Boxing: Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker close to finalising next move after COVID frustrations

Joseph Parker was forced to return to New Zealand earlier this month, when members of his training camp tested positive for COVID-19 in the middle of their training block.

He last fought in May this year and since then has struggled to secure another bout.

But Newshub understands that could be about to change, with Parker's camp revealing who they expect to face next.

The Kiwi heavyweight is back in his home gym, after his year turned on its head.

"I was in training camp with Tyson Fury," Parker tells Newshub. "The camp was going well - then COVID hit."

While Parker himself never got COVID, members of his training camp did, forcing him and his family to return home, and leaving him in limbo.

Parker had aspirations to fight around this time of the year, but currently has no fight booked. 

"It's frustrating, because I did have plans of keeping busy," he adds.

But Newshub understands that could be about to change, with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom to offer the Parker camp a fight in coming weeks.

Parker's manager David Higgins tells Newshub the right victories could see the Kiwi earn another shot at a world title fight.

"My understanding is that it's to have a rematch with Dereck Chisora in the United Kingdom, probably at the end of the year," says Higgins.

"If he beats Chisora, and then maybe one or two wins, then 100 percent, there's another title shot.

"If it is acceptable terms, then Joseph would potentially go to the UK and take the fight." 

Parker beat the Brit in a split decision in May, with many believing the result could just as easily have gone the other way.

"There was a sense that it was a good, close fight, probably worthy of a rematch," adds Higgins. "Whether it happens or not is down to what the terms are."

Those terms will be on Team Parker's desk next month. Until then, Parker will be at home in level four, working on his next move, as he eyes a path back to the top.