THE day before they stage Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Andy Ruiz Jnr in New York on Saturday (June 1), Matchroom Boxing unveiled a new heavyweight signing – former WBO titlist Joseph Parker.
Interestingly, Parker is a previous opponent of both Joshua and Ruiz. In December 2016, the New Zealander defeated Ruiz on a close majority decision in his home country to secure the vacant WBO crown. Fifteen months later, Parker attempted to unify his belt with Joshua’s WBA and IBF straps, but found himself on the wrong end of a unanimous points loss in Cardiff.
Since losing his title to Joshua, Parker has had two bouts. Ten months ago in London, he dropped a competitive unanimous verdict to top contender Dillian Whyte in what was his third consecutive appearance in the UK. Then in December, the 27-year-old returned to New Zealand to score a third-round KO victory over the outgunned Alexander Flores.