Joseph Parker Eyes Zhang or Hrgovic for March in Saudi card

By Robbie Bannatyne - 01/07/2024 - Comments

Joseph Parker wants to get in on the action for the March card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is willing to bite the bullet to face WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang or Filip Hrgovic just to be a part of this card.

Anthony Joshua will be headlining against Francis Ngannou in a crossover contest, which will bring in a lot of fans from the boxing and MMA world.

Parker eager to fight in Riyadh

The former WBO heavyweight champion Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) wants to fight on the undercard, but to do this, he may need to face a dangerous foe this time, not like his last match against an inactive, faded 38-year-old Deontay Wilder, who spent most of the fight moving around the ring.

It’s safe to say that if Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) is Parker’s opponent, it’s going to be a different fight, perhaps similar to his clash against Joe Joyce in September 2022, which ended badly for him in losing by an eleventh round knockout.

“I would love to fight in March. They have already given me the indication that there is a possibility that I could be fighting on that card,” Parker said to talkSPORT Boxing about his wanting to fight on the Joshua-Ngannou undercard in March in Saudi Arabia.

“Every name like Zhang, Hrgovic, or anyone – whatever they’ve said, we’ve said yes to,” said Parker.

If Parker is willing to walk the plank just to be a part of the March card, the Saudis should put him in with Zhang so the fans can enjoy the feeding frenzy. This writer hates to say it, but this will not be another Wilder that Parker is facing.

Will Zhang be available?

Zhang might not be available for Parker, as he has a possibility of facing Wilder. According to Chris Mannix, Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) wants to be a part of the March card in Saudi as well, and he’s hearing that Zhang could be his opponent.

For Wilder to get the kind of money that he did for the Parker fight last month on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Riyadh, he’s going to have to face a dangerous foe, like Zhang or Hrgovic.

The Saudis aren’t going to give the ‘Bronze Bomber’ a truckload of money to fight a scrub in a confidence-booster type of fight, like the one Joshua had last December against a weak, slow, and out-of-shape-looking Otto Wallin. That fight wasn’t even mildly entertaining.

Parker looked great against Wilder, but that was because he wasn’t throwing punches. Can the New Zealander put in a good performance against an opponent that is on a seek-and-destroy mission the way Zhang or Hrgovic would be against him?

Hrgovic is waiting to fight for the IBF title once it’s vacated by the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk winner. Will the IBF agree with Parker being the opponent for Hrgovic to fight for the vacant IBF title?

YouTube video