Matchroom Boxing has added another heavyweight to its growing roster of fighters.
The company announced in a special press conference in New York that is has signed former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. The deal is for three fights and the first one will be against Eric Molina on June 29 in Rhode Island as part of the undercard for a DAZN show at the Dunkin Donuts Center. That card will be headlined by the WBO middleweight title bout between Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki.
The New Zealand native's prior promotional deal with Duco Events ended on March 26, but has since then retained David Higgins, who was also announced as a member of Parker’s managerial team. The announcement ends weeks of Parker searching for a new promotional home, having meetings with various companies and weighing his options for his future in the division.
"Since my contract with Duco ended, I have been a free agent, with my team and I spending several months assessing how to best achieve my goal of not only becoming a world champion again, but unifying all of the belts to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Ultimately, we decided that the best option was to partner with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. We believe the three-fight deal that we are announcing today will be the start of a long and successful partnership," Parker said in a press release.
Parker won the WBO heavyweight title back in 2016 when he won a majority decision against Andy Ruiz Jr. Parker defended the title twice throughout 2017 before having a title unification against Anthony Joshua in March 2018. Joshua ended up winning the fight by unanimous decision to unify the WBA, WBO and IBF titles. Since then, Parker lost a split decision against Dillian Whyte and then won a fight against Alexander Flores last December.
The signing continues Matchroom’s streak of acquiring several heavyweight prospects, contenders and former cruiserweight champions looking to make the jump to heavyweight. In recent months, Matchroom signed former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, former cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev, Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic and now Parker.