Filip Hrgovic and Joseph Parker have talked up the prospect of a conflict on the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou undercard, on what might be one other evening of serious heavyweight motion.
On 23 December in Saudi Arabia, Joshua beat Otto Wallin after Parker upset Deontay Wilder, with Hrgovic defeating Mark De Mori earlier within the night. They had been simply three of the quite a few heavyweight bouts in Riyadh that evening, and “AJ” will return to town on 8 March to field Ngannou.
Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, additionally fought in Riyadh just lately, making his skilled boxing debut in opposition to Tyson Fury in October and shedding a controversial resolution. The Cameroonian now prepares to face Joshua, and the undercard may function a title eliminator between Parker and Hrgovic.
Hrgovic is the IBF’s No 1-ranked heavyweight, and Joshua has mentioned the potential for difficult the Croatian, 31, for that standing this yr. Such a bout must happen after the Briton’s battle with Ngannou, and Hrgovic appears content material to remain busy in opposition to Parker, 32, within the meantime.
After Parker named Hrgovic, Zhilei Zhang and previous foe Joe Joyce as potential opponents for his subsequent battle, Hrgovic replied in a social-media video on Tuesday (9 January): “Hey, what’s up? ‘El Animal’ in the house. I heard that Joseph Parker wants to fight me in March on the Joshua-Ngannou undercard.
“I’m very happy to hear that. I’m ready. I accept your offer, Joe. Let’s do it, let’s go, baby. Let’s get down, let’s get down to business. See you soon.”
As the IBF’s No-1 ranked heavyweight, Hrgovic is subsequent in line to problem for the organisation’s title. Oleksandr Usyk is the reigning champion, however he’ll put the title – and his WBA, WBO and IBO belts – on the road in opposition to WBC champion Fury on 17 February.
The winner of that battle in Riyadh can be topped the primary undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000. And whereas Fury and Usyk have reportedly signed a two-fight deal, the winner of their first battle should defend the IBF title earlier than any rematch. Alternatively, the winner may vacate the IBF title.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed that AJ may field Hrgovic for the vacant title in such a state of affairs, however that plan might be affected by a possible bout between Hrgovic and Parker.
Joshua beforehand boxed Parker in 2018, beating the New Zealander on factors.
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