Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker and his British rival Dillian Whyte will be fighting for silverware later this month, with the winner guaranteed the vacant WBO International belt and WBC Silver title.
Parker, 26, arrived in the United Kingdom overnight as he prepares for his heavyweight fight against Whyte at the O2 Arena in London on July 29 (NZ time).
Parker’s promoter David Higgins says having the belts on the line, moves the winner of the bout one step closer to a title shot at current champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
We’ve always said this fight is a ‘People’s Emliminator’ and this announcement simply adds more credence to that,” said Higgins.
“For the winner, having those two belts sends a powerful message that they are the rightful challenger for a shot at Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder. Their case will be extremely hard to deny.”
Higgins backs his fighter Parker to redeem himself against Whyte after he lost by unanimous decision to Joshua in April in Wales, losing his WBO heavyweight title.
“He wasn’t all that far off beating him (Joshua) and would be a good chance of doing so in a rematch.
“And Whyte is a huge puncher – an entertainer who is highly ranked by pretty much all of the sanctioning bodies. Why wouldn’t you want one of those guys to be wearing the No.2 belt and lining up for a shot at the major title?”
Parker and Whyte share similar professional records with the Kiwi winning 24 fights with only one loss, with Whyte winning 23 professional bouts with one loss to Joshua back in 2015.
Parker is ranked sixth in the WBC, the title which American fighter Wilder holds. He is also ranked sixth in the WBO and seventh in the IBF, titles which both Joshua holds.
Whyte is ranked number one in the WBC, seventh in the WBA, another title which Joshua holds and second in the WBO.