Wilder Challenges Parker to Summer Fight
Deontay Wilder wants Joseph Parker to stop wasting his time trying to find a late replacement for Hughie Fury.
Wilder would prefer Parker to skip his May 6 fight and instead accept a heavyweight title unification fight against him sometime in July. The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion has said since he stopped optional challenger Gerald Washington two months ago that he wants to oppose Parker next.
New Zealand’s Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) won the then-vacant WBO championship by edging American Andy Ruiz (29-1, 19 KOs) by majority decision December 10 in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker was supposed to make a mandatory defense against Fury on May 6 in Auckland, but England’s Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) withdrew from the fight Saturday, supposedly due to a lower-back injury.
“I wanna be back in the ring in July,” Wilder said during a conference call Monday. “In July I want Parker. That’s what I want. I want Parker in July. Why not? He don’t have an opponent right now. We can go wherever. Let’s unify this division. This is the perfect time, man. This is God’s planning, man. This don’t happen for no reason.
“This is gonna be our third time talking about [fighting Parker]. It’s supposed to happen. Let’s make it happen. He don’t have an opponent. I’m fresh. All the other guys, they’re busy. They done either fought or got fights coming up. And now you’ve got the f*cking WBC champion – one of the most prestigious, well-known, the ruler of belts – available, ready to unify and add to all the rest of the belts. It’s easy. Man, let’s make this. The heavyweight division is so exciting. Let’s keep it that way. You’ve got Joshua and Klitschko fighting. In July, let’s have a Wilder-Parker unification as well, too. It makes so much sense, man.”
The 6-feet-7 Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) also said Monday that he has “no interest whatsoever” in making a mandatory defense of his WBC title against Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder out-pointed to win the championship two years ago in Las Vegas.
The WBC elevated Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) into the top spot in its heavyweight rankings after Alexander Povetkin failed another PED test prior to their scheduled December 17 fight in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Canada’s Stiverne withdrew from the fight December 16 after learning Russia’s Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs) failed the test.
The WBC could grant Wilder an extension to make his mandatory defense if the alternative is a unification fight. If Wilder could map out the rest of this year, he’d beat Parker for the WBO title in July, then face the winner of the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight Saturday in London.
“I wanna go get Parker,” said Wilder, who will provide analysis this week for Sky Sports’ coverage of Joshua-Klitschko. “You know, Parker ain’t got an opponent right now. I’m fresh. I’m ready. And what would be better than me and Parker fighting for the unification? And then after that, you have another unification, winner takes all, at the end of the year. Then in 2018, you start with a fresh year, nothing but mandatories. Just bam! Bam! It’s exciting nowadays. The heavyweight division is getting exciting. And if things go as I plan, like it’s supposed to be, y’all gonna see a whole other atmosphere in the heavyweight division.”
Wilder also pointed out that a bout between him and Parker would be a much bigger fight for Parker than a mandatory defense against Fury, a cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs).
“It can definitely happen,” Wilder said. “That’s for sure. My people have been on it day and night. So basically, I think it’s just gonna be up to Parker’s side, agreeing to doing the fight. We can renegotiate and make this fight even bigger. It’ll be way bigger than this Fury fight and stuff going on, man. We [should] have known [Fury would pull out]. It runs in the family for them. They’ve got a history of backing out of fights. And that is definitely not professional and that’s just not good for boxing, man.
“I mean, this is the heavyweight division. We already were coming out of a dark place. We finally got light. Don’t take it back. Don’t go backwards, when we’re moving so freshly forward. So with that, I wanna move it even more forward. I wanna give the fans what they want, and they want a unification. They want one champion. And I’m trying to make that happen, so here I am, Joseph Parker.”