12 Dec 2016

Where to next for Parker?

9:11 am on 12 December 2016

New Zealand's new WBO world heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker is set to take a break from fighting before a possible title defence early next year.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker holds up the WBO belt alongside his team.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker holds up the WBO belt alongside his team. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Parker became the first New Zealand-born heavyweight champion when he won the WBO title in a majority decision against American-Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland on Saturday night.

Parker's promoter Dean Lonergan said the 24-year-old would take the next two months to recover from his busy training schedule, hinting that he had some injuries to overcome.

"He's got a few niggles that he needs to get over," Lonergan said.

It's likely Parker's first WBO title defence will be against British boxer Hughie Fury, cousin of former champion Tyson Fury, in March or April next year.

Possible locations for the bout are Dunedin's 35,000-seat covered stadium Forsyth Barr or in London where Parker is still relatively unknown.

Should Parker defend his title, he'll then seek to unify another of the four major world belts against British champion Anthony Joshua or America's Deontay Wilder in the later stages of 2017.

-RNZ

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