Joseph Parker would be the A-side in a WBO title fight with Oleksandr Usyk, says David Higgins
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 13/01/20 1:48pm
Joseph Parker's team remain willing to fight Oleksandr Usyk, if the WBO title becomes vacant, but would expect a 70-30 split in their favour, says manager David Higgins.
Anthony Joshua currently holds the WBO heavyweight belt and is awaiting news on his next fight after being ordered to make title defences against Oleksandr Usyk and Kubrat Pulev, his WBO and IBF mandatory challengers.
The IBF have granted Joshua and Pulev until January 31 to agree a deal, with the British star hoping to fulfil both his title obligations to the Bulgarian and Usyk.
But if Joshua is forced to relinquish the WBO belt, then Usyk and No 2 ranked Parker could fight for the vacant title, and Higgins believes the New Zealander deserves a greater percentage of the earnings.
"Usyk has not earned his stripes at heavyweight," Higgins told Sky Sports. "Joseph Parker is the A-side and Joseph Parker has sold out the Principality Stadium with Joshua, he's sold out The O2, with Whyte.
"He's the A-side and so if Usyk wants to share the ring with Parker, I would be expecting 70-30 open book revenue share in Parker's favour. I'll get ridiculed for that, but listen, Parker has beaten Andy Ruiz, he's sold out the Principality and the O2 and he's a big name in the UK, so Usyk is the B-side.
"Absolutely Joe would fight him, as long as the Usyk team recognise and understand that they are the B-side, there's no problem."
Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports that the Ukrainian star would welcome the opportunity to fight for the WBO belt against Parker.
"In case it turns out that the WBO title is vacant, Usyk will be happy to fight for it," Krassyuk explained. "And Joseph Parker is the highest available contender."
Higgins insists Parker would relish the challenge of testing his speed and power against Usyk, who has fought just once in the division, a stoppage win over Chazz Witherspoon in October.
It's a very good fight and we really respect their team, but we are the A-side, and as long as they are willing to accept a small percentage of the revenue, then there might be a deal
"There's a saying that styles make fights," said Higgins. "I think Joseph Parker has a better chance against Usyk than say Anthony Joshua. I think Usyk would dissect Anthony Joshua, too big and slow, whereas Parker is quick. We haven't seen the best of Joseph yet.
"It's a very good fight and we really respect their team, but we are the A-side, and as long as they are willing to accept a small percentage of the revenue, then there might be a deal."
Parker is expected to return to action on the Mikey Garcia-Jessie Vargas bill in Texas on February 29, with an opponent to be announced in the coming days, and Higgins hopes the 28-year-old can fight three times this year.
"Joe is focused only on the fight in front of him, which is the 29th of February," said Higgins.
"He's got to win that. He should win it, he's in great shape, and if he does, and this becomes realistic then we're at the table. Joseph Parker will be absolutely willing and ready to take on Oleksandr Usyk."