Heavyweight fight between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker is reportedly set for September and victor could face winner of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk.
Just as it seemed any chance of a Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker fight was ruined, it now appears we may have spoken too soon.
On the night of Tyson Fury’s retirement, as he knocked out Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, promoter Frank Warren took the opportunity to announce another huge heavyweight clash between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker.
At that point the fight had not been finalised, but negotiations were moving in the right direction and all parties were confident of coming to an agreement.
Shortly after, however, came the bizarre announcement that Parker had signed a deal with BOXXER, meaning his fights would be shown exclusively on Sky Sports, the rival network to BT Sport where Joyce’s fights are broadcast.
This caused the bout to be called off and relations between the two camps quickly turned sour.
“As you know, at Tyson’s last fight, him and Joe [Joyce] got together and we announced that it was to be done.” Warren told talkSPORT, as he explained his version of events.
“We agreed terms, I shook hands with Joe [Parker] in front of Tyson and then we got the solicitors to work out the contracts, which took a long while but eventually they got them done.
“And then I heard the day before it was announced that he’d signed a deal with Sky, I heard about that. I just sent him a text, ‘Just been told the fight is off, so much for your handshake.’
“And then I got a text back saying, ‘Morning Frank, apologies it took a while to get the deal done, but was offered a better deal last minute.’”
Warren went on to add: “Even if he was offered a better deal, having agreed terms – if somebody said to me, ‘We’ve agreed I’m paying you £100,’ then I’d say, ‘Look, somebody’s offered me £110, do you wanna better it?’
“At least do that. None of it at all. He never wanted that fight, he never fancied it and that’s the bottom line.”
This seemed to be the end of it, but Mike Coppinger of ESPN has tweeted that the fight is back on.
“Former titleholder Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce have struck a deal for a heavyweight bout that will land in the U.K., possibly on Sept. 24, sources tell ESPN.” Coppinger said.
“Parker recently signed with Boxxer, which has an exclusive with Sky, but BT Sport Box Office will televise.”
As it stands Joyce is ranked number one with the WBO, while Parker is in the number two spot.
It would stand to reason that the winner of this bout would become the mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight title.
The current holder of that belt is Oleksandr Usyk, who fights Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 20 and the winner could have either Joyce or Parker waiting for them.