HAD he been given a bit more preparation time, Joseph Parker may well have shared a ring with Dereck Chisora on April 20 in London.
As it happened, though, he didn’t get much at all – at least not to his liking – and lessons learned from a prior defeat to Dillian Whyte have meant the New Zealander has decided against returning to England for his third fight there in the space of 13 months.
“I saw comments by Dereck Chisora’s manager or promoter David Haye basically saying that our reasons for pulling the pin are trivial,” David Higgins, Parker’s promoter, told Sky Sports.
“That totally undermines the historical reality. We ran a short camp for Whyte, and we weren’t quite happy with the length, and we learned from that.
“Joseph Parker has shown he is willing to fight anyone, anywhere, any time on the right deal, but the terms have to be fair. No, Haye disregards those facts.
“I think they thought they could get an unfair advantage again by leaving Joe with a jet-lagged, short camp. That’s not going to happen on my watch. The message to British boxing is – fight fair.
“Dereck Chisora should give Joseph a fair and decent camp. We’ll fight Chisora anywhere, any time, but we want at least a nine or 10-week camp, and fair terms.”
Sounds reasonable enough. Parker, after all, is in a difficult spot right now, having lost to both Whyte and Anthony Joshua in 2018, and eager to get back in the mix for titles. His next step needs to be the right one. It cannot be rushed.
That said, the amiable 27-year-old did endear himself to British fans over the course of his two trips in 2018 and it’s likely we will see him box on these shores again in the future. As for the opponent, that’s anyone’s guess, but if it isn’t Chisora in April, perhaps it will be Tyson Fury, the self-proclaimed lineal heavyweight champion, in the summer time.
“When people talk about Joseph Parker fighting Tyson Fury, obviously there’s going to be public interest, because of the family connection with Joseph’s victory over Hughie Fury,” said Higgins. “It’s currently Parker one, Fury nil.
“If the terms were right, we’ll go maybe to America or even to England to fight Tyson Fury.
“We won’t chase after them; they hold the cards with Tyson Fury. But if they’re serious, they are welcome to communicate, and we would look at that opportunity too.”
Fury fighting Parker after his exploits against Deontay Wilder in December 2018 would be the mother of all comedowns, admittedly. It would be both needless and disappointing.
However, given the Parker vs. Fury story-line, and the dwindling chances of Wilder vs. Fury II coming next, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that JP suddenly becomes the ideal kind of opponent for Fury’s debut on ESPN.
Cruiserweight fans in Riga, Latvia will get two for the price of one when they show up at the Arena Riga on June 15 to watch Mairis Briedis fight Krzysztof Glowacki in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final.
Acting as chief-support that night will be the other cruiserweight semi-final between Cuban Yunier Dorticos, 23-1 (21), and American Andrew Tabiti, 17-0 (13), making the show, titled Judgement Day, quite the one-two.
“It’s an honour and I’m extremely excited to fight in Riga, it’s a beautiful country with amazing people and culture,” said Dorticos, the tournament’s number two seed. “My game plan will be simple: Tabiti will learn why I’m called the ‘KO Doctor’. A doctor can operate at any level. It can be a quick procedure or a prolonged procedure. Regardless, it will be very painful for Tabiti.
“I can’t wait for the bell to ring because he’s an obstacle into the final and I will run him over like a train. I will win the semi-finals at all cost.
“I will showcase why I’m the best and most exciting cruiserweight in the world to watch. To all the fans all over the world, and to all the fans in Riga, you can expect the best version of ‘The KO Doctor’. I’m bringing the fireworks and it will be a historic night in Riga!”
To reach the semi-final, Dorticos won a tough 12-round unanimous decision over Germany’s Mateusz Masternak in his quarter-final, while Tabiti did something similar against Russia’s Ruslan Fayfer.
“I’m looking forward to this fight in Riga,” said Tabiti, part of Floyd Mayweather’s promotional stable. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to prove I’m one of the best out there in my division since the beginning of my career. I believe this is the fight where I’ll show the world that I’m world champion material. My discipline and patience along with my boxing IQ make me confident that I will get the victory over Dorticos.”
June 15 marks the third time the World Boxing Super Series has travelled to Riga, following on from season one fights between Mairis Briedis and Mike Perez and Oleksandr Usyk and Mairis Briedis. It’s an unlikely fight location, but Mairis Briedis, their local hero, is doing something to change that.