Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker unification pretty close, says Kiwi's promoter

Joseph Parker with David Higgins

Joseph Parker's promoter Dave Higgins feels counterpart Eddie Hearn is "pretty close" to agreeing the unification split with Anthony Joshua the New Zealander wants.

Higgins has been in discussion with Hearn to secure a 2018 heavyweight showdown between WBO champion Parker and Joshua, who holds the IBF and WBA versions.

He re-enforced the message he sent out at an Auckland media event on Wednesday and although he warned his counterpart not to undervalue his fighter, admits negotiations are at a "very encouraging" stage.

Anthony Joshua, Eddie Hearn
Image: Hearn and Higgins are in discussions for a heavyweight unification fight

"We've said all along that a 35-65 per cent was both fair - and our bottom line," said Higgins.

"Now it seems that Eddie is pretty close to agreeing with us. That's very encouraging.

Now it seems that Eddie is pretty close to agreeing with us. That's very encouraging
Dave Higgins

"Eddie's video was great. He's a really funny guy. He certainly scored a few points when making fun of us colonials down here in New Zealand, but the funniest part is where he still insists Joseph Parker isn't worth the 35 per cent we are demanding.

"Eddie's having a laugh there and he knows it."

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Joseph Parker
Image: Parker believes Joshua will need a rematch clause in his deal

Parker believes the social battle between the two promoters is bringing the unification fight closer but insists his British rival will need at least a second attempt if he wants to hold three world titles.

"I want to test myself against the best, so this is a fight I really want," he said.

"David Higgins is doing everything possible to make it happen and he seems to be flushing out AJ's real position.

Anthony Joshua takes his training to new levels on top of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

"If he won't entertain a 35-65 split, then it's pretty obvious he doesn't want the fight to happen. It seems like I am such a big risk that he needs more than 65 per cent - and a rematch clause."

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