David Higgins: Joseph Parker on standby as issues remain with Anthony Joshua fight contract

After months of talking, the fight between Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua has been confirmed. Shirley Kwok/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Joseph Parker's promoter David Higgins has revealed to ESPN that a unification bout against Anthony Joshua is "very close" to being announced but negotiations might still go on into next week.

Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who hasn't fought since his majority decision win over Hughie Fury in Sept. 2017, will be defending his WBO strap while also bidding to claim Joshua's IBF and WBA belts.

"The announcement won't be today [Jan.12] as no contracts have been signed," Higgins exclusively told ESPN. "There are a few contractual issues between DUCO and Matchroom, and [Eddie] Hearn and I.

"We haven't finished discussing yet. If we deadlock it might go a few days more. We are very close."

Higgins also revealed that Parker remains in New Zealand while he tries to finalise a deal for the two to meet in the ring.

"If we get the deal fully done then I'll send him on a plane straight away," he added. "He's on standby to fly."

Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) was last in action against Carlos Takam in Oct. 2017, a fight the 2012 Olympic gold medalist won via 10th-round stoppage.