Tuesday night the WBO made official that the upcoming heavyweight battle between top contender, unbeaten Joe Joyce and their #2 contender Jospeh Parker will now be for the Interim title. In granting the request of promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, the WBO made their ruling public online and through social media,
Official: #WBO Heavyweight Division & Joyce/Parker https://t.co/PM8AgvnJuJ@frankwarren_tv @trboxing @JoeJoyceBoxing @joeboxerparker @KlimasBoxing @Tyson_Fury @boxingscene @DanRafael1 @JakeNDaBox @pugboxing @SteveKim323 @osunaespn @ChavaESPN @fightnews @bigfightweekend @TimBoxeo
— Gustavo Olivieri, Esq. (@OlivieriLaw) August 31, 2022
The statement read in parts, including referencing the proposed undisputed heavyweight title bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury. That would mean that the WBO top contender would be without having challenged for their title for over three full years,
“…numerous factors come into play in such a high-stakes bout as Usyk/Fury. Although Fury has expressed that he is currently retired, this Committee has been advised that conversations are ongoing for the potential clash in early 2023.
Consequently, if the bout materializes various scenarios could arise thereto, including but not limited to (i) a potential Usyk/Fury rematch; (ii) a controversial outcome that would warrant another bout; (iii) if the bout is declared a draw, no decision, or no contest another bout is warranted; (iv) whether Fury decides to maintain retired, retire or withdraw from the potential Usyk bout(s); (iv) any other exceptional circumstances that would move the Committee’s discretion in making or recommending exceptions or variations from the Rules as the World Championship Committee determines proper for the purpose of serving the best interests in the WBO Heavyweight Division, the sport of boxing, and most importantly, the fans.
Furthermore, is it critical to note that during the last two years the WBO Heavyweight Championship has been at stake only on two occasions (Joshua/Usyk bouts). Therefore, the activity in the division has been significantly low. Consequently, we believe that affirmative action towards keeping the division active is warranted. Now, this Committee will take all necessary steps to ensure the fans and the general public that no impediment arises that would jeopardize the Usyk/Fury bout(s). In other words, by enforcing the provisions set forth herein or any others hereinafter, we believe that the best interests in the Heavyweight Division are best served for the fighters themselves and their worldwide fans, and the WBO.
Wherefore, in light of the foregoing circumstances and seeking to protect the rights, interests, and opportunities of the remaining contenders in the Heavyweight Division, we rule that an Interim Heavyweight Championship is justified even more so between the two highest-rated available contenders in the division the highly regarded undefeated Joe Joyce and the former WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker, respectively.”
The WBO ruling concluded with,
“The WBO Championship Committee hereby rules as follows:
a) The Committee grants sanction approval of the Interim Heavyweight Championship between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker subject to the conditions stated herein and all other provisions set forth by the WBO World Championship Committee.
b) The Committee reserves its right to issue all further rulings deem necessary, helpful, and convenient to accomplish the purposes, policies, and intent of the WBO Regulations, including but not limited to serving the best interests in the WBO Heavyweight Division, the sport of boxing and the fans….
e) If Joe Joyce and/or Joseph Parker suffer(s) an injury that prevents his participation, is prevented to participate, impaired to participate, or unavailable to participate for whatever reasons in the Interim Championship bout, WBO Championship Committee shall proceed per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”
Joyce and Parker will meet September 24th in London in what now becomes a higher stakes, 12 round battle. As our Dan Rafael wrote earlier this month,
Joyce (14-0, 13 KOs), 36, of England, returned from a year-layoff due to a wrist injury and knocked out journeyman Christian Hammer in the fourth round on July 2.
Former heavyweight titlist Parker (30-2, 21 KOs), 30, of New Zealand, has won six fights in a row since back-to-back decision losses to Anthony Joshua in a world title unification fight in 2018 followed by a close decision loss to Whyte later that year. Parker is coming off back-to-back decision wins over Derek Chisora, most recently in December, also at AO Arena. That was Parker’s final fight with Matchroom Boxing.