Joseph Parker to face replacement opponent Razvan Cojanu on May 6

26/04/2017 10:21

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker  (22-0, 18 KOs) will face Romanian Razvan Cojanu (14-2, 9 KOs) as a replacement opponent for Hughie Fury on May 6.

Mandatory challenger Fury pulled out of the bout with a back injury, so little known Cojanu gets an unlikely world title shot.

The fight switches from the 12,000 capacity Spark Arena in Auckland, to the 3,000 capacity Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.

Cojanu, who was previously Parker's sparring partner, said: "I'd like to thank Hughie Fury for pulling out. I'm not taking the fight for the money. I always said if I got a title shot I'd say 'yes'.

"I've come to prove I can knock Joseph Parker out. Their team is one of the most professional I have met, but I know him and his strategies from our training camps where I've only ever gone at 50, 60 or 70 per cent."

Parker said: "Because we've sparred together, he's more dangerous than Fury in some ways. I'm starting to wonder what he really fights like."

Cojanu is coming off winning three fights in a row and in the last couple he scored early knockouts. But all of his wins have come against lower lever opposition and he has two defeats on his record, including a second round KO loss to Donovan Dennis in April 2015.

2012 US Olympian Dominic Breazeale and WBC champion Deontay Wilder also wanted to fight Parker, but not on the specified date.

If Parker gets past Cojanu, he could still fight Hughie next, unless he fights in unification bouts against Wilder or the winner of Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko, who meet this Saturday for the IBF and WBA titles.