Joseph Parker vs Hughie Fury set for September 23 in Manchester

26/06/2017 13:33

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs) will fight mandatory challenger Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) on September 23 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Fury, 22, was supposed to travel to Parker's home country of New Zealand to fight him on May 6, but pulled out two weeks before the fight, citing a back injury.

Instead, Parker, 25, faced late substitute Razvan Cojanu and won a one-sided points decision. Now the New Zealander will travel for his first fight in the UK as he makes his second world title defence.

"I'm very much looking forward to this fight," said Parker. "It's been a long time coming but the contract is signed thanks to my promoter David Higgins and I am ready to get going.

"We're looking forward to going over to the UK and making a statement and putting on a great show.

"The idea of going to the UK is something I am looking forward to and, no, I don't hold any grudges (referring to Fury's withdrawal from the fight in May that was supposed to be in New Zealand).

"I just go in there, respect my opponent and do what I have to do. That's go in there and win the fight and defend my title and keep it here (New Zealand). The crowd against me? I will use it as energy and motivation to put on a great show and fight hard.

"I know there will be a lot of supporters for (Fury) but I know I back myself and put on a great show, and hopefully get him out of there."

Fury, cousin of former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Tyson, has not fought since a 7th round technical decision win over Fred Kassi in April 2016, but will first face an opponent to be determined in a tune-up bout on July 8 at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Hughie will be taking a step up in competition against Parker, who won a majority decision over Andy Ruiz Jr last December in New Zealand to capture the WBO title vacated by Tyson because of mental health issues.

However the Briton is relishing the chance to bring one of the world titles back to the Fury family.

"I've never had a close fight," said Fury. "I've won every round of every single fight.

"I'm going to let my fists do the talking and I'm going to take his belt home with me."