IBF #1 heavyweight Filip Hrgovic wants Joseph Parker next
The No.1 IBF heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14KO) is mandatory to fight for the IBF title next, but is bravely willing to risk his shot for a big fight against in-form Joseph Parker (34-3, 23KO) on the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou undercard in March, in Saudi Arabia.
‘El Animal’ is undefeated in 17 bouts, with 14 stoppages, including wins over Zhilei Zhang, Rydell Booker and Demsey McKean. His previous six victories have come against top opponents with a combined record of 145-5.
Croatia's Hrgovic is the frontrunner to face Anthony Joshua next, possibly for the vacant IBF World heavyweight title should it become vacant under the governing body's rules after Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk clash on February 17.
But he is confidently willing to risk his pole position against Parker, who is riding high off a career-best win against the odds over Deontay Wilder last December.
Hrgovic accepted the challenge on social media, “Hey what’s up? El Animal in the house. I heard that Joseph Parker wants to fight me in March on Joshua-Ngannou undercard, so I’m very happy to hear that. I accept your offer, Joe. Let’s do it. Let’s go, baby. Let’s get down, let’s get down to business. See you soon.”
Parker would certainly represent Hgrovic’s toughest test since his close victory over Zhilei Zhang back in 2022. Wins over unheralded Demsey McKean and over the hill Mark De Mori have since underwhelmed fight fans as the Croatian looks to keep hold of his IBF mandatory spot in the hope that a title fight – against the winner of Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk or for the expected vacant belt – comes around soon.
With both Parker and Hrgovic insisting that they want to keep momentum and not step backwards, the fight is there to be made for March.