Boxing News and Views’ Peter Wells gives his Joseph Parker vs Hughie Fury predictions ahead of fight night and how the bout might transpire.
The aura surrounding Anthony Joshua has taken over the Heavyweight boxing scene, but when it comes to the highest level in the heaviest division, there is another Briton looking to make noise on the world scene.
Even days before his first world title challenge, Hughie Fury has been shadowed from the limelight. Even his retired older cousin, Tyson, creates more headlines from the sidelines than the more reserved Hughie.
This weekend will highlight just how much the British public has taken to another of it’s boxers fighting for the biggest prize in boxing, as the clash is aired live on YouTube pay-per-view.
Fury’s opponent has also yet to taste defeat. Joseph Parker 23-0(18KO’s) has become New Zealand’s version of AJ, and brings with him a large weight of expectation to return with the WBO Heavyweight belt intact.
With Eddie Hearn seemingly whispering in the ear of Parker of a potential unification clash, there is much on the line here for the 25-year old champion.
But the taller Fury 20-0(10KO’s), who has just celebrated his 23rd birthday, feels he has the right tools to dethrone Parker in Manchester this Saturday night.
Those tools include an awkward style, and a sharp and consistent jab. Fury is light on his feet for a Heavyweight, although doesn’t carry the same size as the other big men in the division.
Parker himself is an adept boxer, fighting at a slower pace, with a lesser output. But his accuracy, sharp jab and respectable power have forged his way to this second defence of the WBO belt.
However, he struggled at times with Andy Ruiz Jr to win the belt, ultimately winning via majority decision, and then failed badly to impress in his maiden defence against the undeserving Razvan Cojanu. Parker was taken the distance in a fight he should have finished a long time before the final bell.
Here you have two young fighters, in a division that has favoured age and experience in years gone by. And with neither being of the explosive type, like fine wine, they are both likely to become better with time.
While the other champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua are likely to have shorter but more impactful careers, Fury and Parker could last for a good decade in the Heavyweight division. However, to be atop the division will take more improvement from both.
Neither are ready for the grandest stage just yet, but they are perfectly poised to face one another in a contest that couldn’t be much harder to split.
This bout will take its time to liven up, but once it does, both will leave it all on the line to clinch a slender victory.
Parker can take the early advantage, before Fury finds his rhythm in the middle rounds. All will then depend on whether Fury can keep the momentum or drop off in the final quarter.
The pick is for Parker to judge the fight distance that bit better, coming out on top with a slim unanimous or majority decision victory.