By Michael Shepherd (@msheps10)
Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins has hinted the WBO World Champion’s next fight is likely to be against Australian Lucas Browne in a voluntary defence.
Browne, 38, has a professional record of 25-0 (22 KO’s) since making his professional debut in 2009.
The Australians career has been filled with controversy after failing a drug Test after winning the WBA world heavyweight title in March 2016.
It would be one of the biggest trans-Tasman fights in history and could be held either in Auckland, Melbourne or Sydney – and probably in the New Year. A fight between 25-year-old Parker and the 38-year-old Browne, who had the WBA world “super” title taken from him after he failed a drugs test in Grozny, Russia, last year, would probably be a relatively easy one for Higgins to promote.
Browne, nicknamed Big Daddy, is a former nightclub bouncer turned boxer. Browne turned in a performance of a lifetime to stop Ruslan Chagaev in his title fight last year before returning a positive test which he has strenuously disputed. Browne has had one fight since – a knockout victory over American journeyman Matthew Greer in Sydney in June.
On the possibility of giving Japanese heavyweight Fujimoto (17-1, 9 KO) a shot, Higgins added: “I have had multiple emails and there a few conversations underway and that is the best way for it to be because you want to create some competition so you can get the best deal possible.
“We’d make history because no Japanese heavyweight has ever fought for the heavyweight title and Japan is like the second biggest economy in the world.
“It is attractive to broaden Joseph’s appeal and profile around the world and to go to an Asian centre would be great.
“It is a similar time zone to New Zealand and Australia for TV and so it really comes down to what the deal looks like and we have got discussions underway, but that is not the only discussion which is underway.
“It is about making money, but not only getting the money it is about expanding profile as well,” he added.
A fight with the winner of the Tony Bellew v David Haye rematch is still high on the agenda for Higgins, although any fight with Browne could potentially push that encounter back until the summer.by