A fight between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker is “close to being locked in”, according to the New Zealander.
WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua is poised for a blockbuster 2018, with bouts against WBO title-holder Parker, WBC king Deontay Wilder and the unbeaten Tyson Fury all potentially in the offing.
Parker looks set to be Joshua’s next opponent in a unification clash, though negotiations have not gone entirely smoothly, with the Briton’s camp angered by a media conference staged by the 25-year-old and his team.
Promoter David Higgins, Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry explained why he would defeat the owner of the WBA and IBF straps, who they dubbed ‘Glass Jaw Joshua’.
The New Zealander’s camp are keen to secure 35 per cent of the fight purse and, while middle ground has yet to be found, he believes an agreement for a March fight is on the horizon.
“I think the Joshua fight can go ahead early next year when both teams are locked in and happy,” Parker told ESPN. “When we can find a free date, a time in March, then we can definitely make it happen.
“Negotiations are going good. I think we’re close to locking something in. They’re stuck at 30 per cent [of the purse], we’re stuck at 35, so it’s just finding the middle ground.
“We’ll take 35 per cent which means Joshua will take 65, which is nearly double me, so I think that’s a fair deal because he’s the bigger draw card and he has two belts and I have one. I think that’s reasonable and fair.
“I think we’re very close. I’m excited as it’s a chance to showcase my skills in the UK more.
“The [Wladimir] Klitschko-Joshua fight was a great fight. A legend and an up-and-coming fighter going at it. It was a great fight for all of us to see.
“But there’s just something special about a unification fight. We haven’t had a unified champion for a while and there’s something special about a unification. I have a good feeling about this.”