Boxing: Reinvigorated Joseph Parker lays down gauntlet to Deontay Wilder before heavyweight showdown

Kiwi Joseph Parker has been included on a card that has been widely billed as the best in boxing history, taking on Deontay Wilder, one of the fiercest punchers on the planet.

The two former world champions will lock horns in Saudi Arabia two nights before Christmas in a bout that could prove pivotal to the South Aucklander's career.

"I feel like, when I fight the best, it brings my game up, so I'm excited for this fight," Parker told Newshub.

Parker has had a busy year. This will be his fourth fight, scheduled just 56 days after his first-round KO against Canadian Simon Kean.

Deontay Wilder.
Deontay Wilder. Photo credit: Getty Images

 "I had a little low time in my career," Parker admitted. "I feel like I have the spark back, where it makes me get up and I train, and I want to train and I want to fight.  

"I feel like I'm alive again."

Parker will enter the bouts as a distinct underdog against former WBC champion Wilder, who boasts 43 wins - a remarkable 42 coming via knockout - but the Kiwi remains undaunted by his opponent and has a quick response to the question of whether Wilder will send him to the canvas.

"Hell no, how?" he quipped. "He can’t catch me.

"Come December 23rd, I'm coming to do the same thing. I'm on the same mission."

Parker does have a secret weapon in the form of compatriot Junior Fa, who has been a fixture in Wilder's camps as a sparring partner.

Fa will also be part of the undercard, taking on Cuban Frank Sanchez.

"I think he said he's going to be sparring with Deontay," he joked. "I said, 'Don't give him your best work'."

Parker is clearly ready to become the grinch who stole Wilder's Merry Christmas.