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Where Next for Joseph Parker Following Spider Bite Drama?

There were photographs released this week of Joseph Parker partying the night away with fellow boxing champions Floyd Mayweather and Tyson Fury in Las Vegas. And you can forgive the Kiwi for embarking on the morale-boosting trip after the rigours he has experienced of late. Out of the heavyweight picture since losing on points to Dillian Whyte in July 2018, Parker has been embarking on a quiet but steady journey back into the world title frame.

He blasted out Alexander Flores inside four rounds in December 2018, before returning in June with a tenth-round TKO of the former world championship challenger Alex Leapai. It was slow but sure progress that brought the 27-year-old back onto the radar, and his subsequent signing with the Matchroom stable of fighters ensured he would enjoy more lucrative bouts in the UK.

First off the rank was a proposed dust-up with Dereck Chisora, with the winner edging closer to an eliminator-style contest with Trevor Bryan, Kubrat Pulev or even a rematch with Whyte, whom both have fought in the past. However, Parker was forced to pull out of the proposed meeting in October after allegedly being bitten by a poisonous spider while in training.

Source: Pixabay

The impact drained the former WBO champion of energy and ‘destroyed’ his immune system, causing the cancellation of the original date with Chisora. However, Parker’s manager David Higgins has made his clear that his man still has his crosshairs trained on ‘Del Boy’, who accused the Kiwi of ducking him following a war of words in Los Angeles. “Make no mistake, we wanted to fight Chisora, we still do,” Higgins confirmed according to the Daily Mail.

The reality, however, is that the fight may now never materialise. Chisora has agreed to take on David Price as a replacement for Parker, and victory for the man now managed by David Haye would propel him back on to the world scene with an eliminator against one of the names mentioned above.

Should he lose, retirement could be on the cards. Chisora certainly wouldn’t appeal to Parker should he suffer defeat to the Liverpudlian, although the bookmakers do have the Londoner down as a hot favourite to prevail in their latest boxing betting odds for Chisora vs Price.

So where does the New Zealander go from here? Perhaps one of these three men could be his next opponent in a big-money brawl in the UK or America.

David Price

The giant Englishman is back in favour with promoters after a confidence-boosting string of three consecutive wins, and victory over Chisora would certainly open doors for the 6ft 7in fighter. But it’s a good fight for Parker too. Matchroom will want to get him a couple of big bouts on British soil, and Price – while dangerous at his best – has proven vulnerable in the past having been knocked out by the likes of Christian Hammer and Alexander Povetkin.

Parker would fancy his chances of beating the big man, and that would springboard him on to another cash-rich scrap in front of the British fans.

Lucas Browne

If Parker instead wants a comfortable payday, how about a New Zealand vs Australia battle against Lucas Browne?

Source: Unsplash

Big Daddy was last seen getting dumped on the canvas by David Allen, and he is yet to confirm whether or not he is hanging up the gloves. But if Browne could be tempted to fight on, this is a contest that would fill a huge stadium in either country.

Alexander Povetkin

What Parker really needs right now is a win that propels him back up the world rankings. And so taking the scalp of somebody like Alexander Povetkin, who is highly regarded by all of the major sanctioning bodies, would be an excellent leap in the right direction.

Unfortunately for the Kiwi, he is in a sort of ‘no lose’ scenario now; he knows defeat will spell the end of his career as an elite-level fighter. And the Russian would present an almighty obstacle to overcome. Although of similar stature to Parker, Povetkin moves very well and has concussive power in both hands. He’s an excellent technician too, beating a variety of good fighters on points, so it’s a fight that Parker’s team might be best to avoid for now.

These are the kinds of fights that really get the juices flowing, and if Parker can get matched against any of these three opponents it might just give his stalling career the boost it needs.