Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker has indicated his willingness to fight Tony Bellew on his home turf after the Englishman beat his countryman David Haye in a huge upset in London today.
The Haye v Bellew fight, which consistently reached new lows during the build-up due to the immense ill-feeling between the pair, delivered in the ring at the O2 Arena when Bellew, the massive underdog, stopped Haye in the 11th round. It was described by some pundits as the biggest upset in British boxing history.
Haye, a former world champion at heavyweight and cruiserweight, was probably ahead on the judges' scorecards until the sixth round when he appeared to injure his Achilles. The leg problem severely hampered the 36-year-old, but he would have earned a lot of respect among those who doubted his commitment when he refused to quit.
In an effort to finish the fight, Bellew - the WBC cruiserweight world champion - almost exhausted himself, but he finally caught up with Haye in the 11th round and sent him through the ropes with a flurry that ended on a left hook to the head.
Haye beat the referee's count, but his corner threw in the towel. Afterwards, the respect between the fighters was clear.
There was talk of a rematch, next time in Bellew's home of Liverpool, but the smaller man also stated his intentions of carrying on in the heavyweight division and possibly fighting Parker or WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder.
Parker, who had earlier sent Haye a message of good luck on Twitter, sent a message to Bellew which read: "All goes well May 6, I'll fight you next at the 02, no problem."
Parker's promoters have said they will announce the details of the 25-year-old's first mandatory defence of his WBO world title against Hughie Fury this week. It is likely to be held at Vector Arena on May 6.
Haye was Parker's mandatory challenger following the New Zealander's victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland last December, but he dodged the fight in order to face Bellew. Fury, the next man on the list, was then awarded the opportunity.
Bellew's promoter Eddie Hearn, who also handles the affairs of IBF heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, said: "He beat David Haye, who claims to be one of the best heavyweights in the world - Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder - why not?
"I believe he can beat Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder."