Sport | Boxing

New fight deal for Joseph Parker

Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker’s career took a step back in the right direction today, after announcing a three-fight deal, apparently, worth $6 million with British promoters, Matchroom Boxing.

Parker’s career has been in a state of limbo after his two losses last year to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. Before the Joshua fight, he was undefeated but afterwards seemed to have slipped down the heavyweight title ranks.

The deal will see Parker back in the ring at the end of this month, with the first fight scheduled to be against American Eric Molina in Providence, Rhode Island.

However, this isn’t a direct return to the big time for the South Auckland-raised 27-year-old. The Molina fight isn’t even the main event on a card, headed by a WBO middleweight world title fight between Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki.

Matchroom is owned by British promoter Eddie Hearn, who put together the Parker v Joshua fight last year in Cardiff, which was attended by over 80,000 fans.

"If Joseph Parker performs the way we all know he can over these next three fights then he will have a strong case for another shot at Anthony Joshua," says Hearn.

"There's certainly unfinished business there, so this is a really exciting signing for Matchroom."

The deal ends Parker’s affiliation with New Zealand-based promoters Duco Events, however, Duco boss David Higgins will stay on as his manager.

"This is absolutely the right decision for Joseph and Team Parker, which I have supported every step of the way," he says.

"I'm pleased that I can now work with Joseph's existing management team to help carefully guide the remainder of his career."

Meanwhile, Joshua will face another former Parker opponent, American Andy Ruiz Jr., tomorrow in New York.