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Joseph Parker to fight on Dec.15 in New Zealand

Joseph Parker

By Scott Gilfoid: Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) will be getting back in action on December 15 against an opponent still to be determined at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Parker, 26, has lost his last two fights against Matchroom Sport fighters Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in matches that took place in the UK. Parker could have won the fight with Whyte, but the referee blew a call in round 2 by crediting Dillian with a knockdown after he collided head-first with Joseph. The referee failed to make the right call on the knockdown, and he also failed to control the fouling that Whyte was doing.

Parker agreed to take the fights against those two in the UK, but in hindsight, he probably should have insisted that they take place at a neutral venue or not at all. The officiating for both fights were lacking, an likely contributed to Parker’s losses.

Parker needs to end his 2-fight losing streak with a good victory. Parker should make sure that he picks spots where the judging and refereeing will arguably be a little more quality in the future if he doesn’t want to keep taking losses. The referee that worked Parker’s fight against Joshua last march prevented him from fighting on the inside. The referee looked like he wasn’t aware that inside fighting is allowed in boxing. Joshua was greatly assisted by the referee keeping the shorter 6’3″ Parker from fighting on the inside. Parker never had a chance of winning once the referee clamped down on his inside fighting. The referee did’t allow either fighter to fight on the inside, but Parker was the one that was clearly hurt more by not being able to fight on the inside than the taller 6’6″ Joshua.

“I could have and should have won that fight [against Whyte], but that’s boxing,” Parker said to ESPN.com. “Whoever they put in front of me I need to get the job done. I’m more motivated than ever to get back on top.”

It’s going to be harder this time for Parker to win a world title than it was the first time, because there aren’t any easy marks for him to fight. Parker won the vacant World Boxing Organization heavyweight title in December 2016 in beating Andy Ruiz Jr. For Parker to win world title now, he’ll need to defeat either WBC champion Deontay Wilder or IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. There’s also the WBA ‘regular’ title, which is likely going to be scooped up soon by Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, who is also co-promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA. Beating Miller won’t be easy for Parker.

Parker will need to beat some of the contenders in the division if he wants to get pushed up the rankings quickly to get another title shot. Here are some good options for Parker:

– Bryant Jennings

– Adam Kownacki

– Zhilei Zhang

– Charles Martin

– Dereck Chisora

– Joe Joyce

– Oscar Rivas

– Mariusz Wach

– Robert Helenius

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