By Jeff Aranow: WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins is talking about a fight between his fighter and former WBA World champion Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) in a voluntary defense for December or February.
The 38-year-old Browne last fought on June 2 in defeating journeyman Matthew Greer by an impressive 2nd round knockout. Beofre that, Browne had been out of the ring for over a years since knocking out WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev in the 10th round to capture the WBA title in an upset in Grozny, Russia. Unfortunately for Browne, he failed a post-fight drug test and was stripped of his title.
“Bob Arum has mentioned a possible bout in the US in February and also Lucas Browne’s people are talking to us about a big Trans-Tasman affair,” Higgins told RadioLIVE at Newshub.co.uk. “It would probably make sense in Auckland or New Zealand because Joe has a better fan base in New Zealand than Browne has in Australia.”
Parker, 25, is co-promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank in the U.S. Arum is said to be interested in matching one of his Top Rank fighters former world title challenger Bryant Jennings (20-2, 11 KOs) against Parker in a voluntary defense. Arum recently signed the 33-year-old Jennings with the idea of getting him a quick world title shot based off of his former success.
Jennings is someone that Arum can push a lot faster than he could with a green heavyweight just starting his career. Never the less, Jennings was out of action for 2 years after losing to Lucas ‘King Kong” Ortiz by a 7th round knockout on December 19, 2015. Arum signed Jennings and matched him recently against 2nd tier fighter Daniel Martz on August 19. Jennings quickly knocked out Martz in the 2nd round. Browne is definitely a better option for Parker than Jennings. Browne is still unbeaten and a former heavyweight world champion. Jennings is little more than a fighter that has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, and was easily beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in a failed title shot in April 2015. That doesn’t mean that Jennings won’t get the fight with Parker. If Arum pushes hard enough, he might get his way with Parker facing Jennings rather than Browne. The better fight for Parker is against the undefeated Browne.
“Browne would have to be ranked by the WBO first but that could be possible so looking at December, maybe February which is a possibility,” said Higgins.
Parker vs. Browne would be a real war. Browne is come forward type of heavyweight, who looks to slug it out with big power shots. Parker didn’t look so great in his last title defense against Hughie Fury on September 23 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Hughie ran from Parker for 12 rounds and made it truly an ugly fight. Parker got the win by a 12 round majority decision, but he failed to impress due to his struggles in cutting off the ring on the fleet of foot Hughie.
If Parker wins his next fight, he could be facing IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a unification fight in July. They’re talking about the Joshua-Parker fight taking place in the summer next year. It would be a great fight, as long as Parker does his job and gets by Browne.
Besides Browne and Jennings as possible options for Parker, #9 WBO Kyotaro Fujimoto is a possibility as well. The Japanese fighter has been mentioned as a possible foe for Parker.