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Joseph Parker vs Andy Ruiz Jr ordered for vacant WBO HW title

Joseph Parker (Purple and Gold Trunks) during the third round of his fight against Keith Thompson (Silver and Black Trunks) at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.
(Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

In the wake of Tyson Fury vacating his position as the unified lineal heavyweight champion of the world, the gears are well in motion to continue forward with the now-vacant belts.

The World Boxing Organization determined on Thursday that two undefeated heavyweights would compete for its title, setting up Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Jr, according to ESPN. The heavyweight title fight is set to take place Dec. 10, and will be hosted in Auckland, New Zealand.

Under the WBO rankings, Parker stands as No. 1 in the division and Ruiz at No. 3, sandwiching Wladimir Klitschko who is in the works of getting another title fight of his own against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Joshua and Klitschko were working to have the WBO sanction their potential title bout to feature the vacant title up for grabs, but the WBO clearly had other ideas. Joshua and Klitschko are also looking to have the World Boxing Association to puts its title up for the title bout, as it was also among the titles vacated by Fury.

Fury vacated all his titles earlier this month as he deals with issues outside of the ring, including cocaine, alcohol, and mental health issues. Fury was supposed to have a rematch with Klitschko on Oct. 29, but as a result of the issues the bout was cancelled for a second time following an earlier cancellation in July.

As noted, both men competing for the WBO title are undefeated. Parker enters the bout at 21-0 with 18 knockouts, while Ruiz enters at 29-0 with 19 knockouts. Neither man has fought any top name fighters in the division.

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