February 27th, 2017
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will now be defending his title against challenger Hughie Fury on May 6 instead of the original date of April 1. The date for the fight was reportedly moved to help accommodate Hughie’s trainer Joseph Fury to help him be able to make the travel to New Zealand, which is where the fight will be taking place in Auckland.
The new date for the Parker-Fury fight means that the 22-year-old Fury ((20-0, 10 KOs) will need to wait a little while longer before he gets inside the ring. By the time that Hughie does face Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) on May 6, he’ll have been outside of the ring for over 1 year.
Hughie hasn’t fought since beating Fred Kassi by a 7 round technical decision in April of last year. Being out of the ring for 13 months and then facing a talent like Parker, it can’t be good for the 6’6” Hughie. I’m sure Hughie will be doing a lot of sparring, but it’s a different story than it is when it comes to fighting a real boxing match.
Parker, 25, is already thinking beyond the fight against Fury towards a big money unification fight against World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder later this year. Parker scouted out Wilder’s last fight against Gerald Washington last Saturday night by sitting ringside at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Parker wanted to see Wilder close up to check out his boxing skills and course his punching power. Hughie can take that anyway he wants to. Yeah, it looks like Parker is overlooking the 22-year-old Hughie, but can you blame him?
Hughie has no experience against good opposition at the pro level, and very little punching power. Hughie moves a lot in his fights, and he does a lot of holding. He also has questionable stamina. If you saw Hughie’s last fight against Kassi, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Hughie was totally gassed out after just 6 rounds.
Wilder said this last Saturday night about wanting to fight the 6’4” Parker:
I’m ready for Joseph Parker. The question is, is he ready for me?” said Wilder. “I’ve done my part Joseph Parker, now it’s time to do yours. I want to unify the division next. With Parker and the WBO belt, and Joshua and Klitschko fighting for the IBF and WBA, at the end of the year we can combine them once and for all.”
Earlier on Monday, the WBC ordered Wilder to fight #1 WBC Bermane Stiverne in his next fight. However, the unification fights are usually given the go ahead by the WBC to take place before a mandatory defense. As such, there’s a very good chance that Wilder will be able to face Parker BEFORE he fights Stiverne.