Unbeaten WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has responded to Tony Bellew’s suggestion that he is the weakest of the current crop of heavyweight titlists, insisting he will “surprise” the man from Merseyside.
After Bellew beat David Haye at the beginning of March, he opened up several possibilities regarding his future. The 34-year-old assessed possible fights with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte, Haye and Parker. When talking about the New Zealander, Bellew said:
“He’s a shorter, solid fighter. A throwback to the old heavyweight days. He’s not your modern day giant of a heavyweight.
“He’s big and he’s solid, but I think he is the lesser of the other champions.”
Parker didn’t seem to take too kindly to the comments. He has since responded, telling Bellew he will show he’s “champion for a reason.”
The 25-year-old is unbeaten in twenty-two fights and defends his title against Hughie Fury on May 6. Ahead of that fight he spoke exclusively to Sky Sports and said:
“When people think that I’m the lesser champ, or maybe one of the less skilled, less talented, it’s good that they think that of me, because when I get in the ring, I’ll surprise them.
“I’ll give them the best that I have and they will see that actually I’m a champion for a reason.”
Parker posted on Twitter after Bellew’s momentous victory over Haye, saying he would fight him in the UK if all goes well against Fury.
He also says he welcomes other fighters calling him out, because he wants to fight the best in the world.
“It’s great to be part of it, great to have these fighters calling me out,” said Parker. “Just more opportunities, more fights. I’m excited, because I want to be in big fights, I want to fight the best in the world.”
“I want to be hunted, I want to be in those fights, but first things first and then we can sit down and make a plan. I’m down to fight everyone and anyone.”
Although a fight between the two is possible, it will have to wait for now. Bellew broke his hand during the Haye fight and revealed on social media this week that he had undergone surgery.
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) March 14, 2017
In the meantime, Parker may be set for a unification fight with WBC champion Wilder.
After beating Gerald Washington recently, the American called out Parker and demanded a fight for both titles if the New Zealander retains against Fury.
Whatever happens and whoever fights who, the heavyweight boxing division is in a healthy place at the moment.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena