Boxing: Joseph Parker listed as possible Oleksandr Usyk opponent

If Joseph Parker doesn't fight fight Brit Dereck Chisora in April, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has offered another option to the Kiwi heavyweight.

Hearn listed Parker among three opponents who Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk wants to fight in his professional heavyweight debut on May 19 (NZ time) in the US.

Usyk (16-0, 12 KO's) is the current undisputed cruiserweight world champion, but wants to move up a weight class to take on boxing's best.

In 2018, Sports Illustrated and ESPN named the 32-year-old as Fighter of the Year.

The heavyweight division isn't new for Usyk, who won gold in the 81-91kg category
at the 2012 London Olympics.

Speaking to Fighthype, Hearn said Parker, Russian Alexander Povetkin and Cuban Luis Ortiz were all options.

"It'll be in America," Hearn said, about Usyk's next fight. "We're looking at Povetkin, Parker and Ortiz. 

"With the Dillian Whyte April card, it looks like it's going to be, what is confirmed at the O2, we got Povetkin, Parker... we got all those guys in the mix for that card.

"We got to see who wants to take on Usyk. He's up for fighting Ortiz, Parker, Povetkin... all those guys."

Hearn added that Usyk was taking a massive risk going for a big name in the division straight off the bat.

"I wouldn't," he said. "That's what he wants.

"I would say go a little bit easier and get his first fight out of the way, but these are the guys he's calling for and I guess that's why people love him so much."

Last month, reported that Parker's camp had turned down the opportunity to fight Usyk, which promoter David Higgins denied.

"As Joseph Parker's promoter, I confirm I have never received any communication from the Usyk camp regarding a fight, so your story is false," Higgins tweeted.

This is the second time in a week that Hearn has mentioned Parker's name when discussing potential 2019 fights.

On Monday, Hearn told BoxingSocial he was hopeful of getting Parker to fight 'Del Boy' Chisora at the 02 Arena, as a part of a heavyweight boxing extravaganza, headlined by Jamaican-born fighter Dillian Whyte.

David Higgins told Newshub that a fight against Chisora could be too good to ignore, but fighting Usyk might be the perfect fight to break into the American market for the Kiwi from south Auckland. 

Parker has established himself as a big name in the UK, after lasting 12 rounds against both Brit Anthony Joshua and Whyte in 2018, but the 27-year-old hasn't fought in the US in four years.

Parker has had two fights in the States, both knockout victories against compatriot Brice Ritani Coe and American Keith Thompson in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Parker last fought in December, when he beat Mexican-American Alexander Flores in Christchurch.


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Boxing: Joseph Parker listed as possible Oleksandr Usyk opponent