Joseph Parker and his team have met to plot a way back up the heavyweight rankings and heading the list of his targets is Englishman Dillian Whyte.

New Zealander Parker will see himself as a level or two above Whyte, who has also lost to Anthony Joshua - albeit by knockout - and would relish the chance to fight a man who has a relatively large following in the United Kingdom.

But despite the fact that Whyte is promoted by Eddie Hearn, with whom Parker and his promoter David Higgins get on well following the Joshua world heavyweight title unification bout in Cardiff three weeks ago, a Whyte fight would not be easy to make.

Whyte has title aspirations of his own and is the No 1 ranked contender for Deontay Wilder's WBC title. He is also ranked in the top five by the WBA and WBO and is desperate to get another chance to fight Joshua.


All of which means that while a Parker fight would be good for him financially, he is unlikely to want to risk his rankings on such a difficult challenge. Given Whyte's aggressive style, a fight between him and Parker, who has seen his profile rise significantly in the United Kingdom, is unlikely to go the distance

To further complicate matters, Whyte is also lining up a July fight with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, ranked No 2 by the IBF.

"He has repeatedly called out Joe for a long time," Higgins told the Herald on Sunday of Whyte.

"Given he is waiting for another shot at AJ, which may take a long time to come, we are ready, willing and available to fight him - we're saying put your money where your mouth is.

"We're not calling him out, we're just saying Joe is keen to fight him. Joe's reputation and profile in the UK have increased significantly following the Joshua fight and a fight between Joe and Whyte would easily sell out the O2 Arena, so it would make financial sense for Whyte to take this fight, too."

Whyte, who brutally knocked out Australian Lucas Browne at London's O2 Arena a week before the Joshua-Parker fight, has always rubbished Parker's ability and criticised the Kiwi's "negative" performance in his points loss to Joshua at the Principality Stadium.

"It wasn't his best performance but he did what he had to do," Whyte said of Joshua's effort. "Parker was also very negative as well - he boxed on the back foot the whole time, he didn't really take any chances."

Whyte is Wilder's mandatory challenger but given the trouble Hearn is having negotiating with the American over a Joshua unification fight, and the trouble he has had in the past convincing Wilder to fight Whyte, a challenge in the short terms looks very unlikely.


"I'll let the WBC enforce the mandate," Whyte said. "I'll keep fighting. If they don't want to enforce it and give me my shot, I'll go down another route. I'm not going to sit around and wait - I'm 29 now and I'm not getting any younger."

Whyte said he would also like to fight Alexander Povetkin, who knocked out David Price on the undercard of the Joshua-Parker fight but was stunned himself at the end of the third round.

He would much prefer to fight either Pulev or Povetkin because of their higher rankings but also their ages. Bulgarian Pulev is 36, while Russian Povetkin is 38.

Parker, ranked No 4 by the influential Ring magazine (down from No 3), and No 5 by the WBC, is only 26 and yet to reach his professional prime. He is a far more dangerous prospect.