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Duco plots Parker's path for UK title bout

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/09/2016 Angelo Risso
Joseph Parker © Getty Joseph Parker

The promoter for Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker says a November tussle with Englishman David Price would be the perfect preparation for an eventual showdown against world champion Anthony Joshua.

The 24-year-old Parker is the mandatory No.1 challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Joshua and is expected to meet him in the ring in either November or March.

That match-up in the UK will depend on Parker claiming victory over Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko next Saturday in Manukau.

Promoter Dean Lonergan told reporters on Tuesday negotiations were underway to get the 193cm Parker on the undercard for Joshua's November 26 title defence.

Joshua, 26, is expected to take on Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in that fight but may call on Parker for a title bout if Pulev pulls out.

If Pulev does fight, it is hoped Parker will go toe-to-toe with the 33-year-old Price, who has a strong 20-3 record.

The 203cm behemoth marked the end of a 10-month absence from the ring with a victory over Czech fighter Vaclav Pejsar in May.

Lonergan said Parker was capable of taking care of business against any opponent he faced and at any time.

But he felt a fight against Price would prepare Parker well for the challenges that come with fighting in the UK.

Finding appropriate medical care and accommodation was a long process, as was adjusting to notoriously boisterous British boxing audiences.

"One of the reasons we like it is to get Joseph used to the atmosphere and environment," Lonergan said.

"You've got 20,000 Poms singing Sweet Caroline just before the fight and they're noisy, loud, raucous and just the best crowds in the world."

Lonergan said Parker had spent the last six weeks in Las Vegas sparring with taller boxers, including 196cm Pole Izuagbe Ugonoh.

The training would come in handy against the towering trio of 201cm Dimitrenko, Price and 198cm Joshua.

However Lonergan's planning for a UK bout would come to naught if Parker didn't beat the 34-year-old Dimitrenko on October 1.

The Ukrainian veteran has an impressive 38-2 record, including 24 knockouts, and has won his last six bouts on the trot.

He will pinch Parker's status as automatic challenger to Joshua with a victory.

"This is a tough fight, a risky fight, but we thought the risk is justified given we're getting prepared to take on a world-class guy in Joshua," Lonergan said.

"We want to go there, not to compete, not just for the fight, not for the pay day, and we're going to win this thing."

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