Former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker has promised fight fans that he is gearing up for a “busy year” of boxing, which will start on 29 February when he takes on Shawndell Winters in Texas.
Parker held the WBO heavyweight title for 16 months, winning it when he outpointed future unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr in New Zealand in December 2016.
He defended the belt against Răzvan Cojanu and Britain’s Hughie Fury, only to suffer the first defeat of his professional career when he agreed to fight Anthony Joshua in a unification fight in Cardiff.
Parker lost next time out, too, when he was narrowly outpointed by Dillian Whyte. But he bounced back with consecutive stoppage victories over Alexander Flores and Alex Leapai and now says he is plotting his route back to the summit of the heavyweight division.
“I am thankful I am fighting earlier in the year in 2020, because I want to have a busy year, I want to have three of four fights this year, I want to get going,” he told VegasInsider.
“Eddie Hearn’s vision for us when we signed was to guide us back to fighting for the title. And I guess with getting me back into contention it’s about the right fights at the right time. I know I belong at the top and can beat a lot of the guys at the top, but I have to be patient and work my way back up.
“I need to get past Winters first, but I don’t care who I fight in the future, top five top 10, world champions. I want to fight Whyte because he won the first fight fair and square, but I know I can beat him.
“I know I can give way more than what I have shown in the ring and that is why this is the second phase of my career.”
Parker had been due to fight Dereck Chisora on the Josh Taylor vs Regis Prograis undercard last year only to withdraw because of illness.
And the Kiwi has said the pair could reconvene at some point in 2020.
“Chisora has been in the game a long time and he is getting a second wind in his career with all these wins and looking good knocking fighters out,” he added.
“He had a layoff, personal issues and came back and a lot of people don’t want to fight him – but I want to fight him, I would love to fight him.”
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