ZB

'An offer we couldn't refuse': Joseph Parker signs 'best deal of career' with UK company

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Jun 2022, 1:51pm
Joseph Parker. Photo / Getty Images.
Joseph Parker. Photo / Getty Images.

'An offer we couldn't refuse': Joseph Parker signs 'best deal of career' with UK company

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Jun 2022, 1:51pm

Joseph Parker has signed a lucrative multi-fight deal with Sky Sport UK that will set him up financially and could change the course of his boxing future. 

Parker had been in negotiations with Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions, with a view to agreeing a multi-fight deal that would first pit him against Joe Joyce for the right to claim mandatory status for the WBO crown held by Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, who is set to rematch Anthony Joshua in August. 

While the Joyce fight remains on the table for Parker, terms were not reached with Warren and Parker has instead opted for an alternative route by committing his future to Sky Sport UK and British boxing promoter Ben Shalom. 

David Higgins remains Parker's manager but, just as Eddie Hearn has previously acted as the Kiwi heavyweight's promoter, that task now falls to Shalom. 

Signing with Sky Sport and Shalom seeks to build on Parker's popularity in the UK where he has set up camp by working with trainer Andy Lee and world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for his last two victories over veteran Derek Chisora. 

"The most powerful boxing platform in the world is arguably British Sky Sport who have had multiple blockbuster boxing events globally," Higgins said. "For Joseph it's fantastic to sign with Ben Shalom and Boxxer who are British Sky Sport's promotional partner in the UK. 

"Joseph did the hard yards in New Zealand. As a team we built him up and this is now an opportunity to replicate that on a global scale. 

Joseph Parker lands a punch against Derek Chisora in their bout last year. Photosport 

"We'll keep the commercial terms confidential but Joseph Parker has nailed his colours to the mast of Sky Sport and Boxxer so it's a longer-term commitment. 

"They've come through with an offer we couldn't refuse. It's not just about money, the overall deal is probably the best deal Joseph Parker has had in his career. 

"There's a plethora of streaming services popping up but Sky has massive history in boxing. It's a juggernaut. The ability to build a profile is second to none and is something the streaming giants can't offer so it was a very attractive package." 

In terms of Parker's immediate future and his next fight Joyce remains a compelling option but so, too, does a Dillian Whyte rematch after his sixth-round knockout defeat to Fury in April. 

Higgins believes Parker's stocks will further increase by signing with Sky but getting cross-promotional agreements is never a straightforward proposition. 

"All options are on the table," Higgins said. "We want to go straight into the biggest fights on the world stage but if they have to wait until a bit later in the year then there are other interesting matchups that can be made sooner rather than later. You'd hope to see Joseph back in the ring in September-October. 

"Joseph Parker would fight anyone. He would fight Joe Joyce 100 per cent, and he would fight Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua. He's never shied away from anyone. 

"For those fights to happen the opponent will need to sign up with a Boxxer promotion on Sky. That's not a bad thing. They're probably going to be paid substantially more than they would've otherwise. 

"Fighting Joseph Parker becomes very attractive. A lot of the really big names think they can beat him. Joseph is now with the best pay per view platform and we know with Sky behind the events they're going to be blockbusters. 

"We would like to think that will help to land some big, iconic events for the next few years." 

Regardless of who Parker next fights, Higgins projects confidence he is well placed to mount another run towards a second world title – six years after claiming the WBO crown by defeating Andy Ruiz in Auckland. 

"Joseph is well liked in the UK. A lot of British fans are Joseph Parker fans. He can almost be the home fighter to some extent. Sky could see Joseph is on the up. Look at his trajectory, look at how he looked in his last fight. He's had two wins against Derek Chisora who is a tough guy. The second fight he put him down three times with upper cuts. He's fallen into a groove for another run at the title. 

"Sky Sport and Boxxer felt by getting behind Joseph now and investing they'll have a boxer who will be great to work with. The joint goal is to put together a wonderful few years, a second wind, a golden run for Joseph Parker's career." 

- by Liam Napier