Parker targeting Joshua bout ahead of Wilder


Anthony Joshua is a more likely target for a heavyweight unification bout for Joseph Parker than Deontay Wilder, the New Zealander's promoters have said.

Parker won the WBO heavyweight title by defeating Andy Ruiz by majority decision in December and will defend that belt against Hughie Fury on April 1.

Fury - cousin of former champion Tyson Fury, who vacated the WBO, WBA and IBO belts in October - is unbeaten in 20 fights.

Parker boasts a similarly unblemished record, with 18 of his 22 victories coming via knockout and a bout with WBC champion Wilder, who faces Gerald Washington this month looking to move to 38-0 with his 37th stoppage, has been talked up.

But Parker's promoters believe a win over Fury would open the door for a fight against Joshua, should the Briton - whose 18 bouts have all ended in knockout wins - defeat Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April.

David Higgins, a Duco Events director, told Sky Sports: "Joe's stock - assuming he wins - will go through the roof in England, therefore it would make sense for Joe to probably target English opportunities next after Fury.

"For example, if Joshua won, that would be a better unification because Joe's stocks are high. It looks like we are heading down the UK route at the moment and then once you conquer that, the United States is the next logical step.

"I think Wilder will happen, but my gut feeling is it's probably a bit further down the track, but not too far away.

"I think the belts will unify. I wouldn't be surprised if within two years' time there is an undisputed heavyweight champion among the crop we are talking about. One will rise to the top."