Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker will meet with family and management team on Wednesday night to discuss the most important decision of his career
His promoter's returned from overseas with offers to secure his long-term boxing future or turn them down to remain an independent fighter ahead of his next bout.
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The timing of the decision will provide an insight into Team Parker's confidence in the 27-year-old to once again become the heavyweight champion of the world.
Three fights and two losses in 2018 represent a bad year for Parker.
Now, it's crunch time, as the former WBO champion struggles to remain a relevant prospect in the heavyweight division.
"Joseph's at a turning point in his career," promoter David Higgins told Newshub. "If he loses his next fight, he becomes a marketable journeyman."
Outside the ring, Parker's next move is important in deciding how his future is mapped out. The Kiwi has three options on the table.
- Sign a multi-fight deal with American promoter Bob Arum and ESPN
- Sign a multi-fight deal with British promoter Eddie Hearn and online streaming service DAZN
- Or remain independent
A multi-fight deal offers Parker an insurance policy, but his stocks are low, after losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, and a bounce-back win over unheralded Argentinian heavyweight Alexander Flores.
"Is now the right time to do the big deal?" pondered Higgins.
"Imagine we don't and we knock out say, [Derek] Chisora in London. Then they're coming to us with double the value.
Higgins expects Parker's team will make a decision in the next week and confirmation of his next opponent shortly after. He acknowledges flying solo in his next fight comes with major risk.
"You've got to back yourself to win," Higgins said.
"If we decide to stay independent, we'll go into the next fight confident we will get the win. The confident move here is to remain independent until after the next fight."
The looming decision and the timing of it will say an awful lot about whether Parker's team believe his ability matches his ambition.