Joseph Parker: Dillian Whyte bout the most exciting fight of the year

Joseph Parker will face off against Dillian Whyte at London's O2 Arena on July 28. John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

LONDON -- Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker insists his defeat to Anthony Joshua taught him valuable lessons as he prepares to fight for the first time since his loss in Cardiff.

Parker (25-1, 18KOs) was the first fighter to take Joshua the distance when they met at the Principality Stadium in March 2018 and will be looking to get back into world title contention when he faces Dillian Whyte at London's O2 Arena on July 28.

"Leading up to the fight [With Joshua], I was able to control my emotions," Parker told ESPN.

"With the fight itself, one of the lessons that I learnt is that I need to learn how to adapt when things don't go your way."

Among the things that did not go in the New Zealander's favour during the clash with Joshua were the refereeing decisions. Giuseppe Quartarone was strongly criticised for his handling of the fight.

"If you feel that an official like a referee is not quite performing at his best, perhaps we should have made more of a fuss about it at the time," Parker's promoter David Higgins told ESPN.

"That might have changed the referee's behaviour to a more conventional method of refereeing, by allowing the fighters to come together and fight or it it didn't it would at least draw attention to the fact that it was an appalling performance.

"Even Eddie Hearn acknowledged to me that it was an appalling performance.

"That's not a complaint though. I think Anthony Joshua won that fight fair and square."

Hearn and Higgins both revealed that a fight between Parker and Whyte came about with just 48 hours between first negotiations and a deal being struck. It means a change of plans for Parker, who had been set to face Bryant Jennings instead, but Higgins said Parker against Whyte is a big enough fight to warrant eliminator status.

"I am glad Eddie and I had a meeting of minds only a few days ago which quickly resulted in a change of plan for both sides as we made a deal.

"It's probably one of the most exciting fights of the year. It's quite a well-matched fight -- it could be a 50/50 fight.

"Both are prominent names on the world scene and I think it is worthy of consideration for the mandatory [status]. We'll appeal to the sanctioning bodies when the time is right."