Heavyweight duo Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker go head-to-head in an intriguing clash tonight in Manchester.
A fight between the pair was first announced back in April on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s emphatic stoppage win over Dillian Whyte, with the bout then scheduled to take place over the summer.
With Parker signing for Sky Sports and BOXXER the fight was initially delayed, with Joyce instead stopping Christian Hammer with ease, before the September date was finally announced last month.
Joe Joyce (left) and Joseph Parker (right) fight in an enticing heavyweight clash on Saturday
The pair will compete for the WBO interim title following a request by both promotional teams
Joyce and Parker, ranked one and two by the WBO respectively, will fight for the interim WBO heavyweight title following a joint request by Queensberry Promotions and BOXXER.
The WBO belt is currently held by Oleksandr Usyk following his second-successive victory over Anthony Joshua. Usyk had been expected to fight Tyson Fury next, but that is now in doubt with the Gypsy King in talks to take on Joshua in December.
If Joyce wins, he will move one step closer to a world title shot – while he will also be promoted to the outright champion should the WBO belt eventually be vacated. Parker, on the other hand, will have to beat Joyce twice to move into that position, with a rematch clause in place should ‘The Juggernaut’ lose.
With the bout now swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know.
When is Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker?
The clash between Joyce and Parker is scheduled to take place tonight, September 24, at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The pair are expected to walk to the ring at around 10pm for those in the UK, though that will of course depend on results beforehand.
There is also action in abundance on the undercard, with Amanda Serrano featuring in the co-main event as she fights Sarah Mahfoud for the IBF, WBO and WBC featherweight belts.
How to watch the fight
The fight, which will be a 12-round contest, will be broadcast live on BT Sport Box Office.
The price for the fight was revealed on Friday afternoon, being £19.95.
Once purchased, the event will be available to be streamed online via the BT website and app.
Sportsmail will also be covering the fight live, so you can keep up-to-date with us.
Joyce vs Parker: The key stats
Height: 6ft 6in
Height: 6ft 4in
Joyce claimed a comfortable fourth-round stoppage win over Christian Hammer last time out
An improved Parker put in an solid showing as he handed Chisora a second-straight defeat
Who’s fighting on the undercard?
There have been many questioning why the impending bout is a pay-per-view event, particularly with the strength of the undercard beforehand.
There are some key clashes to look out for, though, including Serrano’s unification bout against Mahfoud.
The likes of Ekow Essuman, Nathan Heaney and Tommy Fletcher are also on show.
- Joe Joyce v Joseph Parker
- Amanda Serrano vs Sarah Mahfoud
- Michael Magnesi vs Anthony Cacace
- Ekow Essuman vs Samuel Antwi
- Nathan Heaney vs Jack Flatley
- Raven Chapman vs Jorgelina Guanini
- James Heneghan vs Rod Douglas Jnr
- Callum Thompson vs Delmar Thomas
- Amaar Akbar vs Karlo Wallace
- Mark Heffron vs Martin Ezequiel Bulacio
- Tommy Fletcher vs Toni Visic
What’s been said?
The pair have remained amicable throughout the build-up to the bout, but Parker insists Joyce has shown a sign of weakness by calling for a rematch clause to be inserted into the fight contract.
‘I know deep down I back myself 100 per cent to beat anyone,’ Parker, told iD Boxing. ‘I want to beat Joyce first, twice, I have to beat him in September, have a rematch and beat him again then I’m free to fight anybody.
‘He’s not even champion so he shouldn’t have a rematch clause, but it’s one of those things where they weren’t going to make the fight happen unless it was in place.
‘I don’t need a rematch clause, for the Joshua fight I didn’t need a rematch clause because I backed myself and I back myself now. I think it shows a little weakness.’
Parker insists the inclusion of a rematch clause should Joyce lose is a sign of weakness
Joyce has responded to that claim, however, insisting it was merely a smart business move.
‘In my opinion is just being smart particularly business wise,’ he told The Mirror. ‘We are both in a good position and highly ranked.
‘I didn’t have to take this fight but I chose to take it because it is exciting and fans want to see it.
‘I am A-side and I feel that I am entitled to a rematch clause and I decided to take it and I think it is just smart business.’