Suddenly, Joseph Parker is one fight away from a world title challenge. Parker's received notice from the IBF that he will fight Cameroon's fifth ranked Carlos Takam to become the mandatory number one challenger for their belt. That means, if he wins, he'll take on the winner of April's World title fight between champion Charles Martin and rising British star Anthony Joshua. Promoters Duco events are currently in negotiations with Takam's camp on when and where, although they expect to host the fight in either Auckland, Christchurch or Invercargill in May. Parker's scheduled fight in Christchurch in April has been postponed.
Takam is 35-years-old and has a 33 win, two loss, one draw professional record. He's 189 centimetres tall and is a very muscular fighter. He has fought some quality heavyweight contenders in the past. In 2014, he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin, who is expected to fight WBC champion Deontay Wilder this year.
The IBF has seen plenty of movement recently.
Tyson Fury won it off Wladimir Klitschko and then vacated it because he preferred to have a rematch with Klitschko than defend it against the mandatory challenger. That meant little known American Charles Martin and Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov fought for the vacant belt, as the top two contenders on the IBF's rankings. Glazkov pulled out of that mid-bout because of a knee injury, so Martin walked away a world champion.
He's taken the fight against Joshua in London, because the Olympic champion from Britain commands big pay-per-view dollars and packs out stadiums in the UK. Martin is considered the easy-beat out of the current world champions. Lanky Brit Fury has the WBO and WBA belts, while hard-punching American Wilder has the WBC.