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Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker Officially Fight for WBO Interim Title – The collision between the WBO number one rank Joe Joyce and two Joseph Parker got some extra stakes for their clash at the AO Arena, Manchester on September 24. The WBO officially sanctioned it as an interim world heavyweight title fight, citing the ongoing negotiations for Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk.

Nothing technically changes about the fight itself, as it was already scheduled for 12, but it’s nice to see Joyce (14-0, 13 KO) finally get his long-overdue shot. He’s been in line for a crack at the title since stopping Daniel Dubois in November 2020, but the Fury vs Joshua debacle kept him in limbo until the fight collapsed and Usyk got called up to challenge “AJ.”

For Parker (30-2, 21 KO), it’ll be his first crack at a belt since losing the WBO title to Joshua in 2018. He turned down an IBF final eliminator against Filip Hrgovic earlier this year, a move that’s resulted in both a direct shot at the belt and a much more lucrative opponent.

Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce were set to collide in the summer
Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce is set to collide for the WBO Interim heavyweight title on September 24.

Whoever wins will certainly be a worthy champion, and though Fury vs Usyk will almost certainly have a rematch clause that pushes any other possible defenses into 2024, one would hope that a full title shot will come sooner rather than later.

The ‘Nowhere to Run’ blockbuster on 24 September is being shown exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office and is promoted by Frank Warren for Queensberry Promotions in association with BOXXER.

Parker Has Set Goals
In what should have been a period of great fulfillment six years ago, there was something missing for Parker that he struggled with at the time. He can now put this void down to chasing dreams that weren’t his own.

Becoming a parent for the first time to Elizabeth made Parker understand his own discontent at a time when he should have been embracing national hero status in his native New Zealand.

“When I wasn’t a father I was doing boxing for myself because I enjoyed it, but mostly for others,” explained Parker on the Unibet Lowdown. “I’m not sure how this sounds, but I was doing it more for my dad because it was his dream and I was doing it more for my coach Kevin (Barry), who wanted to have a heavyweight world champion.

“When I achieved it I sort of wasn’t the happiest, maybe because it was for them. Now that I have my wife and my kids, in boxing, I am a lot more motivated because I want to do it for myself and my immediate family.”

Joseph Parker would love to fight Tyson Fury as he is ‘the best heavyweight there is at the moment’ | GiveMeSport
Parker and Tyson Fury became close friends after Parker defeated Fury’s cousin, Hughie, for the WBO title in 2017.

Parker has set out clear goals for the remaining chapters of his boxing story and, while returning to the heavyweight top table features strongly, he is more about the here and now and taking as much as he can from every single experience.

“I think I went through exactly the same thing, but I didn’t look at it as mental health at the time. Now I have had more discussions about it, maybe I did go through the same thing, I just didn’t realize.

Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker: The Highly-rated Heavyweight Collide on September 24
“I was still training and fighting, but wasn’t enjoying it. I didn’t want to associate with people and didn’t want to talk, I was out there doing this and that. I was still fighting but wasn’t training properly. I wasn’t doing anything right because I didn’t want to do it. But I was still doing it and doing it with no purpose.

“Now I have a purpose. Now I am motivated. Now I am driven. I have my wife and my kids at home who I have left and I have missed a lot of special occasions because of this goal that I have.”

“I don’t write them down but I do have them in my head. I should write them down, that would be a good thing to do. My goal, further out there, is to be heavyweight champion of the world. I think it would be amazing to have a fighter from New Zealand and Samoa be a two-time world champion.

“The goal is to appreciate each fight, appreciate the moment, to live in the moment and be present. If I think about stuff way down there I am not going to enjoy the process. I want to enjoy the training, the food, everything that is involved with the camp.

“I want to enjoy going home and seeing my family after a camp but, for now, I am in camp and I am going to enjoy every single moment of it.

“Now it is about the journey, the destination will take care of itself.”

If the tale sounds familiar, it is because Parker’s great friend and training partner Tyson experienced similar emotions on becoming a unified champion and subsequently spiraled into a mire of serious mental health issues that he recovered from in a most remarkable way.

Watch the fight highlight and the reaction videos on our YouTube channel >>>

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