American Dominic Breazeale wants to fight Joseph Parker for WBO title
Credible American heavyweight Dominic Breazeale says he's willing to step in and fight Joseph Parker for the WBO world title.
Parker's promoters Duco Events are scrambling to find a worthy opponent for Parker after Britain's Hughie Fury controversially withdrew, citing a back injury, ahead of their May 6 fight in Auckland.
Duco have been given permission by the WBO to take a voluntary challenge against a fighter in their top 15.
Breazeale, at No 6 in the organisation's rankings, fits the bill and has marketing appeal.
He's also eager, quickly putting his hand up for the opportunity in his social media channels.
"Joseph, you need an opponent? Let's do this. Defend your belt against a real contender. Test yourself to see what kind of Champion you are. I'm ranked #6, so the WBO will definitely sign off on this. I'll go to New Zealand. Send the contract, I'll sign it right now."
Breazeale also made reference to his last fight which was a knockout win in February against Parker's former stablemate Izu Ugonoh.
"Plus, you have the opportunity to avenge Izu's loss," Breazeale taunted Parker.
Joseph @joeboxerparker; You need an opponent? Let's do this. Defend your belt against a real contender. Test yourself to see what kind of Champion you are. I'm ranked #6, so the WBO will definitely sign off on this. I'll go to New Zealand. Plus, you have the opportunity to avenge Izu's loss. Send the contract, I'll sign it right now. 👊 #WBO #HERECOMESTROUBLE #PARKERBREAZEALE
Breazeale has fought for a world title before, being Anthony Joshua's first defence of his IBF belt last year. Joshua beat Breazeale with a seventh round knockout.
That has been the only loss the 31-year-old Breazeale has suffered in an 19-fight professional career that dates back to 2012 and features 16 knockout victories.
Importantly, Breazeale fits the physical dimensions that the Parker camp will be looking for.
Having trained specifically to fight the taller 1.98m Fury, they don't want to take on a shorter opponent that Parker has had a history of struggles against with the likes of Sherman Williams, Carlos Takam and Andy Ruiz.
Breazeale stands 2.01m and has a 2.07m reach.
The sticking point for Breazeale might be what he thinks he's worth, particularly in the emergency situation promoters Duco Events now find themselves. And can he really make the tight lead-in to the fight date?
Duco have their Australian matchmaker Stuart Duncan sorting through the options and are hoping to make an announcement on Tuesday or Wednesday about the fate of the May 6 promotion.
If a suitable opponent can be quickly arranged, it will go ahead. If not, it will be cancelled with tickets refunded, and Parker will plot a new course that will take him to an overseas venue for his next fight.
Duco boss David Higgins believed there were "a handful" of options among the WBO's top 15 that could be suitable.
Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry won't be wanting to rush into a late adjustment for the sake of it, given the world title is on the line, and the ramifications beyond that with the massive money of the unification opportunities that loom.