Joseph Parker's WBO title fight broadcast live to key British market

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker during a training session ahead of his first defence of his WBO world ...
PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker during a training session ahead of his first defence of his WBO world heavyweight title.

Joseph Parker's eagerness to grow his profile in Britain has gained traction with his WBO world heavyweight title fight this weekend being broadcast live there.

Parker takes on Romanian Razvan Cojanu in Auckland on Saturday.

Cojanu, the WBO NO 14, was a late replacement for British contender Hughie Fury but that hasn't affected UK interest in the fight.

Joseph Parker is out to prove he has rare hand speed for the heavyweight division.
PHOTOSPORT

Joseph Parker is out to prove he has rare hand speed for the heavyweight division.

Sky Sports in the UK confirmed on Thursday they will be taking the fight live, hoping to keep momentum going in the heavyweight scene on the back of last weekend's sensational title fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in London.

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Joshua won with an 11th round stoppage to retain the IBF belt and add the WBA title in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley and a massive global TV audience.

The question is now who does Joshua fight next?

With both Joshua and Parker determined to try to unify the division, they appear on a collision course at some stage.

Sky Sports are involved with promoter Eddie Hearn's Matchroom outfit and cover all of Joshua's fights.

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They see this broadcast of a way of further introducing Parker to the UK audience.

If Parker can get past Cojanu, his handlers at Duco Events, hope to take him to Britain. The Fury mandatory still hangs heavily around their neck while they are also targeting fellow Brit Tony Bellew as lead-in fights to a tangle with Joshua.

"We always love showing world heavyweight title fights but all of a sudden this one becomes even more relevant after Joshua's stunning and epic win over Wladimir Klitschko on that magnificent Wembley stage," Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports Boxing said in announcing live coverage out of New Zealand.

"We know Joshua wants to unify and become the blue-riband's undisputed champion but Parker is young, hungry and has exactly the same aim.

"Parker is unbeaten and dangerous and will want to show what a force he is."

Confirmation of the UK deal is also a huge boost for Parker's backers at Duco Events who have taken a hit over the Fury withdrawal, having to downscale the promotion in New Zealand.

To get Parker beamed in live to their target audience is gold.

The pressure is now on Parker to deliver a performance that will suitably impress the eager British market.

"I would like to prove to everyone I am the best and belong at the top," Parker told Sky Sports.

"But the case - for this and has been for all my other fights - is focusing on me and what I have to do.

"There is a goal to show everybody why I am the best heavyweight out there, but I have to focus on what's in front of me."

The fight will also be broadcast into Australia, Russia and South America.

 - Stuff

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