David Higgins has labeled his first face-to-face meeting with Eddie Hearn as ‘very constructive’ as the two promoters aim to conclude negotiations for Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker this week.
Parker’s promoter flew to London this week to sit down with Hearn and is now looking over the contract, readying himself for a second meeting. Higgins has employed the help of Wladimir Klitschko’s lawyer to digest the contract and admitted TV rights were holding up the fight announcement.
‘The positive thing is that everyone wants the fight and is working towards it. In boxing you often have people making excuses but that’s not the case here,’ Higgins told the Herald. ‘
The public might wonder why it’s taking so long, but boxing is unique in that there are usually no long-standing agreements over things like TV rights like in other sports… this fight could have a turnover of more than $NZ40million so you have to get it right.
Joshua and Hearn have already been critical of Parker’s approach to securing the fight, with a press conference late last year particularly bizarre.
Higgins presented a strange collection of Joshua being knocked down in fights and offered a cash reward to anyone who could produce more evidence of the Brit’s glass chin.
A separate reward was also put in place for anyone who had footage of Parker being floored in sparring.
The episode was just a small part of what have been entertaining, if unorthodox pressure tactics and Higgins admitted he and Hearn had discussed what could be a lively build-up.
‘Eddie and I have talked about it. Traditionally they have been humble and respectful in the build-ups to their fights but that’s not the case this time… with talk about Joshua’s chin and how he’s been rattled mentally.’
Joshua vs Parker is expected to go ahead in late March, with Cardiff’s Principality Stadium the frontrunner to host the heavyweight unification showdown.
Parker is the WBO champion and will be putting his strap on the line in a bid to strip Joshua of his IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO belts. Both Joshua and Parker are undefeated with the Brit on a 20-fight knockout streak after stopping Carlos Takam and Klitschko in 2017.