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Joshua's camp wants Parker fight

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016 By Declan Warrington

Anthony Joshua expects to make the next defence of his IBF heavyweight title in November and his promoter wants it to be New Zealand's Joseph Parker.

Saturday's seventh-round stoppage of America's Dominic Breazeale in London represented both the finest performance of Joshua's career and the first defence of his title.

He demonstrated improving intelligence and patience against an impressively-resilient opponent, who unexpectedly took the heaviest of punches until referee Howard Foster waved the fight over after the second knockdown in swift succession.

Parker, 24, became the IBF's mandatory challenger after getting past France-based Cameroonian Carlos Takam by unanimous decision in Auckland in May.

David Haye, as a ringside commentator in London also spoke of his desire for what would be a big-money fight, but promoter Eddie Hearn revealed Parker is their favoured option, and that a virus meant Saturday's fight was almost postponed.

"November," Hearn responded when asked when the 26-year-old would again fight.

"We like the Joseph Parker fight, that's the mandatory, we'll have to deal with that at some point, whether that's November, December or whether that's March, April that's a good fight.

"He won't say, but he had a virus for a couple of weeks and there were times when we were considering taking the (Breazeale) fight or not. After the (Charles) Martin fight (when Joshua won the title) because of the commercial deals, it's been non-stop: broadcasters, sponsors... the one worry for this fight was burnout.

"He needs a long rest. He needs to go and be a young boy, go and sit on the beach with his mates and mess around. It's been absolutely relentless."

A fight against Tyson Fury was unlikely because of Fury's ankle injury, he said.

"The Parker fight's going to happen in either November, December, or March, April. (Wladimir) Klitschko is a fight we'd love as well, but I'm always reluctant to make a fight of that magnitude in November."

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