Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn’s recent critical comments about WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker having hurt his popularity with his recent win over Hughie Fury have been met with suspicion by Parker’s manager David Higgins.
Higgins feels that Hearn is purposefully downgrading Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) in order to make him a low-ball offer for a unification fight next year. Higgins isn’t going to accept a low-ball offer from Hearn for a Joshua vs. Parker fight.
Parker recently beat his No.1 mandatory challenger Hughie Fury by a 12 round majority decision on September 23 in Hughie’s hometown at the Manchester arena in Manchester, England. The fight was one-sided with Hughie running and holding Parker for 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight 114-114. The other 2 saw the fight a little more clearly, scoring it 118-110, 118-110 for Parker. Boxing News Results scored the fight for Parker 10 rounds to 2 [118-110]. It was a mismatch, as Hughie looked terrified of Parker’s power, and wanted no part of actual fighting. Hughie might as well have hoisted up the white flag of surrender in his corner, because he was in the full retreat mode from the 1st round on.
“It’s become apparent that Eddie and his two bigger-named boxers are all leveling various criticisms at Joseph Parker… the boxers suggesting he is beatable and Eddie talking down the fight a bit, probably wanting to pay less,” Higgins said to Fairfax news. “We aren’t going to have Eddie Hearn low-ball us, because we are from New Zealand or because he didn’t like the Hughie Fury fight.”
Well, it’s pretty clear that Hearn is downgrading Parker, as he’s saying repeatedly in interviews that he hurt himself with his performance against Fury. Hearn is likely to continue in that direction in the future. It would probably be in Parker and Higgins’ best interest to go in another direction and face other opponents until Hearn changes his tune. As long as Hearn is talking the way he is now, it’s unlikely that Parker will get the deal that he wants. Boxing fans in the UK and all around the world want to see Joshua and Parker fight each other. But there’s no point in fight discussions taking place as long as Hearn speaks negatively about Parker.
“I think everyone should step back, take the emotion out of it and look at the facts. The facts are that boxers in Joseph’s resume, like Andy Ruiz and Carlos Takam, are avoided and are arguably better than many of the boxers on Joshua’s resume, Wladimir Klitschko excepted,” said Higgins. “Joshua has been laid out on his back more than once. Dillian Whyte shook him up, Klitschko put him down and there are rumors around incidents in sparring that I wouldn’t speculate on,” said Higgins.
Parker needs a couple of good wins against guys that come to fight before he looks to face Joshua in a unification match. Obviously, right now is not an appropriate time to try and make the Joshua vs. parker fight. Parker has a voluntary defense coming up, so he can fight whoever he wants. But it looks like former heavyweight world champion Alexander Povetkin will soon be fighting Christian Hammer in a WBO heavyweight title eliminator. The winner of the Povetkin vs. Hammer fight will be the next WBO mandatory for Parker. Povetkin would be very dangerous for Parker. He might want to face Joshua before Povetkin is made his WBO mandatory challenger.