Boxing: Joseph Parker frustrated at lack of opportunities under Matchroom Boxing

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has taken a swipe at new promoter Eddie Hearn, as he reflects on the most inactive year of his professional career.

The former WBO heavyweight champion has fought just once in 2019, after a spider bite forced him out of a scheduled bout last month, and attempts to get back in the ring have fallen on deaf ears.

As the work continues, the frustration grows for Parker.

"They were supposed to give us a decision last week," he says. "Now they've said they'll give us a decision this week.

Parker is tired of waiting to hear from Matchroom Boxing and Hearn, who took over as his promoter in June in a lucrative deal that appeared to offer a path back to the top of the heavyweight division.

"I wanna see him win a world title," said Hearn. "I want to give him exposure in the US and then move forward."

At the time, Parker was excited by the prospects. 

"They have a big stable of heavyweights, and we can pick and choose who we want to fight."

Less than six months on, that's clearly not the case.

"They tell you when to fight, when you can be on," says Parker. "It's good to be with them, but also it's frustrating at times. 

"I have no regrets in my life, I just wanted to fight before the end of the year."

Parker requested a spot on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title rematch with Andy Ruiz in two-and-a-half weeks in Saudi Arabia - an event run by Matchroom Boxing.

"They said the cards were so full and planned well ahead that there was no space or opportunity for us to be on the card.

"We tried to get on any card, lowered the purse... we did everything we could."

So a 10th-round TKO against Alex Leapai is all Parker has to show for 2019.

He knows he needs to take his opportunity when it comes in the new year.

"Get in the ring, fight well and smash my opponent, and that's the only way that will make me a priority - because, at the moment, we're not."

With two fights left on his Matchroom contract, 2020 shapes as a defining year in the career of Joseph Parker.