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Joseph Parker could face IBF champion Anthony Joshua in a unification clash next year

Joseph Parker could face IBF champion Anthony Joshua in a unification clash next year
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Joseph Parker (right) remains keen to face Anthony Joshua in the near future

Joseph Parker would welcome a unification fight with Anthony Joshua next year if he wins the WBO title, says the New Zealand heavyweight’s promoter.

The unbeaten 24-year-old became mandatory challenger for Joshua earlier this year but switched his sights to the vacant WBO belt after the IBF champion’s promoter Eddie Hearn opened talks about a title defence against Wladimir Klitschko.

Parker will instead face Andy Ruiz Jr for the WBO belt in Auckland on December 10, while later that evening Joshua will make the second defence of his IBF title against Eric Molina in Manchester, live on Sportsclubsociety Box Office.

Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF belt against Eric Molina on December 10

Joshua can pave the way for a planned fight with Klitschko for the WBA ‘super’ title in the spring and the winner of Parker-Ruiz Jr will be ordered to defend against David Haye, but the Kiwi’s promoter Dean Lonergan believes both men can finally share the ring next summer.

Maybe in June-July both fighters can head towards a massive fight at Wembley.

Dean Lonergan

Lonergan exclusively told Sportsclubsociety: “Joseph will take real fights, but the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua would be nothing short of magnificent for the heavyweight division – two of the young lions coming through. That would be a monstrous fight.

“Obviously Joshua is booked to fight Wladimir Klitschko, which I think he wins and wins it well. Maybe in June-July both fighters can head towards a massive fight at Wembley. We think England is the hottest place for heavyweight boxing in the world right now. 

“We thank the WBO for lining up David Haye. We see that as a much easier fight than Andy Ruiz Jr and once Joseph blasts through Haye, then Joshua will be the next cab off the rank.”

Haye is considering options for his next fight, which include a big domestic clash with Tony Bellew, or a possible WBA ‘interim’ title fight against Alexander Ustinov.

Lonergan confirmed that Haye has been lined up to face the winner of Parker-Ruiz Jr, but insists there is “no chance” of the 36-year-old taking a fight against one of the unbeaten young heavyweights.

David Haye has not fought since he blasted aside Arnold Gjergjaj in two rounds this May

“My understanding is he is the mandatory,” said Lonergan. “What was voted on, was that Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz will fight for the heavyweight world title for the WBO, and the winner will face David Haye.

“As far as we’re concerned, the winner of this fight will be fighting David Haye.

“Andy Ruiz Jr for Joseph Parker is a pretty tough fight and if Joseph Parker can get through Andy Ruiz, he will blast past David Haye in two or three rounds. For that reason alone, David Haye has no chance of fighting Joseph Parker.

“Should Joseph Parker defeat Andy Ruiz, we would love that fight.”  

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