WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs), 24 years old, is hoping to get in the ring with the other beltholders in the division to unify all of the titles.

At the moment, Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) holds the WBA, IBO, IBF world titles and Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) is the WBC champion.

Parker will return in September, when he heads to Manchester to face undefeated mandatory challenger Hughie Fury, who is the undefeated cousin of former world champion Tyson Fury.

Parker believes the upcoming contest, which takes place at the Manchester Arena in September 23, will help raise his profile in the division.

A big showcase on UK soil will certainly go a long way to building a potential 2018 showdown with Joshua, who right now is the biggest name in the heavyweight division.

“It’s alright. These other guys are fighting on that side of the world with all the exposure they get. New Zealand has got a small population to compare and for us to already have a world champion and now to start fighting, it’s a good step for us,” Parker said to Sport 360.

“It’s great to be a world champion, to achieve that goal that I set at a young age, but now I want to go on to do more, to create my own legacy. People don’t know me, but that’s all right. Hopefully they will soon. I want to show skills, bring excitement, pressure, be the fighter that everyone will remember.

“This is my chance in the UK to show what I can do. And I believe things happen when they are supposed to happen. Like every other heavyweight fighter I want to unify the belts, it’s a goal for me. It’s going to give me the motivation to train harder and focus. Just because you win one title, that’s not enough.”

Parker is very confident in his ability and is more than confident that he can topple both Joshua and Wilder – once he gets them the ring.

“I back myself to beat anyone. I don’t fear anyone and will fight anyone. The focus is of course on Hughie now and after that we will sit down and look to fight the other best fighters in the world,” Parker said.


By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing –

David Higgins of Duco Events, who is the co-promoter of WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, will be at WBO Head Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 1 when the purse bid for Parker’s mandatory defense against WBO#2 Hughie Fury will be decided. Frank Warren, who is the promoter of Fury, is expected to be in Puerto Rico also when the envelopes are opened.

“The stakes are very high and it’s a nervous situation,” Higgins said. “You have to try and predict what the revenues are going to be and then bid the most you can. If you bid too much you could lose a lot of money very quickly. And if we don’t bid enough, we lose control. We want to fight in New Zealand because we want home advantage. Last year was an Olympic year and Joseph Parker was the most Googled of any New Zealander.

“I’d like to think there’s a better understanding now of how big it is especially now Joseph is world champion. That last fight was watched in 100 television markets. Nearly every sport you can name receives government support and given the fight would attract international visitors and profile you’d like to think it would be seriously considered. I don’t want to pre-empt anything but we probably will prepare a proposal and see if there’s a willingness to make it happen here in New Zealand.

“If he were to beat Hughie Fury his stocks in the UK go through the roof. That sets up a juicy unification bout with the winner of [Wladimir] Klitschko and Joshua. If Joe fought Joshua it would sell out Wembley – you’re talking 100,000 people and millions globally. That could be as soon as June.

“Alternatively you could have Tyson, Hughie’s cousin, calling for his belt back. Another option would be Wilder. That’s another possible unification. So by the end of this year, provided Joseph keeps winning, he could have been in two worldwide events and be a global superstar. But winning is the key in boxing.”

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By Edward Chaykovsky –

WBO/WBA/IBO  heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18KOs) is planning to give Wladimir Klitschko a ‘beating’ when the two boxers face each other in the ring for a second time on October 29th in Manchester.

The fight had been scheduled for July 9th, and then pushed back after Fury suffered an injury in camp.

Fury shocked the entire sport last November in Germany, when he outboxed Klitschko to capture the heavyweight crown. It didn’t take long before Klitschko activated his contract clause for an immediate rematch.

Klitschko is no longer steaming that the IBF took away his world title only 10 days after stunning Klitschko. The belt was won by Charles Martin and then by Anthony Joshua. The belt was taken as Fury was unable to make a mandatory defense – due to legally binding rematch agreement with Klitschko.

“I didn’t feel anything when the IBF took the belt, as I’ve got 14 others to replace them. They robbed one off me because they couldn’t beat me, so they steal it. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. But everyone knows who the champion is,” Fury told the Shields Gazette.

