Boxing great Barry McGuigan feels Joseph Parker is about to 'announce himself as a serious player'
Boxing Great Barry McGuigan expects Joseph Parker to comfortably beat Hughie Fury and "announce himself as a serious player" in boxing's heavyweight elite ranks.
Parker defends his WBO title for the first time when he takes on Fury in Auckland on May 6.
It's a chance for the unbeaten Kiwi to emphasise his credentials to the massive British audience as the heavyweight scene looks to sort out the top tier of talent.
McGuigan, the Irish featherweight who held the WBA and Lineal titles during a long period of dominance in the 1980s, already has plenty of respect for Parker.
"I expect Joseph Parker's defence of his WBO scrap against Hughie Fury in Auckland to announce him as a serious player," McGuigan, a Boxing Hall of Fame member, wrote in The Mirror where he is the newspaper's boxing pundit.
"The Parker fight has come too soon for Hughie, who is underdeveloped and has yet to show he has the experience or tools to compete at this level. He might prove me wrong, and I hope he does, but I'm seeing a Parker win all day and a new name in an enthralling mix."
McGuigan predicts a "fascinating time" for the division that has Parker one of the holders of the four major belts alongside American Deontay Wilder (WBC) and Anthonhy Joshua (IBF) .
"By the end of April, when Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko meet at Wembley for the IBF and WBA belts, all four major titles will have been decided," he noted.
"Throw in the curve balls that are David Haye and Tony Bellew, not to mention the possible return of Tyson Fury, and we have a recipe for real drama in the division."
McGuigan, who has moved into boxing training, management and promotion, says unification is the ultimate aim and he tips Joshua and Wilder to head that drive but Parker can't be discounted to step up.
"It could be that Parker gets to one or the other first, of course, and he will represent a threat to either. None is without flaws, which is why the whole picture is wide open," McGuigan wrote in The Mirror.
"Joshua has more top rank amateur experience than Wilder or Parker, but as we have documented many times, he is still a work in progress.
"The same can be said of Parker," McGuigan said, noting Parker's relative inexperience fighting abroad.
"Wilder is the most established but is vulnerable technically.
"But what they all do is wallop."
McGuigan tips Joshua to demolish the veteran Klitschko in "four or five rounds, which will really send out a flare across the boxing chat rooms".
He sees Hughie's cousin Tyson, the former world champion attempting a comeback after his battles with depression and drug abuse, as "the Fury to watch" but warned, "the longer he leaves it to return the harder it will be to re-establish himself".