The WBO approved an interim heavyweight title fight.
And the boxers who get first dibs are Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker, who meet on September 24 at the AO Arena in Manchester.
In a statement by the WBO, they said:
“The WBO Championship Committee grants sanction approval of the Interim Heavyweight Championship between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker subject to the conditions stated herein.
“Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker understand, agree, and accept all the conditions stated herein and any other provisions hereinafter established by this Committee as a condition to granting sanction approval for the Interim Championship Contest.
“If Joe Joyce and/or Joseph Parker suffer(s) an injury that prevents his participation, is prevented to participate, impaired to participate, or unavailable to participate for whatever reasons in the Interim Championship bout, WBO Championship Committee shall proceed per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.
“In light of the foregoing circumstances and seeking to protect the rights, interests, and opportunities of the remaining contenders in the Heavyweight Division, we rule that an Interim Heavyweight Championship is justified.
“Even more so between the two highest-rated available contenders in the division the highly regarded undefeated Joe Joyce and the former WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker, respectively.
“By virtue of [Monday’s] ruling, we take affirmative action by assuring the fans that the fights that they clamour for and desire take place for the betterment of the sport of boxing without undermining the rights of the other contenders.”
Parker once held the title. He claimed that crown for two years after defeating Andy Ruiz Jr, but lost it to Anthony Joshua in 2018.
It now lies in the hands of Oleksandr Usyk, who defeated Joshua for the second time last weekend.
Joyce currently holds a 93% knockout rate and has yet to taste defeat in his pro career.
What this means now, however, is that the winner of the Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius matchup on October 15 must now rack up two wins before earning an undisputed heavyweight title shot.