Boxing: Michael Hunter 'close' to booking fight with Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker

  • 15/02/2023
Boxing: Michael Hunter 'close' to booking fight with Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker

American heavyweight Michael Hunter has revealed he's "close" to securing a fight with Kiwi Joseph Parker.

The 34-year-old was in the mix to square off with Parker last year, before the South Aucklander ultimately booked a bout against Joe Joyce, which he lost via 11th-round knockout.

Without a fight since his draw with Jerry Forest back in December 2021, Hunter claims his team are nearing a deal to face Parker, who's fresh off an unconvincing win over Jack Massey in Manchester last month.

"We're on the way to locking in something real soon, hopefully Joseph Parker," Hunter told Behind the Gloves.

Michael Hunter hasn't fought since December 2021.
Michael Hunter hasn't fought since December 2021. Photo credit: Getty Images

"He's been calling my name. The fight should be made, we are getting closer to making a decision."

Hunter boasts a record of 23-1, his only loss coming via unanimous decision against world champion Oleksander Usyk. 

He fought to a draw against hard-nosed Russian Alexander Povetkin in 2019, but hasn't recorded a win since his technical knockout of journeyman Mike Wilson in August 2021.

While a win against Hunter would do little for Parker's ambitions of returning to title contention, his opponent would have plenty to gain from claiming the Kiwi's scalp.

"I have to fight against the guys trying to get to the world titles," Hunter added. "If I can pick off a couple of those, the sky's the limit."

"I know Joseph Parker is a very strong and experienced fighter. He has fought at that top level and in those big stadiums and that gives him a lot of experience.

"It would be an interesting fight. He has a high IQ. He's not the biggest heavyweight, he's like me, a boxer-puncher. I think the fight would get very exciting in the later rounds."

After his win over Massey, Parker said he hopes to fight at least three more times this year.