18 Apr 2019

June too soon for Parker

2:31 pm on 18 April 2019

Joseph Parker's promoter says the start of June is too soon for the New Zealand heavyweight boxer to jump into a rematch with British world title holder Anthony Joshua.

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Holder of three of the division's four major belts, including the WBO belt he took off Parker a year ago, Joshua looks set to need a new opponent for his June 2 fight in New York after American contender Jarrell Miller tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

The undefeated Miller has requested his B sample be tested, after he tested positive for a banned substance which aids endurance and an athletes ability to burn fat.

The chances of him now making the fight look slim given he has also been denied a boxing licence by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Parker indicated on social media on Wednesday night he was "willing and ready" to step in and fight Joshua in New York.

But a meeting to discuss his long-term future was held after that and promoter David Higgins told RNZ the time-frame meant stepping up as Miller's replacement didn't make sense for them.

"[Joseph's] committed to another run at winning the world title and unifying, and we'll do it in a methodical, sensible manner and back yourself to win kind of way.

"Our view is that Joe will be fighting Joshua again and we'll be doing so properly and preparing properly.

"To sort of jump in at short notice, under-prepared, would be something you do just for the money, and Joseph doesn't need the money."

News of Miller's positive test comes as Parker weighs up the road ahead.

The former WBO heavyweight world champion is considering whether to stay independent or link with powerful promotional outfits in the UK and US.

While he wouldn't reveal which way Parker is leaning, Higgins said a call could be made within a few days after Wednesday night's meeting of the 27-year-old's family and management team.

Joseph Parker presses forward against Dillian Whyte.

Joseph Parker presses forward against Dillian Whyte. Photo: Photosport

Higgins said Parker is pondering several factors as he nears a decision about his long term future.

"You're risking your health, and all sorts of things, each time you fight so you want to be remunerated for the risk.

"Secondly, trust is important, working with people that you can trust, that you know that you can work with without getting into conflict. And then timing is important.

"There's an optimal time to do a deal and you've got way that up, whether that's now or in the future."

The decision will also govern who Parker's next opponent is.

Higgins said they had at least a couple of solid options on the table, including a clash with Dereck Chisora.

The prominent British veteran suffered an 11th-round knockout in December against fellow Englishman and leading contender Dillian Whyte, who Parker suffered his second career defeat to in July last year.

"Chisora's been chasing us down all year, so has his manager David Haye. We we're going to do the fight in April, but they left us with too short a time so we pulled the pin.

"That fight's always there. It would be a good fight and a big fight and if Joseph knocked out Chisora he'd be in pole position again to call for a rematch with Joshua or Whyte.

"So that's certainly a consideration and it's one of the options on the table that we're looking at."