Joshua waiting for Parker to accept offer
By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has given WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker their offer for a fight in early 2018, and they’re waiting to hear back from him and his promoter David Higgins to see if they’ll agree to the fight.
The offer from Joshua to Parker (25-0, 18 KOs) is unknown. It’s believed to be less than the 65-35 deal that Parker and Higgins want for the fight. Just how much below that is unknown. It’s possible that it’s a few percentage points above that mark. Hearn doesn’t believe that Parker is worth a 65-35 deal for what he brings to the table.
“The situation with Parker, we have presented an offer to them and we’ll patiently wait. Nothing’s been agreed,” said Joshua to skysports.com.
If Team Parker rejects Joshua’s deal for a fight, then it’s going to put pressure on him and Hearn to either sweeten the deal or move on. Since Joshua puts such value on him collecting the heavyweight titles, he’s going to have to put off meeting his goal of winning all the belts for the time being.
Just because Joshua doesn’t get a chance to fight for the World Boxing Organization heavyweight strap right now doesn’t mean he can’t do it in the future. That fight will be there in 2018 or 2019 if Joshua still wants a chance to win that belt.
If the deal against Parker can’t be brokered, then Joshua’s options for his next fight fall on these contenders:
• Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller
• Dillian Whyte
• Dereck Chisora
Those are all fighters that are signed with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, so they’re all doable fights potentially for early 2018. Obviously, Joshua wouldn’t be able to win another title facing any of those guys, but he’d at least be able to stay busy and continue to sell his fights on Sky Box Office PPV. Of those 3, Miller is easily the biggest threat to beating Joshua. Miller can punch, fight on the inside, and he’s got an excellent engine.
Whyte, 29, is no longer a puncher since having shoulder surgery on his left shoulder. Whyte is a slapper at this point in his career, and a good talker. Whyte would do a good job of building up interest in the rematch with Joshua, but that’s as far it goes. It would be a one-sided fight with Joshua winning easily. Joshua vs. Chisora wouldn’t likely sell on PPV. Chisora’s career has really tanked with his recent losses to Whyte, Agit Kabayel and Kubrat Pulev. I’m surprised Hearn didn’t let Chisora go after the loss to Kabayel. I don’t think it would be a good idea for Joshua to defend his title against Chisora at this point.
Joshua wants to fight Tyson Fury in 2018, but that match is not going to happen until later in the year if at all next year.
“(Fury) is a fight I would like to see but the ball’s in his court – he has to get fit. When he’s ready, we’ll open the doors and if he walks through we’ll welcome him,” Joshua said.
Fury seems to be wise to Hearn wanting to rush the fight against Joshua rather than waiting. Fury is now saying that he’ll fight Joshua when he’s good and ready and not before then. Fury doesn’t want to be rushed into the fight with Joshua before he’s fully back and at 100 percent. Fury has been out of action for 2 years, and he’s still weighing over 300 pounds. Losing that weight isn’t going to be easy, When Fury does take it off, he’ll still need to get some tune-ups under his belt before he can even think of facing Joshua or Deontay Wilder.
“We staged a fight with one of the all-time greats, Wladimir Klitschko, and staged a fantastic fight at Wembley, where we put our egos and demands to one side,” said Joshua. “But I just don’t know where Parker and Wilder’s mindsets are and what they want. I just think they have poor PR management.”
I think in the case of Wilder and Parker, they want to make sure they get a fair deal against Joshua when it comes to the money split. They don’t want to sign for a fight with Joshua and only get a small portion of the revenue. You can’t blame Wilder and Parker for them wanting to get the best deal possible. Joshua needs to make up his mind whether he wants a crack at Wilder’s WBC belt and Parker’s WBO title badly enough for him to give them a fair split of the money.
If the idea is to take the lion’s share of the loot and leave Parker and Wilder with just crumbs, then those fights will never get made. Joshua will have to be comfortable fighting the likes of Chisora, Whyte and Miller. It might be better for Joshua in the long run to stick to fighting those type of guys, because he has a good chance of losing to Wilder and Parker. Those guys can punch and they have stamina. If Joshua continues to fight weak heavyweights like he’s done most of his career.