Garcia vs Vargas: Joseph Parker to fight Shawndell Winters live on Sky Sports
"The division is moving at a great pace and this is a perfect opportunity to show the world that I am one of the elite players in the division"
Last Updated: 05/02/20 4:40pm
Joseph Parker will return to action against Shawndell Winters in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, February 29, live on Sky Sports.
Parker (26-2 20 KOs) is back on the hunt to regain his world champion status having been forced out of an October clash with Derek Chisora in London after a spider bite on his leg.
The former WBO ruler had teed up a mouth-watering clash with Chisora having stopped Alex Leapai in the 10th round of their clash, the first fight of a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing USA.
Parker will look to reignite his charge to elite level and world title showdowns in Texas against Winters, the Illinois man ranked No14 with the WBA and looking to extend his KO run having taken the unbeaten record of Canadian-Ukrainian Oleksandr Teslenko to land the NABA title and following that with a fifth-round stoppage victory over Poland's Sergeij Werwejko.
Winters, who has won by KO in 12 of his 13 wins, will be looking to continue his winning streak and scupper Parker's plans to become a two-time world champion, but the New Zealand boxer plans to make an explosive statement on a stacked card in the Lone Star State.
"I am delighted to be back in action on this huge bill in Texas," said Parker. "It was frustrating to be ruled out of the Chisora fight in October, especially in such an unusual way, but I have been on fire in the gym in Las Vegas and we're ready to get back to business. The division is moving at a great pace and this is a perfect opportunity to show the world that I am one of the elite players in the division.
"Shawndell is on a great run and I know he'll bring it on February 29 - but I am ready to show that I will become a two-time world champion in 2020 and that starts with a dominant and destructive display in Frisco."
Winters said: "This is the biggest fight of my career and I am going to make it count. I am used to being the underdog, it's something that I thrive on and if Joseph Parker underestimates me, he's going to be in for a bad night - because I am going in there to take him out.
"I want to thank Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing USA, DiBella Entertainment and Be Def Sports for the opportunity and special thanks to champion Joseph for taking me as a worthy opponent - but he will live to regret it!"
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "It's great to have Joseph back in action early in the year. The heavyweight division is red-hot right now, and it's important for Joseph to make a statement and remind the champions and fellow challengers that he's coming for them - but Shawndell is on a roll and will be desperate to take a huge scalp in the shape of the Kiwi on a massive night in Texas."
Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment said: "Shawndell is a very tough competitor who recently moved up to heavyweight. He's already pulled off two consecutive upsets against favored opponents, and the fight before that should have been a third. He's looking for his biggest upset yet against former world champion Joseph Parker. This is a tremendous opportunity for this ex-cruiserweight Rocky from Harvey, Illinois.
"I believe he is a live underdog."
Parker's clash with Winters is part of a huge night of action in Texas topped by a welterweight clash between Mikey Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) and Jessie Vargas (29-2-2 11 KOs).
Two huge world title bouts feature as Britain's longest reigning world champion Kal Yafai (26-0 15 KOs) puts his WBA super-flyweight title on the line against the former pound-for-pound king and four-weight ruler Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez (48-2 40 KOs).
Rising Mexican sensation Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1 12 KOs) makes the first defence of his WBC flyweight title against unbeaten European champion Jay Harris (17-0 9 KOs) - with more fights to be confirmed for the card imminently.