Fighters like Joshua and Deontay Wilder can wait. Fury says the only fighter on his radar right now is Klitschko and he intends to make this victory even more impressive and more dominant. Should he beat Klitschko, Fury will then set his sights on the two biggest options – Joshua and Wilder.

“I’m looking forward to the fight. It feels good to be honest. I gave him a beating the last time, and I’ll give him a better beating the next time, it’s money for old rope. We’re working towards the October date and I’m already in training,” Fury said. “I’ll fight anyone, There’s nobody really on my radar, Klitschko – I’d give him another beating, there’s plenty of fighters out there.”



Report/Photos by Karl Freitag

IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko hosted a media workout at the Lucky Street Gym in Hollywood, Florida on Tuesday. Klitschko is preparing to defend his 10-year title reign against top rated challenger Bryant Jennings on April 25 at Madison Square Garden. The event will be televised live on HBO.

Klitschko patiently answered the same questions over and over for the various media outlets, went through some painful looking stretching exercises, then looked sharp in sparring six rounds. Also on hand was unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, who worked the pads with trainer Kevin Barry. Unfortunately for reporters, Parker didn’t spar against Klitschko on Tuesday.

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Vladimir Klitschko and Alex Leapai pose after their press conference. Photo: Reuters

Alex Leapai hasn’t been fazed by his first face-to-face meeting with the much taller Wladimir Klitschko, declaring he plans to exploit a weakness in the triple heavyweight world boxing champion in their title fight in Germany.

They met for the first time at a press conference on Wednesday morning in Oberhausen, where Leapai will attempt to cause a massive upset on April 26.

There was no trash talk from either man, with 37-year-old Klitschko speaking respectfully about Leapai and refusing to look beyond his bout with the Queenslander.

At 198cm tall, Klitschko (30-4-3, 24 KOs), is a whopping 15cm taller than 34-year old Leapai (30-4-3, 24 KOs) and also has a huge 16cm reach advantage.

The Ukranian colossus has won his last 19 fights and by the time he steps into the ring with Leapai it will be more than 10 years since his last loss.

Those impressive physical and fighting statistics and a close-up look at the champion have done nothing to shake Leapai’s belief he can topple the long-standing champion.

“Klitschko is a gentleman,” Leapai said after the press conference.

“He’s a very tall man, he’s no different to a lot of the guys that I’ve fought.

“But he’s probably a more experienced boxer and knows how to use his reach, so it’s something that we’ve got to work on.

“I’ve fought a lot of guys his height.

“We’ve just got to get inside. Once we get inside, it’s goodnight Irene.

“I know he’s not going to make it easy, but it’s just something that we’ve got to do, at short quarters.”

Leapai was convinced Klitschko would go into survival mode once he felt the Australian’s renowned punching power.

“He’s just a little bit taller than me, but he’s got a weakness and come April 26, we will expose that weakness,” Leapai said.

“I still feel that he hasn’t fought anybody over the last 10 years that has come to fight, that has come to take it off him.

“I just feel that it’s time for us Australians. It’s our time and I feel that once he feels what I’ve got, it’s all going to change.

“I’m just so determined to put Australia on the map and make history.”

A driver by trade, Leapai will be able to train full-time in the leadup to the biggest fight of his life due to help from his sponsor, Oxmar Properties.

“I get the opportunity now to train three times a day, before it was only two hours a day,” Leapai said.

“The main thing I’m focusing on is being fit and strong for this fight, just getting the right sparring partners too.”



WBO/IBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has signed off on his contract to face WBO mandatory challenger Alex Leapai on April 26th in Oberhausen, Germany. Leapai became the mandatory challenger last year with a huge upset decision win over previous mandatory, and then undefeated, Denis Boytsov. Even with the huge upset, Leapai is coming into the fight as a huge underdog.



Alex Leapai’s management wants to stage his looming WBO heavyweight world title bout against Wladimir Klitschko in Asia, where the Queensland slugger is known as the “Australian Mike Tyson”.

Leapai returned home on Tuesday after last weekend upsetting number one contender Denis Boytsov in Germany in a world title eliminator, despite suffering a calf injury in the seventh round.

