Former heavyweight world titlist Joseph Parker, aiming to end a two-fight losing streak, has an opponent for his homecoming fight on Dec. 15 at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Parker will face Alexander Flores, a Roy Jones Jr.-promoted fighter, Duco Events announced Thursday.
Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) 28, of Rowland Heights, California, lost the only time when he stepped up to face a serious opponent, suffering a fourth-round knockout to Charles Martin in 2014. Martin went on to win a world title.
Flores has been somewhat inactive since the loss to Martin, going 3-0-1 over the past four years.
"There is no way this fight goes 10 rounds," Flores said. "I'm going to knock him out. A lot of people might not have heard of Alexander 'The Great' yet, but they'll all know who I am after Dec. 15."
Parker (24-2, 18 KOs), 26, who began his training camp in Las Vegas two weeks ago, lost his heavyweight world title to Anthony Joshua by lopsided decision in their March 31 unification fight in Cardiff, Wales. Then on July 28 in London he lost a close decision to Dillian Whyte in an action-packed fight in which both men were knocked down and Parker came within in a whisker of a knockout victory in the final seconds.
"I'm really glad that Alex is coming to New Zealand full of confidence," Parker said. "For me, boxing is all about the challenge, and this is another big one. I know what is stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out. But I can't focus on that. I need to focus on getting better each and every time I get in the ring."
Despite Flores' lack of credentials, Duco Events promoter David Higgins said he was nervous about the fight, knowing how debilitating another loss would be for Parker.
"With Joseph coming off two straight defeats -- however unlucky -- a third defeat would be catastrophic for his career," Higgins said. "Alexander's undoubted punching power makes this an extremely dangerous assignment for Joseph, so it is fair to say I am the most nervous I have ever been before a fight."
Said Kevin Barry, Parker's trainer: "We've known for some time it was likely to be Flores and it is great to have that confirmed. These guys are the same height and they both pack a serious punch, so it stacks up as a great contest. This is a dangerous fight. A fight where Joseph Parker is fighting for his career."