Joseph Parker home and on hold as Joe Joyce showdown is delayed

Patrick McKendry
Source: 1News

Joseph Parker’s scheduled fight against Joe Joyce in London in July will be delayed until later in the English summer.

Joseph Parker on his way to his convincing victory over Derek Chisora in Manchester in December.

Parker, who has been back home in Auckland for the last three weeks, told 1News on Wednesday that a contract with Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren had still not been signed and therefore the bout tentatively planned for July 2 would be pushed out.

The New Zealand heavyweight, who re-established his credentials on the world stage with a compelling points victory in his re-match against Derek Chisora in Manchester last December, said he wanted a training camp lasting at least eight weeks before the Joyce fight.

Reports in the United Kingdom have said Parker’s trainer Andy Lee may also not be available in early July as his wife is expecting to go into labour at that time.

The delay brings into focus the decision by Warren to have Joyce and Parker announce the clash on the night of the Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte fight at Wembley Stadium last month before the contract was signed.

Warren clearly saw the broadcast as an opportunity to promote another fight to a wide audience but during the interviews Parker was at pains to say that while an agreement was close it wasn't final.

There have been reports that a September date may be more suitable for Parker v Joyce, a significant fight for both men as it will serve as an eliminator for the right to take on WBO world champion Oleksandr Usyk, providing the Ukranian, also the IBF and WBA champion, wins his re-match against Anthony Joshua in July.

Englishman Joyce, undefeated over 13 professional fights, is known as a powerful and athletic boxer with an excellent chin.

Parker's big advantage will be his hand speed and ability to punch in combinations. Even so, Joyce will be ranked alongside Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz in terms of Parker's toughest opponents.

One of the big positives to come from Parker's more recent win over Chisora was his increased power and aggression - elements that appear to have been honed by trainer Lee, a highly-regarded former world champion middleweight who happens to be Fury's cousin.

Joyce, 36, is ranked No.1 by the WBO and Parker No.2.

Parker’s close friend Fury is the WBC world champion, with Joyce ranked No.2 on that list and Parker No.3.

It's probable that Joyce will find an alternative opponent in the meantime which in itself may be problematic for a showdown against Parker due to the possibility of injury or even defeat.

The 30-year-old Parker, who is training in Auckland in readiness for a return to the UK, confirmed he would again base himself near the Morecambe home of Fury.

“Tyson has given me his gym to use and said he would help me in my camp,” said Parker of Fury, who announced his retirement from boxing after his knockout victory over Whyte.

“So I’ll be returning to Morecambe, which has become the centre of New Zealand boxing,” Parker said, referring to the recent base for fellow Kiwis David Nyika and Sonny Bill Williams.