time I was with him in Manchester in September 2017 until now, he’s completely changed physically and mentally, he’s a lot happier.
“You never say never when it comes to fighting anyone.”