Both former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and perennial contender Dereck Chisora are interested in rekindling their rivalry.
The duo were originally scheduled to meet back in October 2019 on the Josh Taylor-Regis Prograis undercard before New Zealand’s Parker withdrew through illness, supposedly triggered by a spider bite on his leg.
Londoner Chisora, who dropped a competitive points decision to WBO No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk last October, claims Parker didn’t fancy the fight first time around, but says a clash with the Kiwi remains very much in his thoughts.
“I’ve made no secret that I want the fight with Parker,” Chisora told Sky Sports. “I signed for the fight, flew to his camp in LA to film only for him to chicken out and claim a spider bite was the reason he couldn’t step in the ring with me.
“The truth is, when sat across the table, looking in my eyes, reality hit, he wasn’t ready for the WAR I bring. If fight fans want it, I’m game. He can come to me this time. This fight happens on my turf.”
Parker is less than a month away from a huge domestic clash against former amateur rival Junior Fa in Auckland on February 27, but should he be successful a Chisora fight retains its appeal, according to manager David Higgins.
“I’ve heard some noises and frankly that is a fight with interest,” Higgins told Sky Sports. “We’d endorse it and there is interest from Parker and our management team would endorse it. There was a lot of talk in the past. The fight was contracted at one point. I think that fight makes sense. They would want to do it in the UK. I would challenge Chisora and [manager] David Haye to come down to New Zealand to do it.
“If not, we’ll still discuss it, but it would be very interesting to see one, whether they are for real, and two, what they have in mind. From the Parker perspective, why waste time? We’d be keen to get that fight up and going in New Zealand or the United Kingdom, in the beginning of June would be feasible I’d think. If you’re interested in the fight, David Haye has my phone number. Joseph Parker’s promoter is Eddie Hearn and Matchroom and they would be on board, too.
“In the past, it was an option that Matchroom were favourable about, so if Chisora and Haye are serious, start some discussions and obviously Joseph has to do the business in February, which is all he’s focused on. But there is no harm in us as management talking about the future now.”
Main image: Matchroom Boxing.