Big year planned for rejuvenated Joseph Parker as he eyes off March return – Ring News 24 | Boxing News

Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker. Photo credit: AP

Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 34-3 (23) scored the best win of his career when he pitched a virtual shutout against big-hitting former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-3-1 (42) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23.

That’s the view of his manager David Higgins, who says his fighter has more than earnt another big payday against one of the top names in the division.

“For me, it was the best performance of Joseph’s career,” Higgins said to Sky Sports.

“The reason I say that is because those massive, global, pay-per-view fights have a special pressure about them, the eyes of the world are upon you and against his opponent, a murderous puncher, one of the most feared in history, you can’t really describe what that pressure is like until you’ve been in that situation.

“A couple of times he came up short [in his career], but this time he maintained a cool head, was patient, showed intent, stuck to the fight plan, withstood the pressure. He didn’t just win but dominated Wilder.”

Higgins added: “I think we’ll look at every option and Joseph wants to be busy and he’s looked at his best fighting regularly.

“He’s got some momentum going so the intent is to continue. We don’t want to step backward to weaker opponents. We want to keep the level up and keep busy. If he can fight again in March, he’ll be grateful to everyone who has helped facilitate that.”

The dominant nature of Parker’s win over Wilder, which effectively nixed a proposed March bout between the 38-year-old American and former two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 27-3 (24), has seen calls from some quarters for the 31-year-old New Zealander to be offered a rematch against Joshua, who defeated him on points almost six years ago.

But while the 34-year-old Brit’s promoter Eddie Hearn refused to rule out a rematch, he didn’t exactly rule it in either.

“Yeah look, you never rule out anything,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said to Boxing Social. “But I don’t think it’s on the immediate radar.”

He added: “If Joe keeps winning, for sure.”

In a separate interview with iFL TV, Hearn elaborated on his position.

“With all due respect, we do have a plan,” Hearn said. “These are all great heavyweights. Andy Ruiz, Frank Sanchez, Joseph Parker, but really the only thing that AJ wants to do is be in massive fights, win the world heavyweight title and fight Tyson Fury or get another crack at Usyk. That’s what [Joshua trainer] Ben [Davison] wants, Ben wants another crack at Usyk.

“For me, obviously, I’d love the Fury fight. When you look at fighting March, fighting in September, maybe two fights against the Fury-Usyk winner, you’re talking four or five fights down the line, that may be it.

“He looked amazing last week, but five fights is another year-and-a-half, maybe two years, so how much longer are you going to go? Right now, we’re really excited for that 2024.”