Anthony Joshua's boss 'licking his lips' over possible unification fight against Joseph Parker
Anthony Joshua's clever promoter Eddie Hearn is putting his British allegiances aside and hoping Joseph Parker can beat Hughie Fury to set up a massive world title unification fight.
Of course Hearn's star charge Joshua has to first get past veteran Wladimir Klitschko.
That fight for the IBF and WBA titles in front of 90,000 people at Wembley on April 29, starts a crucial week in the heavyweight ranks with Parker defending his WBO belt against Fury in Auckland seven days later.
Hearn has had Parker on his radar for some time and genuinely wants to see the Kiwi get in the ring with Joshua, believing its a fight with huge box office appeal.
"The Brit in me wants to see Hughie Fury do the business. But certainly the promoter in me looks at a potential matchup between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker and I can't help but lick my lips," Hearn said.
Asked how close a Joshua v Parker fight may be, Hearn didn't hold back.
"Very close because after we beat Wladimir Klitschko we have two belts. We want all the belts and Joseph Parker has one of those belts. You have Deontay Wilder and you have Joseph Parker and I think the matchup, style wise, between Parker and Joshua tends to be a very exciting fight, where there could be three of the four heavyweight belts on the line."
Hearn felt the Fury fight was an ideal test for Parker and an opportunity to push his case in the top tier of the glamour division.
"I think it's a good fight, a good first defence for Joseph Parker," Hearn said.
"He's come through some impressive wins against Carlos Takam and Andy Ruiz and now we're going to see what he's made of.
"Half of us want Hughie Fury to do the business ... the Brit ... but also we're looking at that Joseph Parker fight for Anthony Joshua. If he can come through Hughie Fury we can look at a potential unification fight later in the year."
Britain is the centre of the heavyweight world right now and Parker has the ideal chance to make a statement against Fury. An impressive win in Auckland will set up the chances of riches in the UK.
"Beating a Brit is always good to do that kind of thing," Hearn said of Parker lifting his profile in the north.
"He keeps having to look good, getting exposure, getting these defences in. This is a solid first defence, it's a mandatory for him as well. I think it's an exciting fight, so he has to go out there and look good, there will be people watching all around the world. Continue to win and those big fights are just around the corner."
Parker's key fights last year against Takam and Ruiz were 12 round struggles. He will be better for them, having fought his way through dangerous situations against respected opponents. But it's time to prove his power, Hearn believes.
"He has to knock people out," Hearn said.
"People like entertainment. You look at Anthony Joshua, it's the same type of style ... go out there, let your hands go, it's the heavyweight division. People want to see knockouts, they want to see speed and Parker is a similar type of fighter to Anthony Joshua. He's young, he's an athlete, he's explosive as well, and that's what people want to see.
"They don't want to see 12 rounds of exhibitions, people grabbing and holding, they want to see people who will let their hands go and Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are two heavyweights who do that."