Top Rank Promotions added unbeaten heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) to their stable of fighters this week, which comes just in time for his fight this Saturday night against one of their own heavyweights in Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-0, 19 KOs) for their fight in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker will be co-promoted by Top Rank and Duco Events.
Parker and Ruiz Jr. will be fighting for the vacant WBO heavyweight title on Saturday on HBO Championship Boxing.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum wants to turn the 24-year-old Parker into a star, but he realizes that it’s not up to him and his match-making of the fighter. Parker has to turn himself into a star by putting in the kind of performances that the boxing fans enjoy.
“Yes, of course, but no promoter can make a fighter a star. A fighter has to make himself a star,” said Arum via Fight News. “A promoter can only help by getting the right fights, getting the right publicity, but the idea that the promoter makes the star, as flattering as that is, is just not the case.”
Yes, if Arum could single-handedly turn fighters into stars, then he would have already done that with many of fighters in his Top Rank stable. Arum has the following fighters that have yet to turn into stars despite him matching them well and giving them tons of publicity: Tim Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Terence Crawford, Oscar Valdez, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Brandon Rios. Arum has not turned those guys into PPV stars, and it’s likely they will never become stars that boxing fans pay to see.
Parker doesn’t have the willingness to brawl, and that’s going to keep him from becoming a big star in the U.S my estimation. I don’t think he’s even going to try and become a brawler, which is a pity, because the top heavyweight stars in the past were brawlers or least fighters stood in the pocket like Muhammad Ali. He never shied away from getting hit.
Parker isn’t going to be able to beat Ruiz Jr. by running around the ring like he did in his fight against Carlos Takam, If Parker wants to beat Ruiz Jr, then he’s going to need to be able to stand and fight it out until the bitter finish. The results of the Parker-Ruiz Jr. fight should give the boxing fans in the U.S pretty good indication whether Parker has the ingredients to become a star or not.