Joseph Parker: Is Kiwi cruisin' for a bruisin?'Written by Leroy Cleveland
On October 1, heavyweights Joseph Parker and Alexander Dimitrenko will collide in New Zealand.
Considered one of the division's young lions, the 24 year old Parker inisits he wants to face surging, unbeaten IBF Champ Anthony Joshua on November 26, a mere seven weeks after his scrap with Dimitrenko.
Team Joshua, of course, is still seeking a late November opponent.
Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker on November 26?
What's wrong with this picture?
For starters, Team Parker shouldn't be looking past Dimitrenko as the 34 year old, 6'7" Russian is 38-2, on a six-fight win streak and has defeated a few formidable foes. Moreover, he boasts 24 knockouts and has been stopped inside the distance only once (Kubrat Pulev, 2012).
And even if Alex is easy work for Parker, he'd have to almost immediately throw himself back in training to prepare for Joshua with little time to rest. And preparing for the Brit will be no easy task, regardless of how in-shape Parker will be.
Secondly, should Parker cruise past Dimitrenko who's to say the former won't get cut or sustain an injury that may haunt him in a superfight with Joshua the following month?
And third, Parker has never fought outside of New Zealand or Samoa. From a promotional standpoint, wouldn't it be wise to showcase Joseph in the UK prior to a super showdown with the Brit? From a revenue and interest-level perspective, Joshua vs Parker would do better if staged in early 2017.
Parker is, however, the IBF's top contender and the mandatory challenger to Joshua. And Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, insists giving up that ranking is not an option.
For many reasons, it would be unwise for Team Parker to rush their man onto the big stage against a fella who may be one of boxing's most fearsome heavyweights over the last 20 years.
If Joseph Parker defeats Dimitrenko and doesn't sustain any injuries, let's hope we'll see him on Anthony Joshua's undercard come November 26.