Joseph Parker-Hughie Fury heavyweight title scrap rescheduled
The heavyweight title fight between WBO beltholder Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury has a new date.
The big men will clash September 23 in Manchester, England, Parker co-promoter, Australian-based Duco Events, announced. The mandatory title bout was originally scheduled for May 6 in Auckland, New Zealand, where Parker hails from, but Fury withdrew, citing a back injury.
Before the title fight, Fury — whose cousin, Tyson, is THE RING’s heavyweight champion — will prepare with a stay-busy fight July 8 against a to-be-determined opponent.
“We’re looking forward to going over to the U.K. and making a statement and putting on a great show,” Parker (23-0, 18 knockouts) said. “The idea of going to the U.K. is something I am looking forward to, and no, I don’t hold any grudges (about Fury not coming to New Zealand), I just go in there. respect my opponent and do what I have to do. That’s go in there and win the fight and defend my title and keep it here.
“I know there will be a lot of supporters for him, but I know I back myself and put on a great show, and hopefully get him out of there.”
Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) is the WBO’s No. 1 contender, despite owning exactly zero wins of note. The 22-year-old’s last two outings are victories over journeyman Fred Kassi and Dominic Guinn, a big man once regarded as a prospect almost 15 years ago.
Parker won the title with a close decision over Andy Ruiz in December and made his first successful defense with a decision over lightly regarded Romanian Razvan Cojanu after Fury withdrew.
“I’ve never had a close fight,” Fury said. “I’ve won every round of every single fight.
“I’m going to let my fists do the talking and I’m going to take his belt home with me.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger