ZACH PARKER is planning to move up to the light-heavyweight division in 2024, and was close to signing a major opportunity on the December 23 card in Saudi Arabia.
“I was offered the [Dmitry] Bivol fight but they went with Lyndon Arthur,” Parker told Boxing News. “It was in the process of being signed with my lawyers, but it fell through. It would have been a nice Christmas present.”
Despite being knocked down in the 11th round, Arthur toughed it out and heard the final bell, but lost 120-107 on all three scorecards. Parker has previously only competed in the light-heavyweight class in bouts over four, six and eight rounds.
Known for his work at 168lbs, Parker suffered disappointment in his most high-profile bout to date, when a broken right hand led to him being pulled out after four rounds against John Ryder in November 2022. Parker hasn’t ruled out another run at a super-middleweight belt but accepts he’s fallen down the pecking order. “I see [David] Benavidez as the top guy at super-middleweight at the minute,” he said. “Obviously, Canelo’s got all of the belts [and] he’s going to do his own thing.”
Parker remains optimistic about his future. He made a comeback in September 2023, weighing 172lbs, and stopped Khalid Graidia in seven rounds. The 29-year-old, 23-1 (17), is scheduled to fight in Birmingham in March.
“I want big fights now. I’ve told my team I want to face top 10 opponents. I don’t want to wait around anymore. I’m turning 30 next year, and I want to push on. I want to win a big title and then compete with the big boys.
“There are big fights at light-heavyweight. There’s [Anthony] Yarde. I’ll take on any of them. I’m already huge for super-middleweight, but I’m going to go where the money is and where the big fights are.”