Andrew Gourdie: Joseph Parker down the tube

Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury at their pre-fight press conference
Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury at their pre-fight press conference Photo credit: Photosport

OPINION: Camp Parker must be fuming.

His fight with Hughie Fury in Manchester was supposed to be his first step into the all-important UK market - a kind of "getting to know you" for British fight fans unfamiliar with the WBO champ, who needs to raise his profile in the home of heavyweight boxing.

But the fact those fans are being told they'll have to watch the fight on YouTube changes all of that. Straight away, this fight has a perception problem.

You can call it groundbreaking, the future of boxing, the dawn of a new pay-per-view era, whatever you like. But why turn your WBO heavyweight title fight into a test case?

There's only one logical reason, and that because Fury's promoters couldn't convince the big boys to show it.

The Joseph Parker team at the pre-fight press conference
The Joseph Parker team at the pre-fight press conference Photo credit: Photosport

You cannot tell me this is what Joseph Parker's promoters were hoping for. You cannot tell me that they want fans watching this on YouTube. Big fights in the UK are on Sky Sports - plain and simple.

What makes this even more baffling is the fact Fury's own promoter Frank Warren OWNS HIS OWN BOXING TV CHANNEL.

Why is this fight not on Box Nation at the very least? All this move suggests is that the big networks weren't interested. The promotion is a dud.

Imagine what Eddie Hearn must be thinking? Would he broadcast an Anthony Joshua fight on YouTube?

Andrew Gourdie: Joseph Parker down the tube

No. Neither would David Haye, Tony Bellew, or any other high-profile British fighter. This development does nothing for Parker's hopes of fast-tracking a meeting with Joshua at Wembley.

This fight's going to struggle to fill Manchester Arena! Instead of providing a boost, this fight is dragging Joseph Parker down to Hughie Fury's level, which is a no-name middle of the road fighter who doesn't sell.

We often hear Parker's promoter David Higgins talk about "risk and reward" when discussing Parker's opponents, and the risks appear to far outweigh the potential rewards here.

If this fight weren't a mandatory obligation for camp Parker they surely wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Not only has Fury pulled out of the initial fight in Auckland, but they're now heading to Manchester for what is looking like a promotion that does nothing for Parker's profile.

You can't only hope at the end of this saga, this fight hasn't done him more harm than good.

Andrew Gourdie is a presenter and reporter for Newshub Sport. 

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