New Zealand’s former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker says he is willing to wage war with next opponent Englishman Dillian Whyte and the hope it earns the winner a world title bout.
Parker, who lost his WBO belt to Britain’s world champion Anthony Joshua in their bout in Cardiff in March, has accepted a tough clash with Whyte in London on July 28.
However, the 26-year-old Kiwi has no regrets about accepting the challenge against the 30-year-old Jamaica-born pugilist, who like Parker has lost to Joshua but pre the latter becoming world champion.
“The last time I was here it was a great experience fighting in Cardiff,” said Parker at a press conference in London announcing the fight on Thursday.
“We didn’t get the result but I feel it’s a great time to come back.
“Credit to Dillian and myself for putting our hands up to fight each other. I’m looking forward to going back to training, and burning off the pies I’ve eaten in New Zealand.
“He looked tremendous in his last fight (when stopping Lucas Browne); he said he wants a war, let’s make it happen.”
Whyte, who has overcome a violent and troubled adolescence becoming a father aged just 13 and has admitted but for boxing he would either be dead or in prison, believes Parker missed an opportunity against Joshua and he will not be getting a second chance.
“He had his big moment, and he didn’t do enough,” said Whyte, who is the number one challenger to Deontay Wilder’s WBC belt.
“I’m here to fight, I want to fight, give the fans big fights, this is a great fight, Joseph Parker will be hungry, motivated.”
Whyte, who is on a run of seven successive victories with his last bout an eye-catching sixth round knockout of Australia’s former WBA titleholder Lucas Browne in March, taunted Parker over what he claims is a reluctance to go toe to toe once in the ring.
“I just hope he leaves his running shoes at home on July 28 and comes to fight,” said Whyte.
“Massive respect to him, he could have had a couple of easy fights but he wants a challenge. It’s a big mistake but I’m sure he thinks differently.
“It’s the biggest (heavyweight) fight outside the champions.”