By Charles Brun: Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has reportedly signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable, according to Michael Benson. The immediate plans for the 27-year-old Parker (25-2, 19 KOs) is for him to fight former heavyweight world title challenger Eric ‘Drummer Boy’ Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) on the undercard of the Demetrius Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki card on DAZN and Sky Sports on June 29 in Providence, Rhode Island.
The 37-year-old Molina is a decent first fight for Parker in his three-fight deal with Matchroom, but he really needs to be fighting better opposition than this at this stage in his career. That’s not a knock on Molina, but the guy has lost two out of his last four fights to Dominic Breazeale and Anthony Joshua. Parker should be able to do better than this.
Parker will be useful for Matchroom as an opponent
Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Hearn will likely use Parker to match him against some of his other fighters in his stable like Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic, Dillian Whyte, Murat Gassiev and Zhilei Zhang. As such, there’s an excellent chance that Parker will win his first fight of his contract with Matchroom, and then lose his last two against the above mentioned fighters.
It’s going to be survival of the fittest for Parker, because he’s going to have to prove himself if he wants to have his three-fight contract with Matchroom extended at the end of the contract.
Hearn has signed a lot of notable heavyweights, and they need someone to fight. Parker’s recent losses to Anthony Joshua and Whyte showed that he doesn’t possess the killer instinct to take his career to the next level. Even in his fight against Hughie Fury, Parker looked like he lacked the meanness to be a top level heavyweight.
As far as Parker getting a rematch against Anthony Joshua or a title shot against Weontay Wilder, that’s not likely going to happen in his three-fight deal with Hearn. This is clearly more about Parker being signed to fight some of Hearn’s Matchroom heavyweights that need a name guy like Parker.
Parker has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights
There will be a lot of pressure on Parker to start winning once again, as he was beaten recently by Whyte and Joshua. Hearn has thrown Parker a bone by matching him against 37-year-old Eric Molina, because that’s someone that he should be able to beat. Parker will need to also look impressive in his three fights on DAZN. He looked passive, weak and ineffectual in his fights with Whyte, Joshua and Hughie.
Whyte was able to rough Parker up at will without him responding. It looked bad. Parker fought like he was afraid of Whyte, and it wasn’t surprising that he lost. The referee even gave Whyte head-butt knockdown of Parker.
Whyte just roughed Parker up the entire fight in front of his boxing fans. When Parker finally did show some aggression in the final minute of the 12th, he had Whyte on the canvas. It was disappointing that Parker waited until the last minute of the 12th to start fighting with aggression.
Parker’s career could be in bad shape by the time his contract with Matchroom ends
With the way that Hearn is going to match Parker in his three-fight contract, there’s a good chance his career will be on the skids soon. Indeed, if Hearn throws Parker in with Michael Hunter and Hrgovic in fight #2 and #3 of his contract with Matchroom, he could lose both fights. If that does turn out to be the case, Parker will have lost four out of his last six fights as his contract with Matchroom ends. That’s pretty much end game right there, isn’t it?
Sure, Parker will continue with his career, but at that point he’ll be no longer be a contender, and will be heading towards journeyman status. Parker has a chance of doing big things with Matchroom, but he’s going to need to find some intensity somewhere for him to be able to beat the guys that he’ll be fighting. Hearn is matching Parker against a weak opponent for his first fight with Matchroom, but he’ll going to throw him in with the wolves from that point on.