TWO recent Joseph Parker victims, Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang, could be about to fight in Saudi Arabia on June 1, ESPN reports.

The fight, should it happen, will be part of a planned show headlined by light-heavyweights Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev and would take place in Riyadh, where so many big fights have landed in recent months.

It would be a fascinating battle of heavyweights, too, with both Wilder and Zhang capable of ending a fight with one shot and often looking for that one shot from the moment the first bell sounds. This mentality, in fact, could be attributed to their recent defeats – both at the hands of the same man – yet, despite this, a battle between the pair could act as the ideal crossroads fight at this stage in their respective careers.

With no time to waste, Zhang, at 40, and Wilder, at 38, will no doubt see this potential fight as an opportunity they must take; the winner suddenly able to re-enter the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.

As for Joseph Parker, to some extent the forgotten man in all this, it remains to be seen what move he makes if Zhang does, as expected, fight Wilder in June. Zhang, after all, was meant to activate his rematch clause with Parker and box the New Zealander for a second time later this year. That could still happen, of course, especially as they were looking to do that rematch in October, but obviously now the rematch won’t be immediate and is also now predicated on Zhang, if it gets made, not only surviving Wilder but beating him and as good as finishing the American’s career.

Ultimately, this may suit Parker, for he has had very little time off of late. The Wilder win, let’s not forget, happened only in December, while the victory against Zhang happened in early March. That’s a fine collection of wins in a short period of time, but it would also suggest Parker needs a break, particularly as he has a child due to be born in April.

Sources close to Parker have informed Boxing News that the plan is for him to return to the gym properly in the summer and to then fight in either September or October. He has been offered another relatively attractive fight in Saudi Arabia for May – on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk – but is not expected to go through with the fight. Indeed, if anybody has earned a rest in all this, it is Parker.