Boxing: Troublesome elbow niggle costs Joseph Parker IBF title elimination fight against Filip Hrgovic

Joseph Parker and his team have declined an offer to fight a heavyweight title eliminator against undefeated Croatian Filip Hrgovic.

The Kiwi - ranked No.3 in the IBF rankings - was sought as an alternate for Cuban Luis Ortiz, who turned down the opportunity to fight Hrgovioc, despite an impressive sixth-round win over American Charles Martin last weekend. 

Parker was next in line, but Newshub understands he’s seeking medical advice on his worrisome elbows that have caused him issues for several years.

Parker is back in the gym, training alongside WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but he is far from 100 percent, after bursting an eardrum in his impressive decision win over Derek Chisora in December.

Filip Hrgovic
Filip Hrgovic Photo credit: Getty Images

The Parker camp have apparently declined the IBF offer, as they await a diagnosis on his elbows, but Newshub understands the money on offer was well below the team's asking price.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn mooted the Hrgovic fight after Parker’s Manchester victory, but while the 29-year-old wants to fight, he can't afford to take risks at this stage of his career, when every fight carries high stakes.

Hrgovic has an impressive resume that includes an Olympic bronze medal and 12 KOs in 14 pro fights, but his only victories of note have come against seasoned journeyman Rydell Booker, Eric Molina and Kevin Johnson.

The IBF will now continue down the line of contenders until an opponent is found, with undefeated Brit Joe Joyce looming as the next likely candidate.

The winner of the IBF title eliminator would become a mandatory challenger for current WBO, WBA and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk, who will rematch Anthony Joshua later this year.