Joseph Parker's WBO heavyweight world title defence against Hughie Fury is a "50-50" fight, according to former champion David Haye.

Parker will this weekend leave his Las Vegas base for London to acclimatise and prepare for the fight against Fury in Manchester on September 23 and will train mostly at Haye's gym.

The pair struck up a friendship the last time Parker was in London, but the 36-year-old Haye, who has been out of action since March when he ruptured his Achilles in the defeat to Tony Bellew, believes the fight will go the distance.

"Joseph Parker hasn't put a foot wrong as a professional and neither has Hughie Fury," Haye told boxing channel IFL TV.


"I think it will be close. Although Joseph Parker is the champion, he's coming to foreign territory and if it goes to points then he might not get that much love from the judges. I know it shouldn't work that way but he's coming over here to fight on a foreign promoter's event.

"I'm not sure if there's going to be a knockout... neither of the fighters have shown that they have weak chins. They've both shown they can go the distance. They're both young and fresh.

"I think genuinely it's a 50-50 fight... if Parker can retain the title he'll probably look for a unification fight against Anthony Joshua - that's the big one. Likewise Hughie Fury, to have two world champions in a family [would be] an amazing feat for the Fury.

"Whoever wins the fight - there will be some big fights next year... it's good for boxing having young, undefeated guys clashing with each other."

Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry have told the Herald they want a knockout against the 22-year-old Fury in order to take the judges, who will be independently appointed, out of the equation.

Accordingly, the 25-year-old has been working on his speed and mobility in order to pressure Fury from the outset following a below-par performance last time in the ring against former sparring partner Razvan Cojanu.

The pair believe Fury will seek to present a difficult, moving target. Any mistakes from Fury, the cousin of former heavyweight champion, Tyson, will be quickly seized upon.

Haye, now recovered from his Achilles problem, hopes to be in the ring in December, with a view to potentially taking on Joshua next year. A re-match with Bellew is a possibility, but Haye feels the negotiations with the Liverpudlian might prove to be too difficult to get another fight across the line.

A popular and charismatic figure in London, Haye is a potential opponent for Parker next year too.