Parker to fight Takam

Joseph Parker has announced he will fight Carlos Takam in a final eliminator for the IBF heavyweight title.

The current IBF champion is Charles Martin, who will make the first defence of his title against Anthony Joshua at the O2 in London on April 9.

However, Parker is hoping to line up a world title shot against the winner and his trainer Kevin Barry revealed on social media that the unbeaten Kiwi will fight Takam for the opportunity to become mandatory challenger to the IBF champion.

The IBF are yet to finalise the bout in May, but Parker and Takam are the two eligible contenders in the rankings, as the higher ranked Erkan Teper has been waiting for a B-sample result after testing positive for a banned substance.

Parker, who has 18 victories, told a media conference: “The last three years were very good years for us and we worked our way into this position. When I first started with Kevin [Barry], he said there was no substitute for hard work, and with this opportunity, it’s going to be the hardest I’m going to work.

“I’m excited about this, I might not seem excited, but I’m definitely excited. This is a great opportunity for me.

“Bring it on man. We have a great team. We’re 100 per cent ready for this and I was born ready.”

Takam is a France-based Cameroon fighter, with just two defeats on his 36-fight record and Barry believes he will supply the toughest test of Parker’s career.

“Our total focus is Carlos Takam,” said Barry. “This is one very mean, very physical, very powerful fighter. I have studied a lot of tape on him. He’s a big strong guy, who is going to be one hell of a test for Joe.

“He is ranked right across the sanctioning bodies in the top five and we’ll find out just how much Joseph Parker has learned in the last three years.”