Joseph Parker injured so cannot fight Filip Hrgovic and will instead look for Andy Ruiz Jr rematch, says David Higgins | Boxing News

Joseph Parker is injured, so that’s not the answer to Filip Hrgovic’s long wait for a top-notch opponent, says his manager David Higgins.

Hrgovic is looking for a rival to organize an IBF elimination fight: the winner would become the mandatory challenger for the heavyweight belt held by Oleksandr Usyk.

Luis Ortiz had already made himself sidelined due to injury and Parker was the next option, but he’s also rehabilitating as he seeks high-profile options in the US, his manager said.

Filip Hrgovic failed to attempt Parker in the ring

Higgins explained: “Joseph has a very good profile in the UK and the Asia Pacific region. The Holy Grail is about to become an attraction on both sides of the Atlantic, and only a few have.

“For Joseph to grow his career he would have to look to the United States and look for big knockouts against American fighters.

“This gives him a worldwide reputation as he awaits his chance for the title.

“If you don’t? You’ll end up like Anthony Joshua, respected only in parts of London.

“A rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr would be great.

“Parker beat Ruiz Jr in a very close fight in New Zealand. If he had been in America, it could have been different.

Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora, WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Fight, Manchester.  December 18th 2021. Photo of Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.
Parker impressed against Chisora

“Andy wants a rematch. Fighting him in America is interested because he has a cult following among Mexican-Americans.

“If Parker stick to a game plan, he would easily beat Deontay Wilder.

“Dillian Whyte? Whyte’s long-awaited rematch would be interesting.”

Why can’t Hrgovic fight?

Parker’s decision leaves Hrgovic still unable to find an opponent willing to decide IBF mandatory status.

Higgins said: “There is an economic problem with Hrgovic.

“When we created Parker, we built a fan base in New Zealand.

December 4, 2021;  Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America;  Filip Hrgovic and Emir Ahmatovic during their meeting on December 4, 2021 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Mandatory credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom.
Hrgovic is undefeated in 14

“We funded, paying a lot of money, to play Parker against Andy Ruiz Jr in New Zealand.

“Does Hrgovic have a fan base in the house somewhere?

“He’s reached a high level but doesn’t have a fan base, so the money being offered is ridiculous for someone like Parker.

“Also, this fight is at the bottom of the queue of eliminators because the other belts need to be resolved.

“So Parker could fight Hrgovic for a payday that would barely cover his training costs, win and then sit still for a year waiting for his shot.”

When will Parker be back?

Former WBO champion Parker impressed by beating Derek Chisora ​​three times in a stunning win, but compounded an existing injury.

“Parker explained to me that he has elbow problems,” Higgins said. “He’s had two major elbow surgeries and it’s an ongoing problem. They get hurt.

*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ***. Joseph Parker on Media Day today April 28, 2021.Image by Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing
Parker must recover from an elbow injury

“He wants to go to a specialist before he starts punching or lifting weights again.

“He also had a badly ruptured eardrum. He’s a bit bruised.

“So we rejected the eliminator and explained those points.

“We wish Mr. Hrgovic well and are in solidarity with his situation.”

What are Hrgovic’s options?

Hrgovic is currently ranked at No. 2, behind only Martin who lost by knockout last weekend against Ortiz.

The Croatian must, in order of classification, enter into negotiations with each contender until an agreement is reached to fight.

The winner of a final eliminator would later earn a mandatory shot at the IBF belt, which Usyk is set to defend against Joshua.

The IBF ranking

No. 1 – “Prince” Charles Martin. The former IBF champion, who lost his belt in 2016 to Joshua to become the second shortest defending holder ever, is not an option after losing to Ortiz.

Charles Martin Luis Ortiz
Charles Martin was ruled out after losing to Ortiz

No 2 – Filip Hrgovic. The undefeated Croatian is a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and is undefeated in 14 pro fights with 12 KOs.

Filip Hrgovic closed 2021 with a win over Emir Ahmatovic in Las Vegas (AP)
Filip Hrgovic struggles to find an opponent

No. 3 – Joseph Parker. The former WBO champion, who shone against Chisora, holds a high ranking No. 2 with that governing body, so it could prioritize this path.

Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora, WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Fight, Manchester.  December 18th 2021. Photo of Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.
Parker shot Chisora ​​down three times

No. 4 – Anthony Joshua. The former IBF, WBA and WBO champion will meet Usyk in his next fight.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk
Joshua is ready to fight Usyk again

# 5: Tony Yoka. The Frenchman, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, is next in line to officially enter negotiations with Hrgovic. He had a meeting scheduled with Martin Bakole for this month canceled due to Covid-19.

Tony Yoka
Yoka had to fight Bakole

No. 6 – Joe Joyce. Hrgovic promoter Kalle Sauerland said: “Joyce has other plans like [he is] much appreciated elsewhere. Nothing but respect for Joe and it’s a great fight. Joe beat Filip nine years ago in the [amateurs] – so they know each other. “

Joe Joyce
Joe Joyce may have plans with the WBO route

No. 7 – Agit Kabayel. The German is unbeaten in 21 fights: five years ago he beat Chisora. He was considered for a fight with Tyson Fury last year that never materialized.

Agit Kabayel was impressive in keeping her European crown
Kabayel owns a victory over Chisora

No. 8 – Murat Gassiev. The former IBF and WBA cruiserweight champion has moved on to heavyweight. His only defeat in 29 fights was against Usyk.

Murat Gassiev has signed a contract with Matchroom Boxing
Gassiev is a former lightweight champion

No. 9 – Luis Ortiz. The 42-year-old Cuban has announced a dramatic comeback by knocking out Martin. His manager told Sky Sports they would face Hrgovic, but an injury ruled out Ortiz.

Charles Martin, Luis Ortiz
Ortiz KO’d Charles Martin

No. 10 – Andy Ruiz Jr. The first man to beat Joshua is ranked No. 3 by the WBC.

Andy Ruiz Jr
Andy Ruiz Jr has held the IBF, WBA and WBO titles

No. 11 – Demsey McKean. The Australian southpaw is undefeated in 20 and recently made his US debut after spending his career in Australia.

Demsey McKean
Demsey McKean is an undefeated Australian

No 12-Zhilei Zhang. The undefeated Chinese veteran is interested in fighting Hrgovic if the deals are fair, his manager told Sky Sports.

November 26, 2021;  New York, New York, United States of America;  Zhilei Zhang and Craig Lewis during their November 27, 2021 meeting at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden.  Mandatory credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom.
Zhang is open to negotiations with Hrgovic

No 13 – Hughie Fury. Tyson Fury’s younger cousin has once challenged for a world title, against Parker, and is prioritizing chasing Chisora.

Hughie Fury
Hughie Fury is targeting Chisora

No. 14 – Martin Bakole. The Democratic Republic of Congo-born and Scotland-based contender saw a confrontation with Yoka drop this month. “Martin has a contract to box Yoka,” said his manager Billy Nelson.

Martin Bakole
Martin Bakole is “contracted to box Yoka”

Sky Sport Boxing Program

Sunday 30th January – Top Rank in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – Eliminator of the WBC super featherweight title

Saturday 5th February (targeted) – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr versus Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Sunday 6th February – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Saturday 19th February – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook

Saturday 26 February – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed superlight titles

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