Dillian Whyte insists turning down a world title eliminator to face Joseph Parker on July 28 has not cost him a shot at champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Whyte will face former WBO world heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker at The O2, London, after declining the opportunity to face Kubrat Pulev in Bulgaria in an eliminator for Joshua's IBF world title.
Jamaica-born Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs), 30, who has lived in London since childhood, was also linked to facing Florida-based Cuban defector Luis "King Kong" Ortiz in an eliminator for Wilder's WBC belt in the U.K. on July 28.
Whyte spectacularly knocked out Australia's Lucas Browne in the sixth round on March 24 and is promising another stoppage win against New Zealander Parker, who lost the WBO belt to Joshua in his last fight.
"There's going to be blood, pain and a knockout," Whyte said. "He's a good fighter but he didn't show much courage against Joshua. I want him to be more adventurous and not go on the run, but he knows that if he has a fight against me, he's getting knocked out clean and in a brutal way.
"I like challenges and I rise to them, this is a big fight. There's a massive incentive for me to wipe him out and show the world that I am ready to be the top man in the division. I want a world title and I know I can beat Deontay Wilder and Joshua.
"Beating Parker should almost guarantee me a world title shot but let's see. He's going to be very desperate, I'm expecting the best Joseph Parker because he can't afford to have back to back defeats, but that's exactly what he's going to get, and it's going to be another massive KO win for me."
Parker (24-1, 18 KOs), 26, also considered other options and had reportedly agreed terms to face American Bryant Jennings for an Aug. 18 fight.
Parker lost his WBO belt on a unanimous points decision to Whyte's English rival Joshua in front of 78,000 fans at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31.
Parker will be fighting in the U.K. for the third successive fight after out-pointing Hughie Fury in a second title defence in Manchester last September.
Parker became the first fighter to take Joshua to points in the professional ranks. Joshua stopped Whyte in seven rounds in December 2015.
"We've both been in with AJ, one of us ended the fight on our feet, the other didn't," Parker said.
"That pretty much speaks for itself. I'm really looking forward to fighting Dillian. He's got a big mouth and says some funny things and he's also highly entertaining in the ring. It'll be an incredible fight. There's no doubt about that.
"I'm really happy with how things have things have worked out. I know it took a lot of hard work from my team to get this over the line."
Both seemed destined to face other opponents. Promoter Epic Sports & Entertainment won the Whyte-Pulev purse bid last month for $1,500,111, of which Whyte was entitled to 25 percent, but he has instead chosen his promoter Matchroom Sport offer to fight at home against Parker.
Both Whyte and Parker's promoters believe this fight is better than any world title eliminator for the belts held by WBA-IBF-WBO champion Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs)and American Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), the WBC king.
"This fight came out of nowhere and I can't quite believe it's happening," said Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn.
"Dillian has become a major force and Joseph is putting it all on the line after taking AJ the distance for the first time. Both want a return shot at the title and a win in such a high profile match up will be more effective than any eliminator-this could be a classic."
"This a proper 50-50 fight," said Parker's promoter David Higgins. "It could go either way. It's the people's eliminator. Whyte shook up Joshua and Parker is the first man to take him the distance. There's no doubt the winner should move into a mandatory challenger spot.
"Boxing is the riskiest business in the world. A promoter's job is to find the best opportunity for their boxer. That means keeping all options on the table.
"I make no apologies for making the best possible deal for Joseph Parker. The reality is no deal was ever going to without the Parkers being fully satisfied with what was on the table.
"Yes, we were negotiating with Jennings but we were also negotiating with other parties. In the end, Eddie and I managed to make a deal that has led to what will be one of the most compelling heavyweight fights of the year.
"It's a real credit to Eddie and Dillian that we've been able to make this fight happen. They've been confident and decisive from the outset and that was a huge factor in getting us to where we are today."