Joseph Parker receives contract for Lucas Browne defence

THE biggest heavyweight fight in Oceanian boxing history is now only one signature away.

Undefeated former WBA regular heavyweight titleholder Lucas Browne has confirmed that he has signed for a mouth-watering heavyweight title challenge against unbeaten WBO heavyweight ruler and Kiwi kingpin Joseph Parker at a yet-to-be-determined location next year.

The only hold-up appears to be on Parker’s end, as the Kiwi’s team continue to field offers from Europe and the US. Parker’s promoter David Higgins has confirmed that they’re looking at alternative fights for the WBO heavyweight champion after extended talks with Eddie Hearn failed to culminate in a formal offer to face lineal champion and unified IBF/WBA/IBO titleholder Anthony Joshua.

Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) has welcomed a fight with Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who is seen by most insiders as the weakest heavyweight titleholder following a series of underwhelming performances in decision victories against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury in his first and second title defences.

“Unfortunately money does talk at the end of the day,” said Browne in an interview with Stuff.

“As big a rivalry as it would be between Parker and myself, it’s all about dollars and I can respect that as well. At the same time I don’t think Eddie Hearn is exactly happy to give away money, so I’d be banking on it (the unification fight) not going through with Parker,”

The 38-year-old Perth resident, who broke a fifteen month layoff with a second round drubbing of Matthew Greer in June, admits that a fight between himself and the 25-year-old Parker would be an excellent showcase for boxing in the Oceania region given the existing sporting rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.

“The whole Anzac thing, the cricket and the rugby, it’s a lovely rivalry that we have got going on. This can be big,” added Browne. “But at the same time I’m just a humble, average sort of bloke who is obviously good at knocking people out. I think Parker himself is an excellent ambassador for the sport and New Zealand.”

“From my end, I think it’s going to be a nice fight where it’s all about boxing and not trash talking.”

“I think I’m bigger but at the same time I move a lot better for a bigger guy. If I can put Parker on to the back foot where he is a little less comfortable, it will change the fight in a big way. Plus, Parker hasn’t looked as good as he normally does since before the Andy Ruiz fight.”

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