By Charles Brun: Unbeaten #1 ranked WBO heavyweight contender Joe Joyce is interested in facing #2 Joseph Parker next for a fight that could take place in London at the O2 Arena.
Joyce’s management has reached out to Parker’s promoter David Higgins about putting a fight on between the two highly ranked WBO contenders.
For Parker to have a chance of beating the 6’6″ Joyce, he’s got to fight with more aggression than what he showed in his two matches against journeyman Dereck Chisora recently.
The lack of a killer instinct for Parker made those two fights against Chisora harder than they should have been.
Parker, 30, has other targets that his management is targeting in the United States against Andy Ruiz Jr, Luis Ortiz, Deontay Wilder, or Michael Hunter. Team Parker wants to turn Parker into a big name in the U.S, similar to Tyson Fury, who has fought his last five fights in the States since 2018.
‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) wants to return to the ring soon, as he’s been sitting inactive since last July when he stopped 41-year-old former world title challenger Carlos Takam in the sixth round at the Wembley Arena.
Former WBO heavyweight champion Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) last fought on December 18th when he defeated British journeyman Dereck Chisora by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Manchester, England.
Despite the fight appearing to be one-sided, the judges scored it surprisingly close by the scores: 114-112, 115-111, and 115-110.
The victory for New Zealand’s Parker was his sixth straight since getting beaten in consecutive fights against Dillian Whyte in 2018 in the UK.
Parker’s loss to Joshua was an odd one in which he was able to get to AJ due to the referee Giuseppe Quartarone pulling him away each time he would get in punching range. It was a strange one to watch, as it appeared that Parker was fighting two people inside the ring that night. Joshua and the referee.
In Parker’s loss to Whyte, he was roughed up the entire fight and looked like Dillian got away with murder.
“A possible opponent is Joe Joyce,” said Parker’s manager Higgins to Sky Sports.
“The Joyce team have reached out to us and said they’re going to make a written offer. Both sides have talked about May timing, so we’ll see what that offer looks like.”
“If we don’t think their offer stacks up, then I’ll counter offer them more, and we’ll control promoting it. Or co-promote with a third party.
“I think Joseph Parker would win because I think he’s looking better fight by fight. He’ll make reasonable work of Joyce and put him away. The winner could be mandatory for WBO,” said Higgins.
It’s a risky fight for the 36-year-old ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce to take, given his long layoff. You can’t count Joyce’s win over Takam as actual ring activity because that guy is so old and nowhere near the level of the top heavyweights in the division.
“I’m in the United States at the moment, and Joseph Parker has signaled he’d like to do what Tyson Fury has done and go to America and beat Americans,” said Higgins. “Not many British have done that.”
It’s not realistic for Parker to try and duplicate what Fury has done in winning over America with his fighting in that country. Firstly, Parker isn’t a massive heavyweight at 6’3″, and he doesn’t dominate the way Fury does.
Until last year, Parker has been fighting once a year, wasting his time against lesser fighters. In 2021, Parker fought three times, beating Chisora twice and Junior Fa.
While those are decent second-tier heavyweights, they’re world-level fighters, and at this point in Parker’s career, he needs to be fighting only highly ranked contenders instead of journeymen.
“Joseph has said he’ll fight any of the big-name and high-ranked Americans from Deontay Wilder to Andy Ruiz to Luis Ortiz to Michael Hunter, any of them we would look at,” said Higgins.