Joseph Parker says his fight with Zhilei Zhang on March 8th has a rematch clause for their bout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

If WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhang (26-1, 21 KOs) loses the fight, he can demand a second fight with Parker (34-3, 23 KOs), which could happen at the end of the year.

With Zhang the favorite in the fight, the chances are that the rematch clause won’t be used. It makes a great talking point, especially for boxing fans sympathetic to Parker, believing his recent performance against Deontay Wilder indicates that he’s suddenly made vast improvements in his game.

It’s more likely that Zhang destroys Parker in the same way Joe Joyce did, and fans realize that the New Zealander wasn’t as good as they thought he was.

Parker’s Acknowledgement and Frustration

“Yeah, fight Zhang and win, and then fight him again at the end of the year. Then win again, and I’ll be free to fight anyone else,” said Joseph Parker to talkSPORT Boxing about his fight against Zhilei Zhang having a rematch clause on March 8th. “I guess I see where they’re coming from,” said Parker. “They’re trying to protect what Zhang has, and they did the same thing when Zhang fought Joe Joyce.

“So, I have to beat him twice in order to move on and fight for the championship of the world. I just want to get in there for the hardest fights and do the best that I can.” said Parker.

Fans view it as ridiculous that an interim champion can have a rematch clause, considering that he’s not a full champ, and it slows the sport down. Even with a regular champion, rematch clauses are bad for boxing, but it’s far worse when it’s an interim title-holder.

No Choice But to Accept

“It’s take the fight with the rematch clause; otherwise, they would give it to someone else,” said Parker on why he agreed to the rematch clause for the Zhang fight. “It’s kind of like a cornered buck. I’m happy with the fight, and I’m looking forward to it.

If Parker had failed to agree to the rematch clause, he wouldn’t have been allowed to fight Zhang. Parker wasn’t in the position to reject the rematch clause. Zhang was coming off two knockout wins over Parker’s former conqueror Joyce.

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