- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Top-notch heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker knocked Bowie Tupou out cold -- face first -- with a sick shot on top of the head in just 63 seconds on Saturday in Parker’s home country of New Zealand. On Monday, Duco Promotions announced his next fight as it plans to keep Parker busy and move him up the ladder.
The 23-year-old Parker (15-0, 13 KOs) will face former world title challenger and countryman Kali Meehan (42-5, 32 KOs), who said this will be his final fight, on Oct. 15 at Trusts Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
It is a meeting of the future (Parker) against the past (Meehan) in a fight the New Zealand public has been interested in since Meehan won a lopsided decision against Shane Cameron, another New Zealand heavyweight, in November.
“We know Joseph Parker has widespread support with New Zealanders everywhere joining him on his road to the title,” Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan said. “Initially I thought Kali offered nothing because of massive expectations on the size of his purse. Kali has since adjusted those expectations to make this fight possible. Now the New Zealand media and public will be able to judge for themselves how good Joseph Parker is against a known fighter with a history of success.”
Although Meehan is 45, he has faced several quality opponents, albeit a long time ago. In 2004, he lost a controversial split decision to Lamon Brewster for a world title in a fight many thought Meehan won. In his next fight, he was knocked out in the fourth round by former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman in a title eliminator. He has won four fights in a row since a bad loss -- a sixth-round knockout to journeyman Travis Walker.
“Win, lose or draw, this is going to be my last fight and I want to end my career where it all began in West Auckland,” Meehan said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know a young fighter like Joseph will be instructed to tire someone like me out, but I’m ready for a war. I’m prepared for 12 rounds and want to end on a high.”
Meehan may want that but Parker, the young stud seemingly on his way to the top, will be a massive favorite and if he lands the kind of shot he did against Tupou, the fight with Meehan could be over very quickly.