Heavyweight contenders Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce will be hoping to take one step closer to world honours after their long-anticipated bout was announced for September 24.
Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce will meet in a mammoth winner-takes-all heavyweight showdown in Manchester next month.
The pair are ranked as the number on and number two contenders for the WBO strap, meaning the winner will likely become mandatory for a shot at either Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua – who are set to meet in their long-anticipated rematch in Saudi Arabia in two weeks’ time.
Parker, who now fights under the BOXXER banner, is a former world champion having held the WBO title before losing it to Joshua, via a points decision defeat in Cardiff, in 2018.
Meanwhile, Joyce, who has stopped Daniel Dubois, Carlos Takam and Christian Hammer in emphatic fashion over the past couple of years, is hoping his power continues to do the talking against Parker to land himself a crack at world honours for the first time.
“On Saturday September 24, the fans in Manchester will see the very best of me, and Joe Joyce will see exactly why I will become the heavyweight champion of the world again with BOXXER,” Parker said.
“I am working hard with my trainer Andy Lee, everything is going smoothly and I truly feel great. I have waited patiently to get this fight on and let me tell you now, the 'Juggernaut's' journey ends right here. He has nowhere to run.”
Joyce, at 36, knows time is against him if his bid to become a world heavyweight champion is to be successful.
But the Olympic silver medallist has made huge strides in the professional ranks in recent years, and is confident he has what it takes to stop Parker in his tracks having waited long and hard for this opportunity.
“This fight has been a long time in the making," the former British and Commonwealth champion added.
“Parker realised he had nowhere else to go and eventually had to take this fight. No 1 vs No 2. The winner goes on to fight for the world title. It's going to be a cracking fight and you will see why he tried so hard to avoid me.”
The fight, which is slated to take place at the AO Arena in Manchester, on September 24, signifies a landmark collaboration between Parker’s promotional company BOXXER, and Fran Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, who manage Joyce.
“We are working with the Warrens to make this fight happen," BOXXER founder and CEO Ben Shalom said.
“What I hope this shows, and I've spoken to George Warren and Frank [Warren] about this, is we don't want to be seen to stop fights.
“It's trying to trying to put the sport before business. Try to make the big fights happen, try and make sure you don't stop them from happening.
"We want this to show that Queensberry and BOXXER and Sky can work together when it makes sense and when the fighters deserve to have their fights.”