Parker says Joshua fight has 50-50 chance of happening
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is hoping his management will be able to put together a deal for a unification fight with IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in March of 2018.
Right now, Parker (25-0, 18 KOs) says he feels there is a 50-50 chance of the fight taking place. The major reason why the fight might not get made is the money that Joshua’s management are willing to pay. Parker’s promoter David Higgins said the initial offer from Team Joshua was an 80-20 deal. That wasn’t an acceptable offer to him.
Parker thinks Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) should be less focused on how much money he can make and more on his legacy in boxing. Joshua won’t be able to have much of a legacy if his promoter Eddie Hearn is going to be making lowball offers against guys like Parker and Deontay Wilder. Those fights won’t get made unless the champions are given fair deals.
My gut tells me it’s 50-50,” said Parker to the nzherald.co.nz. ”On their side, I’m not so sure. There’s a lot of talk there and it’s hard to gauge. I think for Joshua and their team it shouldn’t be about the money it should be about his legacy and trying to unify the belts and seeing who the best is.”
Hearn says his job is to make as much money as he can for Joshua. One way for Hearn to do that is to get the best possible cut for Joshua against Parker, Wilder and whoever he faces. But if Hearn offers them so little money that they don’t see the value in taking the fight, then those matches aren’t going to get made. There’s no sense in Parker and Wilder accepting 20 percent of the revenue to fight Joshua in the UK in front of a huge pro-Joshua crowd of boxing fans. If the deal isn’t to Parker and Wilder’s liking, then they simply won’t bother signing for the fight with Joshua.
It’s risky enough as it is for Parker and Wilder to fight Joshua in his home country of the UK. We just saw how visiting fighter Carlos Takam was stopped by Joshua in the 10th round of fight that was arguably halted prematurely by the referee working the fight in Cardiff, Wales. Would a referee have halted the fight in the same manner if it were fought in a neutral country? We’ll never know for sure. All we know is Takam fought Joshua in the UK and he was on the receiving end of a quick stoppage with him still on his feet trying to fight back.
Parker’s loss of the Joshua fight could be Wilder’s gain. With Parker out of the picture for next March, Wilder could be the one that gets the fight with Joshua in the first quarter of 2018. Personally, I don’t think Hearn will make the Joshua-Wilder fight in the first half of next year. If Parker and Wilder don’t get the fight with Joshua, then it’ll almost surely be recent Hearn signee Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.
On Tuesday, Miller said he’s been signed by Hearn, and told that he could get a fight with Joshua in 2 fights from now. Miller is facing Mariusz Wach this Saturday night on the Danny Jacobs vs. Luis Arias card on HBO Boxing at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Miller could be inserted into the picture for Joshua’s March fight if Hearn can’t get Wilder and Parker to agree to his offers. If Hearn is going to give them lowball offers, then it’s almost academic that he won’t get either of them to sign.