AS it’s revealed that talks are underway for a fight between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang on June 1, it’s only natural to wonder what will now happen to the man who recently and so impressively beat them both: Joseph Parker.

As busy as any heavyweight in the world, Parker was not content to just beat Wilder by decision in December, he also then repeated the trick against Zhang less than three months later. Together, these two victories launched Parker back to the very top of the heavyweight division, a turn of events which appeared unlikely when, in 2022, the New Zealander was stopped in 11 rounds by Joe Joyce.

Now rejuvenated, and seemingly all the better for his recent experiences (good and bad), Parker, 35-3 (23), appears to have the world at his feet. Still only 32, there are plenty of big fights in the offing, with the one most obvious being the Zhang rematch. That looked something of a given in the aftermath of fight number one and indeed Parker, when in the ring, had said, “What happens next is I’m fighting Zhang again. We’re contracted for a rematch, so we’ll do it again.”

Now, though, one wonders what Parker will do if reports of Zhang being offered to fight Wilder in June leads to something tangible. The plan regardless, Boxing News understands, is for Parker to fight twice more this year, with the first of these two fights taking place in either September or October. That would give Parker ample time to enjoy the birth of his child – due in April – and also give him some much-needed and much-deserved recovery time following a hectic yet productive few months.

Such is his form, there is always going to be a demand for him to compete, but Parker, no fool, knows the importance of easing off the gas pedal to avoid burnout. There have been fights for him on the table, sources tell BN, including a semi-attractive one in May (on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk), yet signs and common sense suggest Parker will be watching from the outside until the summer at the earliest.

As for the Zhang rematch, that could still happen, irrespective of Wilder’s sudden and quite unexpected intervention. For it to happen would require Zhang defeating Wilder, of course, but who’s to say he won’t? If he does, there is then every chance Zhang and Parker could meet later this year, with October rumoured to be the month both parties were originally targeting .