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Joseph Parker wants to take Joe Joyce #2 spot in WBO rankings

Image: Joseph Parker wants to take Joe Joyce #2 spot in WBO rankings

By Charles Brun: Joseph Parker’s manager David Higgins believes that his fighter could take the #2 spot in the WBO’s heavyweight boxing rankings from Joe Joyce if he defeats #6 Junior Fa on February 27th.

Former WBO heavyweight champion Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) will be fighting 2008 Olympian Fa (19-0, 11 KOs) in the headliner on DAZN at the Spark Arena, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Parker and Fa are both from New Zealand, and their fight is a big event for that country. The two have fought before in the amateur ranks, and this will be a chance for them to fight out which of them are better as professionals.

It would be surprising if the WBO replaces Joyce with Parker, but it’s possible that could happen.

With Parker’s position at #3 in the WBO’s rankings, you’ve got to believe that the sanctioning body will move him up one spot if he defeated #6 Junior Fa.

Image: Joseph Parker wants to take Joe Joyce #2 spot in WBO rankings

Higgins warns Joyce

“You have to look at the resumes of the two fighters [Parker and Joyce]. Don’t get too comfortable,” said Higgins to Sky Sports in letting Joyce know he could lose his #2 spot in the WBO’s rankings if Parker defeats Fa.

“Joseph Parker is a former WBO world champion,” Higgins continued. “If Joe beats Junior Fa – and remember Fa is the current WBO No 6 – so if Joe beats Fa, I think on the balance of the evidence, he would have to go to No 2.

“We would lobby the good people of the WBO,” said Higgins about their plans on asking the WBO to move Parker to #2 in the rankings if he defeats Fa on February 27th.

It would be a major blow for Joyce if he loses his #2 ranking with the WBO, as he’s not a young fighter.

The 35-year-old Joyce would likely need to keep toiling away for a couple of years before he gets in a position to fight for a title.

You can argue that Joyces’s win over Dubois had a lot more weight than if Parker defeats the 31-year-old Fa, who isn’t viewed by boxing fans as a great heavyweight.

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Last month, Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) defeated Daniel Dubois by a tenth round KO on November 28th in Westminster to take his #2 position in the World Boxing Organization rankings.

Joyce, 35, is currently in the position to fight #1 Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO heavyweight title if champion Anthony Joshua vacates the strap.

AJ looking to bypass Usyk

Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is negotiating with WBC champion Tyson Fury to face him in early 2021.  In other words, Joshua doesn’t want to delay that fight by facing his WBO mandatory challenger Usyk, which would be a risky match that he might lose.

Image: Joseph Parker wants to take Joe Joyce #2 spot in WBO rankings

Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are hoping that Usyk will just step aside and let him face Fury twice in 2021. If Usyk gives Joshua and Hearn what they want, he’ll have to wait until 2022 for his mandated title shot.

Usyk doesn’t gain anything in waiting other than getting a chance to fight the eventual winner of the two Joshua vs. Fury fights.

Of course, if the eventual winner vacates the WBO title after they complete their two fight, Usyk would need to fight for the vacant belt against the likes of Joyce or Parker. The sad part would be that Usyk will have waited an entire year for nothing.

Parker has past victories over these heavyweights:

  • Andy Ruiz Jr
  • Hughie Fury
  • Carlos Takam
  • Alexander Dimitrenko

Parker has a better resume than Joe Joyce. So if the WBO is going to compare resumes between the two fighters when they make their decision on who should be #2, Parker might get the nod.

Joyce’s best wins:

  • Daniel Dubois
  • Bryant Jennings
  • Bermane Stiverne
  • Alexander Ustinov
  • Michael Wallisch
  • Iago Kiladze
  • Joe Hanks

In 2018, Parker lost twice in 12 round decision losses to Joshua and Dillian Whyte. They were winnable fights for Parker, but he wasn’t aggressive enough in either of them to get the victories.

In the Joshua match, which took place in Cardiff, Wales, the referee Giuseppe Quartarone, prevented fighting in close proximity. That greatly helped the taller fighter Joshua, as he was able to use his height and reach to control the shorter Parker.

Image: Joseph Parker wants to take Joe Joyce #2 spot in WBO rankings

That was a strange-looking fight, as Quartarone appeared to be unclear on the rules of boxing. For a referee not to allow inside fighting, it looked like he was new to his job and up to speed on what is allowed and not allowed.

Joshua earned the win, but it was difficult to give him full credit because of Parker being handicapped by him not being allowed to get in close.





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