Anthony Joshua & Joseph Parker reach proceeds deal for heavyweight unification fight

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker are set to have a heavyweight unification fight in the spring after a deal was reached over how to split the proceeds.

Parker was reportedly demanding 40%, with Briton Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn offering him half of that.

But Parker’s promoter has told the BBC a compromise has been reached to earn the New Zealander between 30-35%.

“We have taken a giant leap forward,” said David Higgins. “The fight has never been closer to reality.”

Joshua, 28, is seeking to add Parker’s WBO crown to his WBA and IBF titles before a possible meeting with American WBC champion Deontay Wilder. No boxer has held all four heavyweight belts simultaneously.

Higgins says he has received a contract from Hearn and expects to travel to the UK early in 2018 to finalise one of the biggest bouts in recent times.

A date and location are yet to be agreed, but initial discussions suggest a window of 31 March to 28 April and potential venues in London, Manchester and Cardiff.

According to Higgins, the deal includes an automatic rematch clause if 25-year-old Parker wins, but the terms of a Joshua victory are still under consideration.

A number of other areas are being negotiated, such as judges and anti-doping procedures, though Higgins anticipates no problems.

The promoter added: “There are a few other things to be ironed out but I’ve been sent the contract. It’s with my lawyers and I’ll send if back in the next day or so.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Anthony Joshua and Eddie. Talk is cheap but they want to unify the division and they’ve put their money where their mouth is.

“Eddie has been wonderful to deal with. There has been no ego and even though we’re the smaller side he has been respectful.”

‘We’ve analysed him – he’s robotic’

Earlier this month, Parker held a news conference featuring clips of Joshua being knocked down and Higgins has previously told BBC Sport that the British fighter was “hyped” and “rattled”.

That prompted Joshua to say he was being “demonised”, but Higgins insisted he has “delusions of grandeur and persecution”.

“Some would say this is trash talk but it’s not – we’ve analysed him and he is robotic,” Higgins said.

“He’s not used to being analysed like this publicly and we make no apologies for that. We are analysing his strengths and weaknesses and if he’s not comfortable with that he’s had a bit of a soft ride to date.

“The UK fans have been brainwashed into thinking he’s an impenetrable fortress but there are many chinks in his armour. Looking like a body builder is not the top criteria for winning a heavyweight fight.

“The bookmakers will have Joshua but when he comes into the ring it will be in his mind that he has been dropped – whereas Parker hasn’t. There will be a voice in his head saying that. Look at Joseph’s record. Guys who square up like Joshua suit him.

“It’s going to be an explosive fight, it could well be the fight of he decade.”

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