Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Giant Ukrainian likely as Joseph Parker's next opponent

Alexander Dimitrenko of the Ukraine poses before the fight against Eddie Chambers of the USA during the WBO Eliminator Heavyweight fight. Photo / AP.
Alexander Dimitrenko of the Ukraine poses before the fight against Eddie Chambers of the USA during the WBO Eliminator Heavyweight fight. Photo / AP.

Alexander Dimitrenko, a giant Ukranian, is likely to be announced tomorrow as Joseph Parker's next, and possibly final, opponent before his heavyweight world title showdown with Anthony Joshua in London.

Dimitrenko, 34, stands 2.01m tall and will be the biggest fighter the 1.93m Parker has come up against during his professional career.

Parker has fought men of similar dimensions or smaller since he turned professional in 2012, but Dimitrenko is literally a step up and has been signed specifically to prepare the New Zealander to fight the 1.98m Joshua. That fight is expected to happen at the end of this year or the start of the next.

Dimitrenko, 34, stands 2.01m tall and will be the biggest fighter the 1.93m Parker has come up against during his professional career. Photo / Getty Images
Dimitrenko, 34, stands 2.01m tall and will be the biggest fighter the 1.93m Parker has come up against during his professional career. Photo / Getty Images

Dimitrenko boasts a solid 40-fight professional career of 38 wins and two defeats. His losses were at the hands of his two highest quality opponents - Kubrat Pulev (a knock-out defeat) in 2012, and Eddie Chambers (points) three years earlier.

Parker will go into the Dimitrenko fight in late September at a New Zealand venue yet to be confirmed with a perfect 20-fight professional record following his fourth-round knockout of Australian Solomon Haumono in Christchurch last week.

Parker dominated the fight against the predictable Haumono, finishing it with a straight-left, right-uppercut combination, and he will be expected to have too much speed and class for Dimitrenko, who, like famous compatriot Wladimir Klitschko, is based in Germany.

The 24-year-old Parker's rise up the ranks to become the mandatory challenge to Englishman Joshua's IBF title has not gone unnoticed by Tyson Fury's trainer and uncle Peter Fury, who said in a recent interview: "I think they'll all threats [to Fury's titles], but Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, Joseph Parker, I think they're the realistic threats at the moment."

American Wilder recently defended his WBC title, and Ortiz is an undefeated Cuban with the nickname of "King Kong".

The omission of Joshua from that list would have been deliberate. Tyson Fury, who will defend his WBA and WBO titles against Klitschko in a re-match in Manchester in October, has never got on with Joshua, but a fight between the two Englishman would be hugely lucrative for both.

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