Joshua Parker

Whyte and Parker on different paths

As a combination, the two heavyweights put on a show worthy of topping the pay-per-view bill at the O2 in London, their contrasting methods meshing together in a way that left the outcome always in doubt right through to the closing seconds.

Now, though, they will head in different directions. It was billed as a must-win for both; triumph and a world-title shot was an apparent certainty - lose and risk falling out of the picture, at least for the foreseeable future.

Quality ref the priority for Parker camp

Parker's promoter David Higgins and trainer Kevin Barry have been vocal in their thoughts about the referee for the bout in Whyte's backyard at London's O2 Arena.

Their concerns have been largely fuelled by the performance of Italian official Giuseppe Quartarone in the South Aucklander's unanimous points decision loss to English superstar Anthony Joshua in their world title unification encounter in April.

Joshua-Parker moves a step closer

Hearn confirmed on Tuesday that further talks will take place with Parker's representatives in the coming days in the hope of getting a bout agreed.

Unbeaten duo Joshua and Parker – the WBO champion – are expected to go toe-to-toe in March or April, although negotiations have thus far been protracted.

The split of the purse has been the main reported problem for getting a deal signed, but a compromise is seemingly close to being found.

Anthony Joshua demands Joseph Parker fights him in Britain

The location of the highly-anticipated unification bout remains one of the key points to completing negotiations for the heavyweight division's super fight.

Joshua confirmed the fight deal was 95 per cent over the line for a clash early this year.

Parker's promoter David Higgins is having the contract examined by legal experts and is likely to fly to London late this week to sign it off.

Parker could join him in the UK for a press conference the following week.

Joseph Parker keen to fight Anthony Joshua in the future

Joshua successfully defended his IBF title, while also claiming the WBA 'super' belt at a sold out Wembley courtesy of a dramatic 11th-round stoppage, after the Brit had been flattened in the sixth.

Sky Sports reports Parker had been due to defend his own title against Hughie Fury in Auckland on May 6, but the unbeaten Brit was forced to pull out due to a lower back injury.

The 25-year-old Kiwi will now face Romanian Razvan Cojanu on the same date, but admits after that clash he will look to arrange something with Joshua.