Joseph Parker has blamed a mysterious spider bite in training camp in Las Vegas for withdrawing from his fight against Dereck Chisora in London on October 26.
Parker, the former WBO heavyweight champion, was due to meet Chisora at the O2 Arena on the same card as the World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight final between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the bout had been postponed yesterday and Parker’s manager David Higgins added: “The theory is that it is as a result of a spider bite. Boxing is a bizarre world but I know for a fact that Joseph is not well. He has been ordered to rest for three weeks so he can’t make October 26, unfortunately,” Higgins said.
“Joe is keen to get back in as soon as possible. Hopefully we will have some good news soon.”
Nevada is notorious for Black Widow spiders. Parker last fought in June when he stopped former world title challenger Alex Leapai in ten rounds in America on his debut on the sports streaming platform DAZN.
Parker’s only career defeats came in 2018 when he lost via unanimous decision to both Anthony Joshua, for his WBO crown, and then Dillian Whyte late in the year.
It is unclear who will now step in to face Chisora at such short notice, but promoter Hearn confirmed that former world champion Alexander Povetkin is on a growing shortlist for Chisora, which also includes Michael Hunter, Oscar Rivas and Otto Wallin.
“We’ve had a number of calls from representatives of a lot of the top 15, looking to take this fight. Right now, the likes of Alexander Povetkin, Michael Hunter, Oscar Rivas, Otto Wallin, Manuel Charr and Martin Bakole are all in the mix – and we’re looking to make a decision this weekend,” Hearn told Sky Sports News yesterday.