Joseph Parker facing '18 month wait' before title fight

Should Kiwi Parker beat Carlos Takam at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre on May 21, he becomes the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua's title.
Should Kiwi Parker beat Carlos Takam at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre on May 21, he becomes the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua's title.

An English boxing expert says it may be 18 months before New Zealand's Joseph Parker even gets a shot at IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Kevin Mitchell, boxing writer for the Guardian, told Radio Sport's Martin Devlin on the DRS Show that Parker is an impressive prospect which actually hinders his chance of a title shot against Briton Joshua. That and the fact that Joshua is lining up a huge pay day in a fight against compatriot Tyson Fury, means Parker will have to wait in line.

"He's [Parker] impressive, he's obviously got power, style. He's made a good impression. There's no two ways about that. He's probably in the unenviable situation of being slightly dangerous," Mitchell said.

"That always happens in boxing. If you're on the rise and you're in a division where you might be in a position to challenge because of your ranking or your performances and you're looking good because you're selling tickets, you've then got to persuade the champion to risk his title against you when he may have an easier option.

That's the reality of boxing.

"He may get a shot down the road. I'd love to see it. It would be a good fight."

Joshua won Fury's vacant IBF title on Sunday with a knockout of American southpaw Charles Martin in the second round in London.

Listen: Martin Devlin interviews Kevin Mitchell

Should Kiwi Parker beat Carlos Takam at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre on May 21, he becomes the mandatory challenger for Joshua's title.

However Mitchell said a looming bout between Joshua and WBA champion Fury around the middle of next year means Parker will have to wait in line to get a title shot.

Mitchell predicts Joshua will have a few easy defences before taking on Fury, meaning he won't want to fight Parker before a massive pay day.

"It would be the biggest fight in the history of British boxing. No doubt about it. Two world heavyweight champions. Presuming Fury is going to hang onto his title in the rematch if it happens against Wladimir Klischko.

"Wembley Stadium is probably not even big enough. You can imagine the hype."

Mitchell predicts the two would fight in the British summer of 2017 and says Joshua would have the edge.

"I've seen nothing really in Joshua's career to suggest that he's not going to be a terrific champion at some level. If you pushed me on it right now...it's a real close fight between him and Tyson Fury."

"I would suspect Joshua would stop him somewhere in the later rounds."

- NZ Herald

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