Joseph Parker has vowed to do ‘anything’ to make a fight with Anthony Joshua happen – but he has warned Britain’s IBF and WBA heavyweight champion that he will have to walk away and pursue the likes of Deontay Wilder unless an acceptable deal is put on the table.
Negotiations between Joshua and the WBO champion are ongoing ahead of a potential unification fight in 2018. But talks have hit an early stumbling block, with the New Zealander’s team keen to secure a 40 per cent stake in the contest.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn labelled those demands ‘laughable’, however, and Parker has now revealed to Sportsmail that he is willing to accept as low as 35 per cent and even change his own pre-planned schedule just to secure a fight with his British rival.
‘I’ll do anything to make the fight happen,’ he said.
‘Forty per cent is what we think is a good deal… that’s what our target is but they’re not on the same page as us in terms of making 60-40. So anything below 35 per cent wouldn’t be a go ahead for us,’ the unbeaten heavyweight added.
‘We’re looking at fighting in March or April. If they’re keen to fight (then), we’re very keen to fight. It’s time that all the heavyweight champions unified so we can see who the best in the world is.
He added: ‘There is no real timeframe. We’re open to suggestions from their side. We have a date we want to fight on but they might have a different date so it’s about finding some common ground and meeting in the middle.’
Parker has been out of the ring since his victory over Britain’s Hughie Fury in September. Joshua, meanwhile, is being lined up for a trilogy of heavyweight mega-fights, with Hearn hoping to make fights with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Parker and ex-unified king Tyson Fury to crown an undisputed king of the division.
The WBO champion is confident his and AJ’s team can settle their contractual differences and begin a potentially historic series of unification bouts. But the New Zealand fighter claims he is prepared to forgo his ‘preferred option’ if terms cannot be agreed.
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