By Richard Damerell
Last updated: 13/01/20 11:00
Joseph Parker’s team remains willing to fight Oleksandr Usyk if the WBO title becomes vacant, but he would expect a 70-30 division in their favor, says manager David Higgins.
Anthony Joshua currently holds the WBO heavyweight belt and is awaiting news of his upcoming fight after he has been ordered to defend the title against Oleksandr Usyk and Kubrat Pulev, his WBO and IBF mandatory challengers.
The IBF granted Joshua and Pulev until January 31 to agree on an agreement, with the British star hoping to fulfill both of its title obligations towards the Bulgarian and Usyk.
But if Joshua is forced to give up the WBO belt, then Usyk and Parker number 2 could fight for the vacant title, and Higgins believes that the New Zealander deserves a greater percentage of the earnings.
“Usyk didn’t gain his streak in heavyweights,” said Higgins Sky Sports. “Joseph Parker is side A and Joseph Parker has run out of the Principality stadium with Joshua, has run out of O2, with Whyte.
“It’s side A and so if Usyk wants to share the ring with Parker, I would expect a 70-30 open book revenue share in favor of Parker. They’ll make fun of that, but listen, Parker beat Andy Ruiz, has run out of Principality and O2 and is a big name in the UK, so Usyk is side B.
“Absolutely Joe will fight him, as long as the Usyk team recognizes and understands that they are side B, no problem.”
Usyk promoter Alexander Krassyuk said so Sky Sports that the Ukrainian star would have liked the opportunity to fight for the WBO belt against Parker.
“If it turns out that the WBO title is vacant, Usyk will be happy to fight for it,” explained Krassyuk. “And Joseph Parker is the tallest contender available.”
Higgins insists that Parker would appreciate the challenge of testing his speed and power against Usyk, who fought only once in the division, a stoppage win over Chazz Witherspoon in October.
It is a very good fight and we really respect their team, but we are side A, and as long as they are willing to accept a small percentage of the revenue, then there may be an agreement.
“There is a saying that styles are fighting,” said Higgins. “I think Joseph Parker has a better chance against Usyk than saying Anthony Joshua. I think Usyk dissected Anthony Joshua, too big and slow, while Parker is fast. We haven’t seen the best of Joseph yet.
“It is a very good fight and we really respect their team, but we are side A, and as long as they are willing to accept a small percentage of the revenue, then there may be an agreement.”
Parker is expected to return to action on Mikey Garcia-Jessie Vargas’ bill in Texas on February 29, with an opponent to be announced in the coming days, and Higgins hopes the 28-year-old can fight three times this year.
“Joe is focused only on the fight facing him, which is February 29,” said Higgins.
“He has to win it. He should win it, he is in excellent shape, and if he does, and this becomes realistic, then we are at the table. Joseph Parker will be absolutely willing and ready to face Oleksandr Usyk.”