Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is itching to get back into the boxing ring once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and he’s able to travel. With a record of 27-2, the New Zealander is possibly a fight or two away from being right back in the title conversation.
At the moment, there are reported conversations taking place about the possibility of Parker facing former WBA champion Lucas Browne somewhere in New Zealand, with Queenstown, Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington as potential options for a late August or early September fight.
A showdown with Browne isn’t necessarily the one Parker is yearning for. With his losses coming to current unified champion Anthony Joshua and former WBO titleholder Dillian Whyte, Parker was asked by DAZN News which loss he’d look to avenge more.
The answer may surprise you.
“The one I want more would be Dillian Whyte,” Parker said. “It was a close fight, and he was the better man on that day. But a few things happened before the fight and I want to get my hands on him again.”
Most would assume that, given Joshua’s current status as unified champion of the world, Parker would seek to get that opportunity again. While he did say he’d want a rematch with Joshua as well, it’s the loss to Whyte that Parker has taken a bigger issue with.
“Just the way the fight went, really,” Parker explained. “I know I could have beaten him, but a few things like the headbutt happened in the second round. He was good and it was a rough fight.”
Parker and Whyte met for the vacant WBO title at the O2 Arena in London on July 28, 2018. The fight was a thrilling showdown that saw Parker taste the canvas for the first time in his career. A knockdown was scored by White in the second round, but a replay showed that it came from a clash of heads.
Parker was in control early, but Whyte made a diligent effort to take away the Kiwi’s hand speed by deploying some roughhouse tactics in the middle rounds. Parker roared back in the championship rounds and dropped Whyte in the final frame.
Whyte barely survived and, given the opportunity, Parker would love to get another crack at him. Even if that means he'd have to push aside a rematch with Joshua.
“For me, it was the more challenging fight at the time because I was coming off of the loss (to Joshua),” Parker said. “All of these other factors came into play on fight night. There’s a little bit of bad blood between us.”
Whyte has gone on record stating that Parker would need to work his way back up the ladder and currently has no interest in a rematch.
“I feel like if we have a second fight it would be exciting and I could beat him,” he said. “He’s said that I have to earn my way back to the top, which is fine. He’s been fighting good opponents and I’ve been trying to get those opponents.
“I would fight Anthony Joshua again because he has the belts, but the rematch I really want is with Whyte.”