Joseph Parker Returns: Former world champion granted Commonwealth title fight on May 24 in Melbourne
Former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will fight for the prestigious Commonwealth title against Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu on May 24 at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
Parker [31-3, 21 KO’s] is aiming to win the second consecutive fight of his comeback trail following a stoppage defeat against Joe Joyce last September. The New Zealander returned from that disappointment in January, when he defeated Britains Jack Massey, and he now hopes to claim the Commonwealth title for the first time in his career, a strap that has been held by esteemed heavyweights such as Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Lennox Lewis in the past.
Joseph Parker said: “I’m very excited to be heading to Australia to headline a massive fight. I’ve been to Australia numerous times and the amount of support there is amazing and everyone is always so welcoming.”
“I look forward to the atmosphere from both the Aussie and Kiwi fight fans and I know everyone will be pumped to see two world class heavyweights go at it.”
“The Commonwealth Heavyweight title has been held by some of the biggest names in the sport so I’m looking forward to adding my name to that list on May 24 in Melbourne.”
“He [Opelu] is a great fighter and deserves his shot but there's levels to this game and I plan to show that. I'm not taking this lightly and I look forward to putting on a great performance for the fight fans. Credit to him for stepping up and taking this fight.”
Parkers opponent, Opelu [15-3-2, 11 KO’s], has been a professional since 2017, and the standout victory of his career came back in 2019, when he stopped Kris Terzievski in the fifth round to win the Australian heavyweight title. Opelu himself has challenged for the Commonwealth title last time out, when he faced Terzievski in a rematch for the vacant crown, and an ankle injury to Terzievski forced a technical draw meaning the title has remained without a waist to be strapped around. Opelu will enter the ring as a massive underdog against the former world ruler, however he will be supremely confident he can spring an almighty upset and skyrocket himself towards the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.
In the co-main event of the evening, hot prospect Nikita Tszyu [5-0, 4 KO’s] will aim to maintain his extraordinary family reputation in Australia when he faces the man many believe will be the toughest test of his career to date, fellow unbeaten hopeful Benjamin Bommber [5-0, 4 KO’s].