Joseph Parker would secure an easy knockout victory over British heavyweight David Haye were the two men to square off in a WBO title fight next year, according to the powerful young New Zealander's promoter Dean Lonergan. Parker will face Andy Ruiz Jr at Vector Arena in Auckland on 10 December for one of the belts vacated by Tyson Fury last month, with Haye said to have been made the next mandatory challenger.
The 36-year-old Londoner has registered emphatic early KO victories over sub-par opposition in Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj since returning from a three-and-a-half year absence in January, although is yet to reveal his next opponent after a collapse in negotiations with Shannon Briggs and a very public challenge from compatriot Tony Bellew. Vladimir Hryunov also announced earlier this week that 'The Hayemaker' and Manuel Charr are the two boxers currently under consideration to meet Alexander Ustinov for the WBA interim championship.
A shot at the WBO belt would surely appeal to Haye with Lucas Browne set to fight Briggs for the WBA's vacant regular title and the 'super' strap reserved for a likely meeting between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in spring 2017. However, Lonergan believes that Ruiz Jr is a far tougher test for his fighter.
"We thank the WBO for lining up David Haye," he told Sky Sports. "We see that as a much easier fight than Andy Ruiz Jr and once Joseph blasts through Haye, then Joshua will be the next cab off the rank."
He added: "My understanding is he [Haye] is the mandatory. What was voted on, was that Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz will fight for the heavyweight world title for the WBO, and the winner will face David Haye. As far as we're concerned, the winner of this fight will be fighting David Haye.
"Andy Ruiz Jr for Joseph Parker is a pretty tough fight and if Joseph Parker can get through Andy Ruiz, he will blast past David Haye in two or three rounds. For that reason alone, David Haye has no chance of fighting Joseph Parker. Should Joseph Parker defeat Andy Ruiz, we would love that fight."
Lonergan also talked up a potentially "monstrous" unification bout against Anthony Joshua, speculating that the pair could meet at Wembley next summer providing Joshua takes care of both Eric Molina, whom he fights in Manchester on the same date as Parker-Ruiz Jr, and Klitschko.
OPBF and WBO Oriental champion Parker became the number one contender for Joshua's IBF belt by outpointing Carlos Takam in May. He later defeated Solomon Haumono before bolstering his world title credentials by beating Alexander Dimitrenko via a controversial third-round stoppage.