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Joseph Parker primed for another world title pursuit after falling from heavyweight summit | Boxing News

By February 29, 2020 No Comments
Joseph Parker primed for another world title pursuit after falling from heavyweight summit | Boxing News

Watch Joseph Parker against Shawndell Winters from 1am tonight, live on Daily Week Sports Arena

By Richard Damerell

Last Updated: 28/02/20 1:50pm

Joseph Parker returns in Texas in the early hours of Sunday, live on Daily Week Sports

Joseph Parker has already ruled the world and fallen from the heavyweight summit, but hurtful lessons and bites have primed him for another title fight.

Tyson Fury toppled Deontay Wilder last weekend to send shock waves through boxing’s land of the giants and Parker, New Zealand’s former WBO champion, can give a timely reminder of his destructive fists when he faces Shawndell Winters in Texas tonight at 1am, live on Daily Week Sports.

Parker faces Shawndell Winters

Parker faces Shawndell Winters

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Parker is firmly in contention for a world title shot as the WBO’s No 2 ranked contender, despite an eight-month absence from the ring, partly caused by a suspected spider bite that derailed a planned fight with Derek Chisora.

There was even brief speculation that Parker could fight Oleksandr Usyk for his old WBO belt, if unified champion Anthony Joshua had been forced to vacate it due to conflicting title commitments.

But Joshua’s next fight is expected to be against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev and he will then switch his attention to Usyk for a WBO mandatory title defence, meaning Parker must bide his time a little longer.

Oleksandr Usyk sits just above Parker in the WBO rankings

Oleksandr Usyk sits just above Parker in the WBO rankings

“I know I can beat him. I know I can beat anyone, if I have a good day in the ring.”

Joseph Parker on Oleksandr Usyk

The supremely talented Usyk, who conquered the cruiserweight division before moving up, is not an ideal opponent for any heavyweight, but Parker’s ‘bring it on’ mentality, even after two defeats, keeps him in the conversation for big fights.

“I respect the guy and what he’s done in boxing,” Parker told Daily Week Sports. “He’s got a great skill set and experience, but I’d love that opportunity to test myself.

“I know I can beat him. I know I can beat anyone, if I have a good day in the ring.”

A duel of speed and power against Usyk must wait for another day, with the Ukrainian star set to face Chisora in May, although other major fights could swiftly emerge for Parker.

Andy Ruiz Jr’s spell as a world champion was shorter than Parker as the Californian ballooned up in weight following a stunning upset win over Joshua last May and then handed back his world belts after a one-sided points defeat in December.

Parker probably watched the second fight in Saudi Arabia with a knowing smile, having employed similar tactics to Joshua in his own world title fight with Ruiz Jr. After an aggressive start from Ruiz Jr, the Kiwi utilised a thudding jab and clever footwork to claim the vacant WBO belt with a majority decision win in 2016.

Would Parker welcome a rematch? Of course.

Parker is willing to fight Andy Ruiz Jr again

Parker is willing to fight Andy Ruiz Jr again

“If it makes sense for us and our team to fight Andy Ruiz and get us closer to fighting for a world title, we’ll take that in a heartbeat. We’ll take any fight.

“Our first fight was a close fight. If I had the opportunity to fight him again, I would take it. I know I can beat him in better fashion.”

Critics would question whether Parker is the man to break Britain’s dominance in the division as he has already suffered a points loss to Joshua, while Fury, a friend rather than a foe, would have far superior height and reach.

Just a few months after Joshua took his WBO title, Parker had searched for a measure of redemption in a brutal battle with Dillian Whyte, only to suffer another decision loss, despite flooring the Londoner in the final round.

But at the age of 28, Parker is perhaps yet to reach his peak, and has already shown that you just need to be in the right place at the right time in one of the sport’s most turbulent weight classes.

Rematches, mandatory title demands, and unfortunate injuries are likely to complicate any ambitious plans, so a challenger just needs to stay fit, focused and ready to accept any challenge. Parker could again be the man.

“I still haven’t shown what I can really do in the ring.

“With the fights that I’ve had, with the losses, and gaining more experience, going into each fight now, I should be able to show it and put it on display.”

Watch Joseph Parker against Shawndell Winters from 1am on Sunday morning, live on Daily Week Sports Arena.

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