Wellington - New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker on
Wednesday drafted in former sparring partner Razvan Cojanu of Romania for his
first world title defence after original opponent Hughie Fury pulled out
Parker's camp was left scrambling to find a replacement
after Fury's late withdrawal from the May 6 bout in Auckland for the World
Boxing Organisation (WBO) crown.
Promoter Duco Events said Cojanu was the only credible
fighter available at such short notice.
Cojanu, 30, is ranked 14th by the WBO and has a 16-2
Parker, who boasts a 22-0 record, including 18 knock-outs,
said taking on Cojanu was a major risk because the Romanian had an inside view
of his preparation.
"To me, he's a lot more dangerous than Hughie because
he knows my style and techniques," the 25-year-old told Radio Sport.
Parker said he was willing to consider calls from World
Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder for a unification bout, but that the
American was not available to fight on May 6.
"If he was ready then I'd fight him but I guess he
wanted more time to prepare," he said.
"If everything goes well and I do keep the title we can sit down and negotiate to unify the belts... I'm not afraid of anyone."