WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker insists he would hand Tony Bellew a ‘painful surprise’ if the pair ever meet in the near future.
The New Zealander insists Bellew’s recent comments have fired him up as he prepares to defend his title for the first time.
Parker will take on Hughie Fury on May 6, but Bellew has claimed in the build-up that the 25-year-old is the “lesser of the other champions”.
Bellew is now wanted by the majority of the heavyweight division after he beat David Haye earlier this month.
The Liverpudlian shocked Haye when he stopped him in the 11th round, even though the Londoner struggled with an Achilles injury after the sixth round.
Parker, Haye, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have all been linked with Bellew but it is the WBO champion is ready to step up.
He admits the heavyweight division has become exciting again and he wants to prove his worth in the coming years.
“I back myself with any fighter you put me in the ring with,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“When people think that I’m the lesser champ, or maybe one of the less skilled, less talented, it’s good that they think that of me, because when I get in the ring, I’ll surprise them.
“I’ll give them the best that I have and they will see that actually I’m a champion for a reason. I’m excited to be part of a heavyweight division which is bringing a lot more excitement back.
“I want to be hunted, I want to be in those fights, but first things first and then we can sit down and make a plan. I’m down to fight everyone and anyone.”