Joseph Parker's promoters are eyeing big opportunities in the United Kingdom, and Hughie Fury, who is still claiming to be the mandatory challenger to the WBO world heavyweight title, isn't one of them.

Duco Events feel they and Parker owe Fury nothing to the Englishman after he claimed less than a fortnight before his scheduled fight against Parker that he was unable to travel to New Zealand due to a back injury, for which he apparently has provided the WBO with medical evidence.

Duco were forced to scramble a replacement in the form of Razvan Cojanu, with Parker fighting him at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre this Saturday rather than the larger Spark Arena (formerly Vector).

They are likely to take legal advice this week with regards to Fury's claim to be mandatory challenger, and, should Parker be forced by the WBO to fight the 22-year-old, a cousin of Tyson Fury, then Duco will probably do all they can to hold it anywhere but in England.


The Furys were unwilling to travel to the unfamiliar surroundings of New Zealand from the start and there is a feeling within Duco, who have all but exhausted the New Zealand market as far as Parker is concerned, that the Furys would like a fight in Samoa even less.

The Samoan government were the official tourism partners for Parker's world title victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland last December and will be again this Saturday. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi is a big supporter of Parker, who has Samoan heritage.

No discussions have been entered into, but the prospect of a bout in the middle of Apia Park among a partisan crowd is unlikely to be something that Hughie Fury and his trainer and father Peter would look forward to.

Duco, who won the purse bid, retain the rights to hold the fight wherever they want, and probably feel that Parker has moved on from the likes of Fury now. Trainer Kevin Barry, normally a conservative figure as far as opponents are concerned, believes Fury would hardly land a glove on his 25-year-old fighter.

Fury aside, England has been calling Parker for a while now, and the siren will be sounding louder after he watched - in an Auckland bar - Anthony Joshua's epic victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, a win that has installed the Englishman as the most feared and lucrative heavyweight in the world.

There will be no shortage of challengers for Parker's title in what now must be considered the current home of heavyweight boxing.

Dillian Whyte, who rocked Joshua in the second round of their fight in London two years ago (before becoming yet another knockout victim), will be one, as will be Dereck Chisora, a man who lost, by split decision, an epic 12-rounder with Whyte in Manchester last December.

Most intriguing of all, though, is Tony Bellew, the charismatic Liverpudlian who saw his fame and notoriety skyrocket after beating David Haye in a dramatic bout in March.


Bellew, 34, considered retiring after his latest victory but has decided to continue and he sees Parker as the smallest, and therefore easiest, of the current heavyweight champions. Conversely, Team Parker see Bellew, who normally fights at cruiserweight, as a relatively easy and extremely lucrative night in the ring.

American Deontay Wilder is keen to fight Parker in a bid to unify his WBC belt with Parker's WBO title, but he has a mandatory challenger in the form of Bermane Stiverne, and although a unification fight would take precedence, Stiverne is promoted by the litigious Don King.

Wilder's main motivation for a Parker fight is to increase his profile for a more lucrative bout against Joshua.

Joshua, who has a re-match clause with Klitschko, also has a mandatory challenger in Kubrat Pulev. For Parker and the rest of the world's heavyweights, all roads lead to Joshua.