28 Dec 2017

Joshua-Parker deal getting closer

4:24 pm on 28 December 2017

Heavyweight world titleholders Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are on the verge of a deal to unify their belts.

The issue in finalising the deal has been the split of the purse.

WBO world champion Joseph Parker.

WBO world champion Joseph Parker. Photo: Photosport

Parker's promoter David Higgins told ESPN that the issue has now been resolved and Joshua's camp has sent him a contract.

Initially, Parker's side demanded 40 percent, with Hearn offering a fraction of that figure. Although Higgins declined to give the precise percentage split the sides agreed to, he said it was between roughly two thirds of the pie for the Joshua side and a third for the Parker side.

There is no set date or location for the bout, but Higgins expects it to take place in April next year.

"My gut feeling is there will be a deal. We're only haggling over officials," he said. "We'll have to have a discussion with the British Boxing Board of Control [which regulates the sport in the U.K.]. I'm also happy to have the sanctioning bodies nominate a pool of officials. But even with that, we're very close to a deal."

Higgins told ESPN he expects to fly to England to meet with Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn next week to finish the deal.

The 28-year-old Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is the biggest name in boxing at the moment and holds the WBA and IBO belts.

25 year old Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), holds the WBO belt.