Joseph Parker expects Andy Ruiz Jr to seek redemption in a rematch if the new unified world champion inflicts a second stunning defeat on Anthony Joshua.
The New Zealander remains the only man to defeat Ruiz Jr, who is set to learn details of a rematch with Joshua after ripping away the British star’s world heavyweight titles with a stoppage win in New York this month.
Parker admits his reputation has been enhanced ahead of his own fight with Alex Leapai in the early hours of Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and would be open to another fight with the Mexican or Joshua, who took his WBO title with a points win last March.
“I think it makes my win look pretty good,” Parker told Sky Sports. “I was able to beat him for 12 rounds and win the decision.
“I was able to go 12 rounds with AJ, so I think there’s a little triangle that’s going on at the moment. I just need to take care of business with the fights that I have coming up and hopefully we can light something up with one of those guys in the future.
“With the goals that I have and what I’m wanting to achieve, I’m sure I’ll cross paths with them again, but I’ve just got to take care of business and now I’ve got more drive and more motivation than ever.
“When I was a champion, I was happy and I was cool, but now I want to be champion more than when I was champion.”
Manager David Higgins wants Parker to fight twice more this year and believes Ruiz Jr will be eager to arrange a return bout, having voiced his frustration about the loss in Auckland.
“I think Ruiz absolutely would want to square that off, so should Ruiz beat Joshua in the rematch, I’d say he would be hunting Joseph down, next cab on the rank, and Joseph will be ready and willing.
“I would say that Ruiz Jr thinks he beat Joseph,” Higgins told Sky Sports. “In Ruiz Jr’s head, it’s not avenging a loss, it’s setting the record straight.
“Joseph won the fight. It was a close fight, but he won it. Most smart people, boxing experts on the cards say he won the fight. I think Ruiz Jr felt he might have won it, and I don’t think Ruiz is all about the money either.
“I think Ruiz absolutely would want to square that off, so should Ruiz beat Joshua in the rematch, I’d say he would be hunting Joseph down, next cab on the rank, and Joseph will be ready and willing.”