Hearn luring Parker with rematch carrot for Joshua fight

By Tim Royner: Joseph Parker will be getting the small end up the purse split for his match with IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2018, but if he beats him, he’ll be getting a 55-45 split, according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

The 55% split for Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) is the carrot that Hearn is dangling for Parker to get him to accept the deal for the first fight in late March. Hearn says that even if Parker loses the fight with Joshua, if he makes it a competitive match, he’ll get a rematch and he’ll make a lot of money from that.

It’s not a great deal for Parker to be given a promise of a big 55 percent cut for the rematch if it means he’s sacrificing the money he’s getting for the first fight.

The Joshua vs. Parker is expected to be done in days, and announced soon for March 31. This is Joshua’s “legacy” fight, according to Hearn via the New Zealand Herald. It likes like Hearn is throwing around the ‘legacy’ big a little too loosely nowadays. Legacy fights are more like fights against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Those are the big ones right now with the current crop of heavyweights. If Joshua is still around when Joe Joyce, Tony Yoka and Daniel Dubois emerge as major players, then those will be the next batch of legacy fights for him.

Parker will be getting $12 million for the Joshua fight. That’s pretty good money, but it would be much more than that if he was getting a 50-50 split or even a 40 percent split. Parker’s promoter David Higgins isn’t saying what his split is, but he is saying that it’s between 30 and 35. If Hearn is able to get Parker to agree to a cut of 31 or 32 for the Joshua fight in March, he’ll be getting them at a low price without any guarantee of a better deal in the future.

”A rematch isn’t for [Joshua’s] protection, it’s a carrot to show [Parker] what’s possible – it’s an incentive to get him to take the fight,” Hearn said to the nzherald.co.uk.

What Hearn isn’t saying is Parker isn’t getting a guaranteed rematch if he loses the fight. Joshua will have the option of moving on if he wins the fight, whereas Parker would be out in the cold. If Hearn were willing to give Parker a guaranteed rematch if he loses, no matter how bad, then that’s a good deal. It makes sense for Parker to take the small money for the March unification fight with Joshua if the safety net is there of a guaranteed regardless of what happens in March.

It’s a gamble on Parker’s part to accept a smaller cut of the revenue for the first fight with the hopes of making a mountain of money for a rematch if he wins in March. What happens if Parker loses and he’s not competitive? That means the huge carrot of a future rematch under the 55-45 percent terms will be a pie in the sky, and useless for Parker, since he’ll never get it. Parker won’t get the 55 percent cut and he won’t get a rematch. Joshua will move on to his other planned fights against Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin.

“If he [Parker] wins, he’s going to make an absolute fortune in the rematch,” said Hearn.” If it’s a good fight and Joe loses, we’ll do it again no problems. If he beats AJ, the first fight he will want after is a rematch because it’s the biggest fight in boxing. If he does win he’s also going to be the biggest star in the sport.”

The deal sounds good, but where’s the insurance for Parker if he gets blasted apart at the seams and he loses badly? Is Hearn willing to if Parker a rematch anyway down the road for at least 25 percent of the revenue? That would be a great deal for Parker to sign for the fight, because he’s not getting a guaranteed rematch.

Hearn is saying that Parker will get an “absolute fortune” for the Joshua fight and it could lead to him becoming a star. Parker would need to beat Joshua twice and then defeat the likes of Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin to become a star in the boxing world. Just beating Joshua once isn’t going to transform Parker into a star in the sport. Joshua has been looking vulnerable since his fight with Dillian Whyte in 2015. It’s only a question of time before Joshua loses to someone.

The guy that beats Joshua won’t become a star unless he can prove that he can beat him twice, and then defeat the other top heavyweights in the division. Parker can become a star, or he can become yesterday’s news by losing badly to Joshua. There’s a better than average chance Parker will lose to Joshua, and that’s obviously why Hearn is so willing to offer him a 55 percent purse split for the rematch. It’s a promise that Hearn most likely will never have to fulfill. If Parker loses the fight in a competitive manner, it would likely be up to Hearn and Joshua to decide whether he was competitive enough for there to be a rematch.

Parker is part of the plan for Joshua to capture the remaining heavyweight world titles in 2018. Joshua has the IBF and WBA belts. He just needs to win Parker’s WBO and Wilder’s WBC strap to finish his belt collection. Beyond winning all the titles, Joshua wants to bag the Ring Magazine heavyweight title that is still held by Tyson Fury. That fight is the gold mine of fights for Joshua, because there’s a lot of money to be made from the UK for a Joshua-Fury fight. The might prove to be as elusive as a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow. Fury wants a 60-40 split for the Joshua fight, and that is not going to work with him or Hearn. They want the bigger cut, and unless they get it, they’ll likely never say yes to a fight with Fury, unless he becomes so fabulously popular that it gives Joshua no choice.