Boxing: Kiwi Joseph Parker locks in next heavyweight fight with Brit Joe Joyce in September

Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker will face Brit Joe Joyce on September 25 (NZ time), with the long-awaited fight between the two finally confirmed.

The pair will meet at Manchester, where Parker beat Derek Chisora in his last two fights. 

The September clash will be Parker's first this year, after being reinvigorated by trainer Andy Lee in 2021. 

The bout between the top two ranked fighters will serve as a WBO world title eliminator, with the winner in line to face either Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk for the title. 

"This is the best fight for me and Joe, both highly ranked in WBO and WBC," said Parker. "We're here now and I'm very excited to be back in the UK - this is going to be the best camp.

"I'm better than him, I'm going to box his head off. I believe I can stop him, I believe I can stop anyone." 

The announcement comes after plenty of back and forth between the two camps, with Joyce's promoter Frank Warren prematurely declaring the fight was on in April. 

Parker's team was quick to shut down suggestions anything had been agreed, with negotiations appearing to fall down completely at one stage, as Warren declared "this fight will never happen".  

"It was very tortuous dealing with Frank Warren and Adam Morallee, and all their team," said Parker. "If we shake someone's hand for a one-fight deal and you change to a three-fight deal, then the contract keeps changing.

"How tortuous is that? You're promised this and promised that, and all of a sudden, the contract is changed.  

"I'll only sign a contract if it's the right terms and what we all agree too, but if you agree to something and it keeps changing, why would I sign the deal? 

"Things kept changing and we weren't happy with the terms, and I got my lawyer and my manager looking at it, and it just wasn't something I was happy to sign. Why would I sign something I'm not happy with?"

Joseph Parker in action against Dereck Chisora
Joseph Parker in action against Dereck Chisora. Photo credit: Getty

Originally laid down for July, those plans were halted, with Parker's trainer Lee expecting the birth of his first child around the same time.

Now four months after Warren prematurely announced the fight, with Parker now also partnered up with promotional outfit Boxxer and TV broadcast giant Sky Sport, the clash is on. 

"He was non-negotiable," said Parker. "I tried to say, 'Hey listen, can we do this, can we do that?', but he wouldn't move, he wouldn't budge.

"He can say I should have talked to him, but he wasn't willing to from the beginning. 

"It's part of boxing. If the business side of things was easier to deal with, it would be great, but I'm glad we're here now."

Unlike his Kiwi namesake, Joe Joyce has fought this year, with a knockout win over Christian Hammer in July extending the Olympic silver medallist's unbeaten record. 

With 13 of his 14 fights coming via knockout, Joyce boasts an impressive record that Parker will be cautious of. 

Parker is already in camp, travelling to England last month to link with Lee and fellow heavyweight Tyson Fury to begin preparations.