Joseph Parker's Promoter Reveals Three Potential Opponents for Next Fight, Vows 'No Backwards Steps
Joseph Parker’s remarkable victory over Deontay Wilder in December has set the stage for exciting possibilities, and his promoter, David Higgins, is determined that there will be no backward steps for the former heavyweight world champion.
Parker, initially the underdog against the powerful Wilder, delivered an impressive performance over twelve rounds, securing a shutout points victory. Speaking to Seconds Out, Higgins identified three potential opponents for Parker’s next challenge: Filip Hrgovic, Zhilei Zhang, or a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
“I don’t think Joseph should step backwards. Against good opposition, he’s looked good. He’s got good momentum, so I think any one of Hrgovic, Zhilei Zhang, or Andy Ruiz, any one of those, if the money’s right, would be interesting and testing and learning. It’s a big fight. He doesn’t want to step backwards,” Higgins emphasized.
Hrgovic, currently holding the number one spot with the IBF, is a particularly enticing option. The IBF is expected to strip the winner of the upcoming Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk bout in February, creating an opportunity for Hrgovic to contend for the vacant belt.
Zhang, positioned at number one with the WBO, is another contender for Parker. He is likely to fight for a title within the next twelve to eighteen months. Meanwhile, Zhang is expected to return on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou match in March, making him a potential opponent for Parker.
The prospect of a rematch with Ruiz Jr is also on the table, allowing Parker to address any lingering doubts from their initial encounter. Parker secured a close majority decision victory in 2016, claiming the vacant WBO world title. A rematch would offer a chance for redemption for Ruiz, who, after a stunning upset against Joshua, faced a quick loss of his belts and a period of relative inactivity.
As Parker’s team considers these options, fans eagerly await the announcement of his next opponent, which promises to be a thrilling and significant matchup in the heavyweight division.