Boxing: Joseph Parker may fight Alex Leapai, not Eric Molina in next bout

Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker Photo credit: Getty

Joseph Parker's next opponent will be announced on Thursday, but it's unlikely to be American Eric Molina.

The Kiwi inked a multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing earlier this month, joining fellow heavyweight contenders Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte under the guidance of promoter Eddie Hearn.

Molina, 27-5, was widely speculated to be Parker's first fight under Hearn's management, but Newshub understands the 37-year-old's stalling on signing a contract.

Former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko lands a blow on Alex Leapai.
Former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko lands a blow on Alex Leapai. Photo credit: Getty

Leapai's trainer, Noel Thornbury, told Newshub that he expects to receive a contract from Matchroom Boxing on Wednesday afternoon to step in and fight Parker on June 29 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Leapai fought and lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, knocked out in the fifth round.

Since then, the Australian-Samoan has followed two losses with a win and a draw, but hasn't fought since 2017.

Parker's manager David Higgins denied the Molina fight was off the table, but wouldn't confirm nor deny the potential of a showdown with Leapai.

Parker is looking to continue his quest to get back into heavyweight boxing's elite following his December demolition of Alexander Flores.

The 27-year-old lost his WBO crown to Joshua in March 2018 before coming up short in an outstanding fight with Whyte.

His deal with Hearn is for three-fights, by which time, assuming he continues to win, he will be in title contention.

ESPN ranked the former WBO champion as the eighth best heavyweight on the planet.


Newshub will have live updates of Tyson Fury vs Tom Scwarz on Sunday June 16.