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Joseph Parker vs. David Price possible for April 8

By Jeff Aranow: #8 WBO David Price (21-3, 18 KOs) is being talked about as the WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s opponent for his maiden defense of his title April 8. In addition to the 33-year-old Price, unbeaten #6 WBO,#8 WBA, #9 IBF, #12 WBC Jarrell Miller is also under consideration by the promoters of the 24-year-old Parker. Parker reportedly would potentially take the fight with Price in the UK rather than in his home country of New Zealand.

Price would be a strange pick for the 6’4” Parker to be defending his WBO title against, because it was just several fights ago that Price was knocked out in the 2nd round by Erkan Teper in July 2015.

That was supposed to have been an easy fight for Price against a German domestic level heavyweight, but instead the fight saw Teper knocking Price out with ease and leaving him on his back in the 2nd round with his head partially threw the ring ropes in the corner.

Parker is promoted by Duco Events and co-promoted by Top Rank. Which opponent Parker winds up fighting will come down to the promoters agreeing on someone. It would seem that Price would be the far easier of the two options for Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) to fight.

Price has had problems with his punch resistance during his career, and there would be a good possibility that he would fold quickly under the big power shots from Parker if he chose to fight aggressively. That’s a big if though, because Parker was not aggressive in his close and some would say controversial 12 round majority decision win over the Top Rank promoted Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-1, 19 KOs) in their fight this month on December 10 for the vacant World Boxing Organization heavyweight title at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Parker was very passive in the fight, and outworked and out-landed in virtually every round of the fight. Parker appeared to lost the vast majority of the rounds in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. However, the judges gave Parker the decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114. Parker was fighting in his native country of New Zealand.

Craig Stanaway, Director of talent relations at Duco Events, said this to skysports.com about Parker’s Aril 8 defense of his title:

“We are working with Bob Arum and are looking at a number of options,” said Stanaway. “David Price is a favored option as Joseph Parker is keen to fight in the UK.”

Price can still punch as well as he always did. He would be a threat to Parker if he could get to him in the first half of the fight before he gets comfortable. Parker didn’t get his own offense started against Ruiz Jr. until the second half of their fight this month. Even then, Parker landed very little in the fight. It was Ruiz Jr. getting the better of Parker with his faster hands in almost all the exchanges in the fight.

The scoring made very little sense, because it showed a different fight than the one that took place. Parker looked and fought like a novice the entire 12 rounds. It was hard to believe he was fighting for a world title looking as green as he was. Parker showed good power and boxing ability, but he wasn’t pressuring the action and he wasn’t able to land many of his shots. His jab was useless against Ruiz. It wasn’t landing.

“Would love to fight Joe Parker in his 1st defence of @WorldBoxingOrg title hope it happens,” said David Price on his Twitter.

Price has won his last two fights since his loss to Teper in beating Vaclaj Pejsar (9-2) and Ivica Perkovic (22-30). Those are not considered good heavyweights. The WBO has given Price a high ranking based off those wins. Has Price improved since his loss to Teper? That’s the big question.

Price has never looked all that bad other than his chin problems. He’ll do well in fights and then get nailed or get tired, as we saw in his second fight against Tony Thompson. Parker isn’t a pressure fighter though, so it’s possible that Price could do well against him if he fights like he did against Parker. Price might do well against his fighting style.

If Price winds up getting a title shot against Parker, it would be surprising news to a lot of the boxing fans. Price was given up on by many fans after his two knockout losses to Tony Thompson and his stoppage defeat to Tony Teper. While Price has only lost three times in his career, he’s also only faced two decent opponents during his entire eight-year pro career. Thompson was already in his 40s when he beat Price twice in 2013. Teper was little more than unproven heavyweight who had struggled to beat Johann Duhaupas in the past.

If Price can get the fight against Parker and someone beat him without getting knocked out, he could put himself in a position where he could face IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a unification fight and make career-changing money in that fight. That would be the best possible outcome for Price.

The unification fight against Joshua would likely need to be made as soon as possible if Price can win the WBO title, because he would be at risk against pretty much all the contenders in the WBO’s top 15 ranking. Even if Price were making a voluntary defense, he would be at risk.

Price has the boxing skills and the punching power to beat Parker. The only question mark is whether Price has the chin? I do think Price has a good chance of getting the fight against Parker. Winning it is a different question altogether.




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