Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has questioned Joseph Parker's motivation ahead of his upcoming heavyweight bout against Dillian Whyte.
Parker and Whyte will meet at London's O2 Arena on July 29 (NZ time) in the Aucklander's first outing since losing his WBO belt to Briton Anthony Joshua in April.
That was the 26-year-old's Kiwis first in his career, but he scored a nice payday, rumoured to be about $NZ12million.
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After a big payday -, and after the birth of his second daughter this week - Hearn doesn’t think Parker has the same desire to be a champion once more.
"He had that massive fight against Joshua and made a lot of money," Hearn told Sky Sports UK.
"Does he still have the burning desire and motivation to win that back? If he does, I think it's a really, really good fight."
There is plenty on the line for both fighters, with the winner likely to get another crack at IBF, WBA and WBO world champion Joshua, but the loser will tumble a little further down the already crowded heavyweight ranks.
Hearn said he has seen video of Parker putting in the hard yards in Las Vegas and admitted the former WBO champion looks in excellent shape.
"I spoke to my good friend [Parker's promoter] David Higgins this morning," he said.
"They say, and we've seen it on the camera there, that Parker looks very light, very lean.
“He feels like he has a point to prove, because he felt like he sort of let the Joshua opportunity slip."
Despite that, Hearn clams Parker will be in for a tight contest, saying Whyte isn’t scared of anybody, especially Parker.
"Dillian Whyte is a winner. He wants to fight anyone, and he has no fear," Hearn told Sky Sports News.
"He's a bad geezer. When it gets going, and when it gets down and dirty at the O2 on July 28 - I'm guaranteeing it will be - he will be right in the thick of it."
Join us on July 29 for live updates of the Joseph Parker vs Dillian Whyte heavyweight boxing.