WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has offered £20,000 to anyone with footage of him being knocked down as his team intensified their push for a unification bout with Anthony Joshua.
In a hastily called news conference, Parker’s management showed footage of fighters claiming to have floored WBA and IBF champion Joshua in sparring.
Promoter David Higgins offered gifts for more video of Joshua being floored.
Higgins added Parker, 25, would accept 35% of revenue to face Joshua, 28.
Parker’s promotional team contacted media prior to the news conference stating a video would be showed featuring “rare footage of Joshua getting dropped”.
The video featured old footage of Romanian Mihai Nistor stopping Joshua, as well as the Briton being floored by Dillian Whyte – both in amateur bouts.
Joshua’s first knockdown as a professional during his Wembley Stadium bout with Wladimir Klitschko was also shown, as were interviews with British fighters Lawrence Okolie and Daniel Dubois in which they hint they had toppled the world champion in sparring.
Team Parker’s two offers
Higgins claimed the publicity stunt was not disrespectful but based on facts available online and said to date, offers made to him by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn for the chance to stage a unification bout were “disrespectful” and a “disgrace”.
Higgins added: “Why does Parker beat Joshua? Simple, Parker has a granite chin, where as Joshua may have a glass jaw. It’s the worst kept secret in British boxing. No one really talks about it.
“So our offer to anyone in the UK, send us proof that you have also dropped Anthony Joshua. Be the first to do so and we will send you a special gift in the mail.
“Our second offer of today is to all Joshua fans in the world. If you can send us proof that Parker has ever been dropped, we will send you a cheque for £10,000.
“Our message to Anthony Joshua is we want the opportunity to test your chin so much that we will let you keep 65% of the profit even though it’s an intercontinental unification. You have no excuses, show Parker some respect and make the fight.”
Parker, stood next to his promoter, instantly said he would match the £10,000.
The WBO champion, who defended his title against Britain’s Hughie Fury in Manchester in September, said: “Joshua says he wants to unify, we do. As you can see, we are the only ones pushing.”
‘Time to fight Joshua before he loses’
Joshua’s last bout saw him stop Carlos Takam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October.
His promotional team told media a “conditional contract” is close to being finalised to face Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne but that the terms of the deal state it can be scrapped if a meeting with Joshua is agreed.
Higgins said a minimum share of 35% was “utterly non-negotiable” and added they specifically want a revenue share rather than a fixed fee to take the fight.
Trainer Kevin Barry – also present at the media event – said: “This whole piece of business with Parker fighting Joshua has been driven by Joseph. Joe said to me ‘I think this is the right time’.
“He looked at the Takam fight, as we all did. That fight put it into perspective. Joshua’s stock came down, Parker’s went up. Joe saw a lot of flaws and we realised now is the right time to be going after Anthony Joshua before someone else beats him.”
Hearn has stated that Joshua is certain to face the division’s only other recognised world champion – WBC title holder Deontay Wilder – in 2018.
All three of the heavyweight champions remain unbeaten – Wilder in 39 fights, Parker in 24 and Joshua in 20.