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Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury could take place in Manchester

Joseph Parker


By Scott Gilfoid: The management for WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) is kicking around the idea of staging his next title defense against #2 WBO Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) in Hughie’s home city of Manchester, England in April. The reason for that is in order to build the 25-year-old Parker’s brank in the UK and to take advantage of the large pay-per-view market.

There are several popular British heavyweights in Anthony Joshua, David Haye and Tyson Fury that Parker could face at some point in the near future. Even former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury might come out of the woodwork to try and avenge Hughie’s loss to Parker. I could see that fight happening.

If Tyson watches Hughie get obliterated by Parker, it might cause him to get riled up enough to get up off the couch and get back into training to come back and avenge the loss. I don’t know if that’s a good idea for Tyson to do though. He can’t be making career decisions based on the fighters that beat Hughie, because I suspect that he’s going to be beaten a fair amount of times before his career is over.

You don’t want Tyson to be Hughie’s clean up person, who comes along and avenges every one of his losses. Hughie has got to be able to stand up on his own two feet without Tyson attempting to avenge every loss that he accumulates. Besides, I don’t see Parker being worth the risk for Tyson Fury.

We’re talking about a very flawed heavyweight in Tyson, and you don’t want him to get whipped by Parker while trying to avenge Hughie’s likely knockout loss. If Tyson is going to take a risky fight, he needs to take one that will give him the biggest payday possible. That would be someone like Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.


Fighting Parker would be a risk that wouldn’t be worth it in my view. Tyson can obviously do whatever he wants, but I think it would be stupid for him to be Hughie’s cleanup man by trying to avenge his losses rather than just letting him deal with the situation and learn from it.

If Parker can beat Hughie in Manchester in his first defense of his WBO title, it would make a fight between Parker and one of the more popular British heavyweights a bigger affair. Parker would have been seen by the British boxing public beating Hughie first, and that would obviously help make other fights in the UK much bigger affairs for Parker.

There would be some risk involved in fighting the young 22-year-old Hughie in his own hometown, of course. With the fight being staged in Manchester, there would be the potential of Parker losing the fight by a controversial decision. You’d hate for that to happen. With Hughie being the mandatory challenger, that means no rematch clause.

If Hughie wins the fight by a controversial decision, he can move on without giving Parker a rematch. I don’t see why Hughie would bother with a rematch with Parker, because he could make big cash by fighting #1 WBO David Haye or maybe even Joshua. There would be boatloads of cash for young Hughie to make if he could get a fight against Haye or Joshua.

Poor Parker could be left high and dry if he loses a fight to Hughie by a controversial decision in Manchester, because I don’t see him getting a rematch. If Hughie wins against Parker, I see him moving on and looking to get the biggest cash fight he can get and that would be Haye or Joshua. Deontay Wilder would be a good fight for Hughie, but I don’t see that fight selling as well as a match against Joshua or Haye.

“Joseph is the current WBO world champion, so him fighting Fury could have considerable value in England, if it’s prime time, and then set up quite a juicy unification against say the winner of Joshua-Klitschko,” said Parker’s promoter David Higgins to skysports.com. “Becoming a star in England is not a bad idea, because it’s such a good market with a big, powerful pay-per-view opportunity.”

So there it is. Parker could fight the 6’6” Hughie Fury in the UK to help set up a big cash fight down the road against Joshua or perhaps even Tyson Fury. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for Parker to fight Hughie in the UK. You have to look at it like this: The British boxing fans will come and see a fight between Parker and Hughie in high numbers, and they’ll be cheering their heads off for Hughie.

With the judges being human and all, they might be unconsciously influenced by the cheering for Hughie. I could see the judges giving rounds to Hughie based on the cheering rather than the fighting. It would be one of those unconscious things where the judges hear the fans bellowing and they give rounds to Hughie.

I’d hate to see a controversial decision in the Parker-Hughie fight, but I could definitely see it happening. In boxing, we see controversial decisions all the time, and a lot of the time it occurs in favor of the home fighter. The only thing you can think of is the judges are influenced unconsciously by the cheering from the crowd. I think that’s why having the judges sit with ear phones on to block out the crowd noise would be a good idea.

What you want is the judges to be able to score the fights correctly based on what they see inside the ring rather than what they’re hearing from the boxing fans. I personally am able to score fights based on what I see rather than what I hear, but that’s me. I’m not influenced by cheering. I score fights based on actual fighting rather than cheering, but I’m not a judge.

“How do you become a star in England? You knock out Englishman and so doing it in New Zealand that would work, but doing it in England could be better to make an impact up there,” said Higgins.

If I was the manager for Parker, I would only stage the Parker-Hughie fight in the UK if was totally certain that he can not only whip Hughie, but beat him in such a manner that the judges won’t potentially mess up the scoring of the fight by giving it to the loser rather than the winner. That means that Parker will need to really thrash Hughie in royal fashion so that the judges can see it and score the fight with their eyes rather than their ears.

A knockout win for Parker would be the best way to win. I think that’s quite possible if Parker is able to apply enough pressure on Hughie in each round to wear him down. Hughie gassed out after six rounds in his last fight against journeyman Fred Kassi last April. The fight was stopped in the 7th after Hughie collided heads with Kassi, causing him to suffer a bad cut.

Hughie’s stamina is very questionable. If Parker can push a fast pace and not let Hughie rest, then I can see him knocking him out rather easily. Of course, Parker would need to work on fighting on the inside during training camp, because Hughie likes to use the punch and grab technique. He uses that approach in all of his fights. Hughie throws a punch and then collapses forward to grab his opponents in a bear hug to keep them from throwing anything back at him.

Parker will be dealing with the holding all night long by Hughie unless he decides to batter him each time he holds. If Parker can hit Hughie in the bread basket when he ties him up, I think it might make him think twice about using his nonstop holding to slow the fight down.


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