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Joseph Parker-Hughie Fury title fight headed to purse bid

The Fury family will have a chance to reclaim one of the heavyweight world title belts vacated by troubled Tyson Fury last fall.

Joseph Parker, who won one of the vacant titles, is poised to make his first defense against mandatory challenger Hughie Fury -- Tyson's first cousin -- in the spring.

The WBO announced on Wednesday that a purse bid for the fight has been ordered and will take place Feb. 1 at the sanctioning organization's offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The minimum bid is $1 million. Parker co-promoters Duco Events and Top Rank and Fury promoter Frank Warren could still make a deal before the purse bid takes place but if the bid goes through the promoter with the highest offer will gain promotional control of the fight and be able to pick the date and location as well as control the other logistics of the event.

Parker will be entitled to 60 percent of the winning bid, and Fury would receive the remaining 40 percent, per the WBO's ruling at its 2016 convention.

Tyson Fury won a unanimous decision against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 in a massive upset to win three major world title belts, but he has not fought since. A rematch with Klitschko was canceled twice in 2016 because Fury, as he later admitted, was dealing with alcohol, drug and mental health issues.

He had been stripped of one belt less than two weeks after beating Klitschko for failing to commit to a mandatory defense and then he vacated the two others last fall because of his personal issues. He likely was going to be stripped anyway after failing two drug tests for cocaine.

Parker (22-0, 18 KOs), 25, of New Zealand, won a majority decision against Andy Ruiz Jr. on Dec. 10 in Auckland, New Zealand, to claim one of the vacant titles.

Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), 22, of England, hopes to follow in his cousin's footsteps by winning a world title. He has not faced close to the caliber of competition that Parker has, but Fury is coming off a seventh-round technical decision victory against rugged veteran Fred Kassi in April.

Should Parker's team win the purse bid the title fight likely would take place in early April in New Zealand.