Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has some local business to take care of when he meets old amateur rival and fellow Kiwi Junior Fa at the Spark Arena in Auckland on February 27, but beyond that is targeting Joe Joyce and Oleksandr Usyk as he seeks to return to the summit of the division.
Parker (27-2, 22 KOs) lost his WBO crown to Anthony Joshua on the cards in a unification clash back in March 2018, but has since struggled to gain a foothold in a division gripped by boxing politics and stagnated by the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.
Currently the WBO’s No.3 contender, Parker hopes a victory over the unbeaten Fa (19-0, 10 KOs) can propel him into a showdown with either Joe Joyce (rated No.2) or Oleksandr Usyk (No.1) who are set to contest the WBO Interim belt with unified champion Joshua and WBC king Tyson Fury closing in on an undisputed heavyweight title clash.
“My gut tells me it could possibly be Usyk or Joyce. My gut tells me when we get through this fight then it’s just a matter of getting the biggest fights. Usyk has really good movement and ring IQ, but If the opportunity arose I’d take that fight with both hands. With the movement and speed that I have I’d beat him, I’d be too much for him,” Parker told Marc Gatford of Mybettingsites.co.uk.
“Get through Junior Fa and I’d love the opportunity to fight Joe Joyce. He put on a great performance against Daniel Dubois; he showed good movement, good jab, lots of improvements and it would be a great fight.
“I need guys like Joe Joyce, Oleksandr Usyk. I need guys like Dillian Whyte. There’s still a possibility we can fight Dereck Chisora. He’s coming off a loss but his career has been revived. I’ll fight anyone, I’ll fly to the UK or the US, or wherever when it’s safe to do so to get back to the top,” added Parker.