The victory earned the 34-year-old fighter a crack at the formidable Klitschko.

Leapai’s trainer and manager Noel Thornberry expects the bout to take place between April and June.

“We’re hoping to bring it to Asia, as long as it pays well for everybody,” Thornberry said.

“I don’t think the Klitschkos will be too upset either, because it will introduce them to a new market.

“We’ve been doing a little bit over in Macau and Alex has actually had two fights in Asia.

“He’s got an enormous following over there, they call him the Australian Mike Tyson.

“When he got over there, you couldn’t walk up the street because people were mobbing him.

“After his first win over there they had to get a police escort to get him back to the dressing room from the ring.”

He said an ultrasound revealed Leapai had suffered two tears of his calf.

Thornberry expects his charge to resume full boxing training around mid-January.

“The good news is they don’t think it’s going to require any surgery,” Thornberry said.

“We’ll probably take two weeks of complete rest and then start back in with some core strength and conditioning and flexibility.”

While Klitschko will enjoy a huge 15cm height advantage over Leapai, the Australian has proven he can knock down tall timber.

In 2011, he unleashed a savage uppercut to knockout 207cm Russian giant Evgeny Orlov, a sparring partner of Klitschko.

“With the right preparation we’re very confident he’s going to do it (beat Klitschko),” Thornberry said.


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Two Olympic champions will collide on Saturday night at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. WBA/IBO/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and undefeated mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin held open workout sessions in Moscow. The two fighters have been scheduled to fight each other at least twice since 2008 with the match getting canceled both times.

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By Ruslan Chikov –

Top rated Russian light heavyweight contender Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19KOs) is backing his countryman, Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18KOs), to defeat WBA/IBO/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51KOs) on October 5th at Olimpiyskiy stadium. Kovalev knows the possibility of Povetkin winning is distant, but the opportunities will be there if Povetkin comes prepared. Klitschko-Povetkin is viewed as the biggest boxing event to ever take place on Russian soil.

“I would like to see our ‘Russian Knight’ win. The chances are there. But, honestly, it will be very hard to accomplish. Klitschko is great from a distance and does not allow you to get close to him. I believe the [Klitschko] brothers climbed to the top thanks to their physical dimensions – height, long arms. I do not like the style of Klitschko, but the results [in the ring] are phenomenal,” Kovalev said.

“What about Alexander? Yes, he’s not Mike Tyson. He does not have explosive speed. But there is a character [in his style]. I think Alexander will take risks. Well, boxing – it is not checkers: in boxing one punch can decide the outcome of the match. A single blow. And Klitschko is not invincible. If you remember he has been beaten and more than once. I’ll be rooting for Alexander.”




By Luke Furman

A deal has been reached, and the contracts have been signed, for the batttle of Olympic gold medal winners. WBA/IBO/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51KOs) will defend his titles against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18KOs) on October 5th at Olimpiyskiy stadium. Both promoters confirmed the news in a press release. Promoter Vladimir Hryunov secured the promotional rights with a huge $23 million dollar bid at the purse bid.

Bernd Boente, manager of Klitschko, confirmed the news.

“I am grateful to our Russian partners – Andrew Ryabinsky and Vladimr Hryunov for their cooperation in the realization of this great battle. Despite the long and arduous negotiations, both sides had the desire and willingness to reach an agreement. And now we can work together to provide one of the best fights that can be made to boxing fans around the world. We have all been waiting for this meeting for a long time and finally we reached the finish line. This will be an incredible fight – the battle of two Olympic champions, two heavyweight champions, two great athletes,” Boente said.

For his part, Klitschko said:

“I am very pleased that the fight has been set. Boxing fans around the world eagerly await the meeting of two Olympians. This fight will be between the best in the heavyweight division and I am impressed by the fact that it will be held in Moscow, because many Russian and Ukrainian fans have the chance to attend the live event. The atmosphere will be an exciting event,” Wladimir said.

And Hyrunov closed with the following:

“Moscow will host a fantastic boxing match, which will be seen by millions of eyes and cheered by hearts of millions all over the world – there’s no doubt about it,” said Hryunov.