Zach Parker challenges Canelo Alvarez to come to the UK to defend his world titles

Boxing in Manchester

Parker the no1 ranked fighter with the WBO – where Canelo is king (Picture: Getty)

Zach Parker has urged Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to make good on his bid to fight in the UK and wants the super-middleweight king to hang around long enough for him to get his title shot.

The former British champion is the no1 ranked challenger for Canelo’s WBO strap – taken from Billy Joe Saunders who became the seventh Briton to fall short against the all-conquering Mexican earlier this year.

Parker is looking to move to 21-0 when he takes on Sherzod Khusanov at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night and is swiftly making his case to be British boxing’s new hope at 168lbs.

Only the great Floyd Mayweather Jr has found a way to solve the Canelo conundrum with the 30-year-old expected to fight IBF champion Caleb Plant in September to unify the division.

Canelo is thought to be considering a return to the light-heavyweight division soon after – where he dethroned former WBO champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

Canelo holds three of the four titles at super-middleweight (Picture: Getty)

Parker meanwhile is confident Canelo has not fought someone with his skillset, accusing some of his fellow Brits of making life easy for the pound-for-pound king.

And the Derby fighter, who has been first in line for a shot at the WBO belt since beating Rohan Murdoch in March 2020, hopes the lure of fighting in England can pave the way for his opportunity.

‘We saw what he did this year with Anvi Yildirim and Billy Joe and what he has done to others in the past,’ Parker told Metro.co.uk.

‘He won’t be getting rid of me that easy. I will not make it easy for him. I won’t be standing there like Callum Smith did either, I will be punching when I want to punch. I’ve got that weird style, I have that awkward movement and I can bang with both hands.

Parker has Canelo in his sights

‘Billy Joe Saunders had a good style for it, but he is not big enough for super-middleweight. He couldn’t hit hard enough to keep him off. That is what I bring to the table. We will have to see if he wants to get another mandatory out of the way. And he has said he wants to box in the UK, so why not box me here?’

While his title shot remains the priority, Parker also has his eye on making a bit of history with Chris Eubank Jr.

While Eubank Jr is currently campaigning at middleweight, the two share boxing heritage with their fathers meeting in the ring over 30 years ago.

Before becoming a household name, Eubank Snr travelled to Effingham Park Country Club in Copthorne in February 1988 for his first bout on UK soil after turning professional in the US. His opponent that night was Darren Parker, Zach’s father who fought 11 times as a professional.

Eubank Snr fought Parker’s father in 1988 (Picture: Getty)

‘It would be a good little story. Avenging the loss of my dad. Why not?,’ Parker said. ‘His dad was a world champion. My dad boxed a couple of world champions in his day. I’m about to fight for a world title myself and Eubank Jr is close up there too, albeit at middleweight.

‘It is a weird situation. But I would thrive off a fight like that. I want to make my name bigger in Great Britain and that would be the way to do it, beating these top lads in Britain.’

Parker linked up with Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions earlier this year and is quick to admit his profile is still gaining traction.

And if he is made to wait for his title shot again later this year, the 27-year-old has no qualms in putting his no1 position with the WBO on the line against another Briton at super-middleweight with Rocky Fielding and John Ryder also in his sights.

‘I’ve been under the radar, I don’t mind saying that. I came up on the small hall shows but now I’m with Frank and working with BT Sport, they have got me out there. I’m very grateful and now it is time to show everyone what Zach Parker is all about.

‘If Billy Joe retires, it is only me and John Ryder right at the top of super-middle. I don’t know what Rocky Fielding is doing, he might still be enjoying his time away with his Canelo money. 

‘It’s only me and John and I think I beat John easy. I think I stop him in six rounds. That’s another fight I would love, I think he has his eye on the WBA regular belt. I’ll fight for that too! He’s game. He’s fought a lot of top British lads. But he will lose this one.’

MORE : Billy Joe Saunders responds to accusations he quit against Canelo Alvarez and drops retirement hint

MORE : Canelo Alvarez reacts to Floyd Mayweather failing to KO Logan Paul in exhibition fight

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