Joseph Parker has an accountant and a lawyer in his management team, which includes members of his family, but such is his attention to detail that the heavyweight boxer reads every last line of his fight and promotional contracts.

He is also said to be very familiar with his different tax responsibilities and when you're fighting overseas as a "professional entertainer", putting a metaphorical tick in that box can be a complex business, not to mention a dry one.

So, as he sits down tonight with David Higgins and his other close advisors to discuss the big-money multi-fight offers he has received from overseas promoters Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum – the two major players in the sport along with Deontay Wilder's publicity-shy backer Al Haymon – Parker will know exactly what is at stake.


We're talking million-dollar deals for perhaps a five- or six-fight package. There may be a temptation to hold off and wait until after he fights Dereck Chisora in London in July – Parker's most probable next bout – but as the 27-year-old New Zealander knows only too well, there are no guarantees in this game. A win could add value, but another defeat would send his stocks crashing through the floor.

Parker's two professional losses have come in the United Kingdom and he got raw refereeing deals in both of them so a return as an "independent" would be extremely risky.

In the world unification fight against Anthony Joshua in a freezing Cardiff in March last year, the eccentric ref wouldn't allow either fighter to get close and exchange – realistically Parker's only hope of a win.

In an even worse display of officiating in the fight against Dillian Whyte during London's heat wave four months later, Parker was burned by a referee who didn't appear to notice the Englishman's first knockdown was achieved via a headbutt.

For the sake of Parker's financial security, the time to strike a deal is now; in retrospect, it probably should have been last year because he got very little out of his fight against the out-classed Alexander Flores in Christchurch last December apart from a predictable knockout win.

The father of two girls, with another due very soon, made about $13million from the Joshua fight – effectively the pay-off from his WBO world heavyweight championship victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in late 2016 – and a deal with either Hearn or Arum would map out his fighting future for probably the next two years.

Who is the favourite to sign Parker? If I was a gambler I would pick Hearn, an Englishman with whom Parker and David Higgins get on well, and an individual, more to the point, backed by one of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom. Hearn has cash to throw around – perhaps more so than Top Rank's Arum.

If Parker were to return to London newly signed up to Hearn's stable, he and his team would probably also feel they would get a better class of decision making from the officials.


That's just professional boxing, an often cruel sport which has broken many and also made many, and at this point you can put Parker firmly in the latter category thanks to his undeniable physical talents and mental strength but also his intelligence and decisiveness.

Parker's support team is comprehensive and caring, but no decision is made without his sign-off and as he's the one putting his health at risk every time he gets in the ring that's as it should be.