13 Oct 2016

Parker another step closer to a title fight

5:03 pm on 13 October 2016

Joseph Parker's tilt at a world heavyweight boxing title is another step closer after the British boxer Tyson Fury voluntarily vacated his WBO and WBA world titles.

Tyson Fury was impressed by Joseph Parker's win.

Tyson Fury was impressed by Joseph Parker's win. Photo: Photosport

Fury relented his titles after twice pulling out of his rematch with former champion Wladimir Klitschko in the past 11 months, and recently admitting to taking cocaine to deal with depression.

Earlier this week the WBO issued Fury with a deadline ordering him to demonstrate why his title "should not be vacated due to inactivity, breach of contract and performance enhancing drugs and stimulants."

Parker is now the number one contender in the WBO and is expected to fight Mexican Andy Ruiz for the title in New Zealand in the next few months.

Parker said the chance to fight for the belt is something that can't passed over.

Joseph Parker.

Joseph Parker. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"I have my fingers crossed my promoters can stitch up a deal to bring the WBO World Title to New Zealand," Parker said.

"It's disappointing for Fury, he's been really good to me, and I hope he gets well soon, but it's an exciting opportunity which can't be ignored."

Duco Events Promoter Dean Lonergan said Fury has made the right choice by giving up the belts.

"I think Tyson Fury is looking to gain a little bit of favour and save the WBO a bit of drama by relinquishing the belts," Lonergan said.

Lonergan added should Fury return to boxing he will be able to win back his belt.

"Trying to be a 'champion in recess' which means, should Joseph Parker beat Andy Ruiz, if we get that deal done, then Tyson Fury at some stage will be guaranteed his shot to get his belt back, it's a fight we'd be happy to have."

IBF champion Anthony Joshua is expected to fight Klitschko for the WBA title in December.

Earlier this month, Fury tweeted to say boxing was the "saddest thing" he had taken part in and suggested he was retiring from the sport, before retracting his decision a few hours later.

-RNZ

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