A spider has put an end to Joseph Parker’s hopes of beating Dereck Chisora on October 26 in London.

It was the one outcome nobody saw coming, much less predicted, but it’s true.

Due to an illness resulting from a spider bite, Parker will be unable to meet Chisora in what many deemed a 50/50 battle of contenders and now a flurry of other heavyweights are racing to form a disorderly queue, waiting for the call from promoter Eddie Hearn, the man whose job it is to keep a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view intact.

“Due to illness, Joseph Parker is out of the Derek Chisora fight on October 26,” Hearn wrote on social media. “We are working on a suitable replacement and will make a further announcement this week.”

Leading the shortlist of potential replacement opponents is American Michael Hunter and Scottish-based Martin Bakole, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

“One (phone call) and its done,” wrote Bill Nelson, Bakole’s coach, on Twitter. “He has my number.”

“Del (Chisora) knows Martin’s worth. They’ve sparred together and let me tell you Del don’t want to face Martin with 10oz (gloves) on. One guy will get KO’d, not Martin.”

Hunter, meanwhile, kept his message for Hearn short and sweet. Taking to social media like the rest, he simply posted a video of him working out on a heavy bag, the implication being he is in shape and always ready for the call.

Given he holds a stoppage win over Bakole and has also defeated Alexander Ustinov, Fabio Maldonado and Sergey Kuzmin in recent fights, Hunter, 18-1 (12), is hopefully the heavyweight Hearn has on speed dial.

A fight date in August was scuppered when a freak accident involving an ornament broke his hand, but Carl Frampton hopes to stay injury-free ahead of a scheduled November 30 outing at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

Frampton, 26-2 (15), has not boxed since his defeat against IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last December and has been itching for a big fight all year. There was talk of a WBO featherweight title shot against Oscar Valdez but that disappeared the moment he found himself sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Still, things now appear to be looking up for the Irishman. According to their promoters, Top Rank, Frampton and Valdez will share a bill in Vegas on November 30, boxing separate opponents, which suggests that fight is far from dead in the water and could now be a possibility for 2020.

Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti said: “Carl will be out again on November 30 in Vegas on the same card as Oscar Valdez. We had looked at Isaac Dogboe as an opponent but that hasn’t worked out so we’re looking for somebody else.”

At this point, Frampton’s biggest opponent is his own misfortune and his knack of being involved in fights cursed by freak injuries. As weird as it sounds, the boxing ring, for Frampton, is probably the safest place right now.

Carl Frampton
Frampton is back (Action Images/Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)