Parker & Joshua Negotiation Update
Wednesday on FIGHT SPORTS, we discussed the issues between promoters David Higgins and Eddie Hearn as they attempt to negotiate a title unification between WBO champion Joseph Parker and IBF, IBO, WBA champion Anthony Joshua.
Higgins stated in various interviews that Hearn passed along an “insultingly low” offer for Parker in the initial message, but Hearn claims that instead of replying to him via the initial email, Higgins decided to mislead Parker and get him to rant on social media.
According to David Higgins, the two sides had a much better interaction regarding the split of the money.
“We weren’t happy with their starting point but they have signaled they are willing to move a bit. We are in the middle of that negotiation now.”
“We know exactly what the lines are, both parties want the fight but we have to settle on a fair deal. We want utter transparency … open books, all the revenue in the pot and all the costs, a right of audit and then a share that we feel reflects Joseph’s status as an unbeaten champion as a ratio of the overall pie.”
Higgins initially said he was looking to secure a 60-40 deal in favor of Joshua – after stating that Hearn wanted an 80-20 deal.
But it appears that both promoters are now looking to find some middle ground to get a deal together.
If Higgins and Parker reach the right deal, they have no issue with a UK venue being selected for the unification.
“Eddie is fairly straight forward and he’s professional. He’s just trying to drive a hard bargain. In driving the hard bargain though, we urge him to consider that Parker has come from the ground up, he’s earned that title and in unifying he is putting that all on the line.”
“He has a large extended family to look after. Joshua has had the privilege of setting himself and his family up for life and for us, it’s a bigger deal than for them. For AJ, maybe the money might be a bit of a drop in the ocean. For us, it makes a meaningful difference to four or five years of very hard work and risk by Joseph, Duco, Kevin Barry … the whole team.”
“When we started this, it was ‘let’s try and do the impossible’. Having got there and then being willing to unify … unifications only happen once or twice in a decade … that deserves a fair deal.”
If the negotiations fall apart, Parker has several other options. Top Rank’s Bob Arum has a March date in mind, in the United States, to match Parker against heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings.