Joseph Parker is set to fight Andy Ruiz Jr. for the open WBO belt in Auckland, after seeing his mandatory match-up with Anthony Joshua come to nothing as the Londoner’s promoter Eddie Hearn initiated title defence talks with Wladimir Klitschko.
Both men have different trajectories for their upcoming fights, with Joshua expected to face Klitschko in the spring for the WBA super title and either Parker or Ruiz Jr. will be lined up to defend against British heavyweight David Haye.
Despite their conflicting schedules, Parker’s promoter Dean Lonergan is confident of a match up next summer.
“Joseph will take real fights, but the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua would be nothing short of magnificent for the heavyweight division – two of the young lions coming through. That would be a monstrous fight," he said.
Lonergan is convinced Joshua will see come out of his fight with Klitschko victorious, leading the way to an unavoidable, titanic fight with Parker next year.
“Obviously Joshua is booked to fight Wladimir Klitschko, which I think he wins and wins it well," he predicted.
"Maybe in June-July both fighters can head towards a massive fight at Wembley.”
Not content with only setting his boxer’s sights on WBO glory, Lonergan insists if Parker can deal with Ruiz Jr. then the mandatory fight with Haye will be something of a warm-up for the real deal when the 24-year-old will finally be able to take on the unbeaten Londoner.
“My understanding is he is the mandatory," he said.
"Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz will fight for the heavyweight world title for the WBO, and the winner will face David Haye.
“If Joseph Parker can get through Andy Ruiz, he will blast past David Haye in two or three rounds. For that reason alone, David Haye has no chance of fighting Joseph Parker. Should Joseph Parker defeat Andy Ruiz, we would love that fight.”
So while rivalries run high, and potential big name clashes are drooled over by their eager promoters, Parker needs to make sure he remains composed enough to deal with the threat of Ruiz Jr. if he is to get his highly-anticipated match-up with the enigmatic Joshua.
No doubt that would be a fight few would want to miss.
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