Sources: Parker, Joyce agree to heavyweight tilt


Former heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker and the undefeated Joe Joyce have agreed to a deal for a fight that will take place in the U.K., possibly on Sept. 24, sources told ESPN.

BT Sport Box Office will televise the fight in the U.K., sources said.

Despite an announcement for Parker-Joyce at the Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte bout in April, there was no deal. Parker eventually signed with Boxxer, which has an exclusive deal with Sky Sport, complicating negotiations since Joyce is promoted by Frank Warren, who is with rival network BT Sport.

A news conference to formally announce Parker-Joyce is scheduled for Thursday in London, per sources.

Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) is coming off back-to-back fights against Derek Chisora, both decision victories. The 30-year-old from New Zealand scored a majority-decision victory over Andy Ruiz in December 2016 to claim a vacant heavyweight title and made two successful defenses before he lost the belt to Anthony Joshua via decision in 2018.

Parker’s résumé also includes a close decision defeat to Whyte in July 2018. He’s ESPN’s No. 7-rated heavyweight.

Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and made his pro debut at the advanced age of 32. At 6-foot-6, 266 pounds, “The Juggernaut” will take on a universally recognized top-10 heavyweight for the first time as a pro at age 36. The Londoner broke through in November 2020 with a 10th-round KO of rising star Daniel Dubois. He followed up with stoppage victories over Carlos Takam and Christian Hammer, leading to a No. 9 ESPN ranking.

Joyce is the WBO’s No. 1 contender, while Parker is one spot behind him, so the winner figures to land a title shot next year. Oleksandr Usyk defends that title against Anthony Joshua in an Aug. 20 rematch.

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