Joseph Parker To Defend WBO Heavyweight Title Against Hughie Fury In The Fall

WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker will make his mandatory defense against Hughie Fury later at the start of next fall.

Parker’s co-promoter David Higgins announced Parker vs. Fury will take place on September 23 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Fury’s hometown.

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Parker said he’s looking forward to fighting in England and he’s not holding any grudges over Fury about his withdrawal from their first proposed encounter date, which was back in May.

"The idea of going to the U.K. is something I am looking forward to and, no, I don't hold any grudges," Parker said. "I just go in there, respect my opponent and do what I have to do. That's go in there and win the fight and defend my title and keep it here [in New Zealand]. The crowd against me? I will use it as energy and motivation to put on a great show and fight hard."

Parker won the title when beat Andy Ruiz last year via majority decision when the title got vacated by Fury’s cousin, former unified world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. After the fight against Hughie that was supposed to happen in May got postponed, Parker fought Razvan Cojanu as a sort of last-minute replacement. Parker won that fight via unanimous decision and was then fielded by offers by WBC champion Deontay Wilder for a unification bout. Both Wilder and Parker were ordered by their respective organizations to defend their title in mandatory fights.

Hughie Fury hasn’t fought since April 2016 when he won the vacant WBC intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. He defeated Fred Kassi via unanimous technical decision after Fury sustained a cut from an accidental head clash in the seventh round. Fury is also scheduled to fight on July 8 against an opponent to be determined on the undercard of the Bradley Skeete vs. Dale Evans British welterweight title fight.

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