JOSEPH PARKER will defend his WBO world heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Hughie Fury on April 1 in Auckland, New Zealand.
The fight went to purse bids earlier today and Parker’s promoters, Duco Events, won with a bid just north of $3m. They will stage the fight in Parker’s home country.
Frank Warren, who was representing Fury in the bids, had hoped to get the fight in Manchester, though unbeaten hughie – cousin of former division ruler Tyson – will have no hesitations about travelling for his chance.
According to the WBO, Warren’s bid came in at $2.8m.
As well as in the UK, the 22-year-old has fought in Canada, American, Romania and Monaco. His last outing came in April 2016 when he beat Fred Kassi on a technical decision in London.
Health problems have hampered his progression, but with those out the way Fury can focus on his shot at Parker, who won the vacant belt against Andy Ruiz in December.
Parker fought five times last year, also earning wins over Jason Bergman, Carlos Takam, Solomon Haumono and Alexander Dimitrenko.
His trainer, Kevin Barry, believes he is on a ‘collision course‘ with IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who he almost faced last year before electing to vie for the WBO title vacated by Tyson Fury.
Parker travelled to Las Vegas on Sunday to begin his training camp with Barry.
“We know it’s a serious challenge, we’ve got a lot of respect for Hughie, he’s a young guy who’s getting better all the time and he will be looking to make a name for himself,” Barry previously told Boxing News.
“Joe winning the title, he was the fourth youngest heavyweight champion of all time but Hughie’s 22, he would leapfrog Joe and Klitschko.
“With what’s going on with Tyson, it gives Hughie a chance to slip out of the shadow.”
Hughie is eager to bring back the title to his fighting family as Tyson continues to prepare himself for a return to the ring some time this year.
Further details of Parker-Fury are expected in the near future.