Tyson Fury surprised fans, and pundits alike when he recently announced he signed a landmark deal with ESPN and Top Rank boxing. Now a rematch with Deontay Wilder many believed to be signed, sealed, and delivered has been postponed.
This leaves many fans pondering “what’s next for the former unified and lineal champion?”
One man has thrown his name into the hat of potential opponents, and that’s former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.
Enter: Joseph Parker
Parker has been linked to a showdown with heavyweight main stay Dereck Chisora, but the negotiations ultimately fell apart.
Which brings us to where we are now. Parker’s promoter David Higgins told local media that the former champion would be very interested in a fight with Fury if the price was right. There’s a multitude of reasons a fight with Parker would make sense.
For starters, The Gypsy King’s new promoter, Bob Arum also had a co-promotional alliance with Duco Events to promote Parker stateside. Arum currently has the television rights to Parker’s fights stateside. That makes the fight easier to make. Also, Parker is a legit top 10 heavyweight.
Parker got a rough start to 2018, losing for the first time in a huge unification showdown with fellow champion Anthony Joshua. He then followed that up with another decision defeat to top 5 heavyweight Dillian Whyte.
His back was against the wall when he took on once beaten American heavyweight Alexander Flores in December. Parker scores a crushing third round knockout, showcasing his fast hands and combinations that had so many pundits singing his praises as he came through the ranks.
While it’s not a fight with champions Wilder or Joshua, a Parker bout is certainly a respectable match-up.
Selling the Fight
People quickly forgot that Fury had been out of the ring for three years battling a host of personal issues. Only two low level tune-up fights prior to the fight with Wilder had many thinking Fury was dooming himself by taking on such a dangerous opponent so quickly.
Then, a brilliant display of boxing and heart had most thinking they were wrong for ever considering that. I’m not so sure though; ring rust is a real thing and the more rounds Fury gets in prior to showdowns with Wilder and Joshua only benefits him, and I’m sure his handlers are well aware of that.
One thing is certain with ESPN. Going deep into their pockets for Fury tells me they’re wanting to get the most out of each fight. A bout with the Kiwi former champion is easy to make, and it’s even easier to sell.
Fury has sang the praises of Parker in the past, and considers him a friend. However, Parker owns a decision win over Fury’s younger cousin Hughie, and you better believe that would be used to sell the fight.
Having an opponent as polarizing as Wilder isn’t necessarily a must for Fury to draw attention. Arum has spoken about how charismatic his new heavyweight is and we’ve all seen it.
All it takes for people to want to tune into a Tyson Fury fight is a microphone in his hand and a legitimate foe on the opposite side of the ring. Parker fits that bill. The path is clear, let’s see if they walk it.
By: Tanner Gill