Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) could be WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s next opponent he faces in his first title defense on April 8. The two heavyweights are in negotiations at this time, and Hughie has a very good chance of getting the fight. It’s not even a question of IF Hughie will get the fight at this point.
Hughie’s the WBO mandatory challenger, and Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) just captured the vacant World Boxing Organization heavyweight title with his 12 round decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr. on December 10. This means that Parker must defend against his mandatory next.
Hughie, 6’6”, says he’s got the boxing skills to beat the 24-year-old Parker. If Hughie had said this before Parker’s recent win over Ruiz Jr., the fans wouldn’t take him serious, given how good Parker was looking. But after the way Parker struggled in beating Ruiz Jr. by a 12 round majority decision at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, you cannot rule out a win for Hughie. Ruiz Jr. almost beat Parker. He would have beaten him if he didn’t slow down in the last six rounds. Ruiz Jr. still appeared to do enough to get the win, but the three judges that scored the fight didn’t agree that he did.
“I do rate Joseph Parker, he’s a good talented heavyweight, but I believe I’ve got the tools to beat him. I believe I’m his worst nightmare,” said Hughie to skysports.com. ”He struggled against Ruiz. I did have Ruiz winning that fight to be honest with you by a few rounds. The reason why Ruiz never got the fight is because 1) from being in his hometown and 2) he never pushed the issue,”
Hughie’s comments about Ruiz Jr. are ones that many boxing fans agree with. The results went in the 6’4” Parker’s favor, but it obviously didn’t hurt him that he was fighting in his own hometown against a visiting fighter from the U.S.
Ruiz Jr. used speedy combinations and a stiff jab to control the Parker fight in the first eight rounds. Parker didn’t have the hand speed or the aggression to offset what Ruiz Jr. was doing. Hughie has a very good jab, and a long reach. He doesn’t have the fast hands that Ruiz Jr. possesses, and he’s not much of a combination puncher. Hughie throws a lot of single power shots to the head and midsection. If he gets into a one punch at a time type of fight against Parker, he might have problems winning. Parker has the bigger punching power of the two, and he might hurt Hughie. A better approach to the fight for Fury would be for him to throw at least two solid shots each time he opens up with his offense.