Joseph Parker: Next fight likely Andy Ruiz

Lee Cleveland Updated
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In an impressive display of power, hard-punching WBO and IBF number one heavyweight contender Joseph Parker knocked out towering Alexander Dimitrenko in Round 3 yesterday, improving to 21-0.

Parker, of course, is considered one of the division's young lions along with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz and Deontay Wilder.

So what's next for the 24-year-old Kiwi?

Look for him to face unbeaten Andy Ruiz, Jr. in his next fight.

And should he defeat Ruiz, Parker will likely challenge for the WBO and/or IBF title against Anthony Joshua or Wladimir Klitschko.

What happened to Parker vs Joshua on November 26?
The cancellation of the lineal heavyweight title rematch between Wladmir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury appears to be paving the way for Klitschko vs Joshua, a more luvrativ, more high profile contest than Parker vs Joshua.

And while Joseph Parker, prior to yesterday's bout, insisted he wanted to face Joshua, the IBF heavyweight belt holder, next month, he'd have to almost immediately throw himself back in training to prepare for Anthony with little time to rest. Moreover, six weeks wouldn't be enough time to adequately promote a heavyweight title fight fight between two realtively new young lions.

Given Parker has never fought outside of New Zealand or Samoa, it would be, from a promotional standpoint, wise to showcase Joseph next in the UK prior to a super showdown with the Brit. After all, a Joshua vs Parker showdown would take place England.

For several reasons, it would be unwise for Team Parker to rush their man onto the big stage against a fella who may be one of boxing's most fearsome heavyweights over the last 20 years.

Who is Andy Ruiz?

Answer: The best fighter Joseph Parker will have faced to date should they clash.

At 27, the stocky 6'2" Ruiz is 28-0, 19 KOs and is a solid heavyweight and legitimate powerbroker among heavyweight contenders. He also has fine speed, especially for his size, and formidable punching power.

Let's hope we'll see Parker vs Ruiz on Anthony Joshua's undercard come November 26.

Parker vs Ruiz will tell a lot about both combatants, and perhaps give us insight into the division's future.

Andy Ruiz facts

  • Age: 27
  • Record: 29-0, 19 KO
  • Height: 6′ 2″/188cm
  • Reach 74″/ 188cm
  • Most recent weight: 252 lbs / 114 kg (Sept 2016)
  • Nationality: Mexican
  • KO ratio: 66%
  • Debut: March 2009



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