By Kenny Leavett – Heavyweight Joseph Parker has set his sights on a Wembley rematch against Anthony Joshua and looks to put himself in “pole position” with a knockout win over Dillian Whyte, says his promoter, David Higgins.
The 26-year-old Kiwi and former world champion has returned to British shores for Saturday’s fight with Whyte at The O2, just 4 months after losing his WBO heavyweight belt in a points loss to Joshua at Cardiff in March.
Joshua who is set to take on Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22 with another fight scheduled at the national stadium for April 13, Higgins claims Parker could be a worthy replacement should Deontay Wilder not step up and take the fight.
Promoter Higgins has been quoted as saying “The knockout would be ideal and it would really put us in pole position to legitimately demand a rematch from Joshua,”
“We want Anthony Joshua next, and we would be demanding the rematch.
“Joseph Parker is only focused on Dillian Whyte, but should he beat Dillian Whyte then he’ll probably be the most prominent heavyweight after Joshua-and Wilder.
“We think on a different stage, on a different night, with a different referee, and Joseph learning from his mistakes and putting real pressure on, we think Joshua is absolutely beatable.
“He’s a human being. We don’t think he’s near the top echelon of all-time great heavyweights. He’s nowhere near that yet. He’s got a lot more to prove.”
Parker agreed to a unification clash with Joshua after a long drawn out negotiation and Higgins believes Wilder could go on to miss out on a massive unification fight for all the world titles if the American doesn’t lower his terms.
He said: “My message to Deontay Wilder – ‘Pull your head in, stop being greedy, and make the Joshua fight, otherwise the winner of Parker-Whyte is going to take your slot and you’re going to sit on the shelf for another six months, and you might lose the opportunity all together.’
“[Advisors] Al Haymon, Shelly Finkel, and Deontay Wilder, you’re coming under more time pressure.
“Joshua is the A-side commercially, and they’ve got options, and they could quite easily put the winner of Parker-Whyte into Wembley and still sell it out, until you stop trying to overreach, and take more money off the table than what you’ve earned.”
Parker has made it no secret that he wants to seek his revenge against Joshua and redeem himself as he wants to prove himself against the best fighters at the top of the division.
Speaking ahead of Saturday night, Parker has been quoted as saying “If all goes well, we get through Dillian Whyte, which we think we can, listen bring on anyone,”
“I want a rematch with Joshua, maybe with a better ref. Wilder, anyone, Tyson Fury. I just want to fight the best in the world to test myself.”
Watch Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker with Katie Taylor, Dereck Chisora, Joshua Buatsi, Conor Benn and more the undercard, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from The O2, Saturday, July 28.