Former WBO heavyweight king Joseph Parker has added his name to the list of fighters backing Tyson Fury to triumph in the projected heavyweight showdown against Anthony Joshua.

Friendly with both reigning heavyweight title holders, Kiwi Parker admits he shares a closer relationship to Fury, something akin to a brotherhood, after the duo struck up a connection in his WBO championship days.

Parker later lost that WBO crown on the cards to Joshua in March 2018 and remains in regular and cordial contact with ‘AJ’, but the New Zealander feels that Fury’s greater ring acumen will prevail should the two Brits collide for the undisputed heavyweight championship this summer.

“Obviously, we’re close [Joshua and I], there’s a lot of respect between us two. When you share the ring with someone, there’s always gonna be respect. We communicate here and there through Instagram – just, ‘Hey, how’s it going, how’s camp and hope all is well’. But I have a closer relationship with Tyson Fury,” Parker told Talksport.

“He’s always shown me love from the beginning when I came on the scene and he’s always shown me a lot of respect up until now. So him and I talk a lot more than I do with AJ.

“I don’t know if you remember the years of Periscope on Twitter. It was like the live , he’ll go live and we’d show our support and text him. Ever since then we had a lot of respect for each other and we supported him. When I fought his cousin Hughie Fury we were able to meet each other and start a great friendship, a great brotherhood.

“I feel like a little biased, I feel like I give the edge towards Fury just because of the relationship we have. But if I sort of step back and watch – if I wasn’t involved in boxing – I would still think Fury. Just the weapons that he shows coming forward and being able to fight on the back foot.

“But then again, you’ve got a great champion in Joshua. So it’s a good fight and I think everybody’s excited to see it. Hopefully, it’s locked in soon.”

Negotiations continue for the planned two-fight series between unified heavyweight champion Joshua and WBC king Fury with a deal reportedly close to being reached.

Leading heavyweight contender Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) meets Kiwi rival Junior Fa (19-0, 10 KOs) at the Sparks Arena in Auckland this Saturday.