Joseph Parker ready to jab on 'Judgement Day'

Joseph Parker's October 15 bout with Kali Meehan has been dubbed 'Judgement Day' and the Kiwi heavyweight acknowledges he'll have to alter his game plan for the fight. Meehan measures in at 196cm and Parker says it will be harder to get inside against the big man "Getting in close you have to jab your way in, the jab's very important and you have to bob and weave," Parker said.The jab won't be Parker's only weapon, he says trainer Kevin Barry will devise more strategies for the Meehan fight when they return to camp in Las Vegas later in the month.

Parker's 15th pro bout against Bowie Tupou at the weekend only lasted 63 seconds but neither he, nor Barry, are concerned about his lack of time in the ring. In fact, it could be a bonus as Parker won't need to spend long recovering from the fight.

Video: Kali Meehan full interview on Joseph Parker fight

(Please click link to watch video)

At 45-years-old, Kali Meehan is almost twice Joseph Parker's age but insists he wouldn't have taken the fight if he knew he couldn't handle it. Parker is riding high after demolishing Bowie Tupou in 63 seconds at the weekend, but Meehan has picked up a few tricks over the years. "I've had a few tricks on the way. I've been here for a long time and that's the way I look at it. If I can still do the hard yard's in training then I can still do it in the ring. "I treat every fight as if it's my last fight simply for the fact that I never look past my next opponent but if I beat Joseph Parker on the 15th, then doors will open, big doors too.

"It's no secret he's going to try and set a fast pace and hit me to the body and break me down and I just have to make sure I'm strong enough and fit enough to handle that. "I've had like 47 fights and I've sparred probably two million rounds so I've sort of seen everything in boxing. He's got very fast hands but I don't know if he's seen very fast hands if that makes sense.

Watch the video to see Kali Meehan's full interview.

3 News

VIDEO: Joseph Parker shows off hidden piano talent

(Please click link to watch video)

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has shown off his impressive piano skills in a 60 second YouTube video. Parker was filmed by his corner man Bryan Barry playing the piano ahead of his boxing bout with Australian boxer Bowie Tupou in Invercargill last night. 'I felt it connected real well' says Parker "When I'm not boxing, I play instruments. I play guitar, I jam on the piano, drums, and even the triangle," Parker told"I've played the guitar since I was 12, I've played the piano since I was 15. My sister plays piano, and my brother use to be on the drums. My dad sings, he's got a good voice. So, yeah, we are musical." In front of a noisy crowd of 4,000 at Stadium Southland and an international television audience, Parker put the Tongan-Australian down one minute and three seconds into the fight.

Watch: Brutal knockout on Parker undercard

(Please click link above to watch video)

The fans came to see Joseph Parker dominate Bowie Tupou, but what they didn't expect was one of the knockouts of the year taking place on his undercard.

Polish boxer Izu Ugonoh sent Stadium Southland into ecstasy when a massive right hook sent opponent Will Quarrie tumbling out of the ring, landing on the ringside table of the fight judges. The 27-year-old of Nigerian descent began his boxing career in 2010, and was a sparring partner for Parker in the lead-up to the Kiwi's fight with Tupou.

He is a highly-touted riser in the boxing community, and you can see why as he delivers a powerful punch which decks Quarrie.

Parker wasn't too shabby himself, taking just 63 seconds to sit down Tupou with a knockout of his own.

- NZ Herald

Joseph Parker set to fight another Kiwi

Joseph Parker's next opponent is likely to be Australia-based New Zealander Kali Meehan following his first-round demolition of Bowie Tupou.

Parker's promoters Duco were tightlipped in the aftermath of his impressive knockout of Tongan-Australian Tupou after 63 seconds at Invercargill's Stadium Southland last night, with David Higgins saying only that the bout in Auckland on October 15 would pit Parker against a "very seasoned, big man, who has boxed a lot of rounds".

Meehan would very much fit that description, and although Duco refused to comment today, speculation is building in boxing circles across the Tasman that the 45-year-old veteran would be the next to try his luck against the undefeated Parker. If so, he would present a unique challenge to the 23-year-old Parker, the holder of four belts, including Tupou's WBO Africa heavyweight belt, following his most recent success.

Meehan, who has a 42-5 record, and was considered unlucky to lose a WBO world title fight by split decision against Lamon Brewster in Las Vegas in 2004, would be at 1.96m the tallest fighter Parker has faced.

Meehan's last fight was a unanimous points victory over Kiwi Shane Cameron in Auckland last November, a win which effectively shut the door on Cameron's career. He was also the winner of the inaugural Super 8 tournament in Auckland last year with a knockout win over Michael Sprott in the final.

Parker's opponent for the fight at Waitakere's Trust Arena will be announced Tuesday.

Duco's Higgins has laid down a challenge for Parker's supporters in Auckland to respond in the way those in Invercargill - and before that Palmerston North for the victory over Yakup Saglam in June - have.

Both regions gave Parker a thunderous reception, with the 4,000-strong Stadium Southland crowd whipped into a frenzy for the main event following stunning knockout victories on the undercard by Izu Ugonoh over Will Quarry, and local hero Kaleni Taetuli against Dave 'The Brown Buttabean' Letele after 22 seconds.

The victory by Taetuli, a former Southland Stags loose forward, was as impressive as it was surprising - the previously undefeated Letele caught with a left hook from the opening bell and never recovering.

There was disquiet from some in the crowd about the manner of Parker's victory - some booed at what they thought was a dive by Tupou once they saw the replay - but there was no doubt Parker connected to Tupou's right temple with a left hand and followed it up with a heavy overhand right to the top of his opponent's head.

Parker said: "I felt it connected real well and when I looked down he was on the ground."
Trainer Kevin Barry was in no doubt about what he had seen and couldn't resist the opportunity to have a dig at critics who he said doubted Parker's power.

Barry said: "I still go back to two and a half years ago when the media and some people in New Zealand said Joseph Parker can't punch. I think everyone knows now that he hits as hard as any heavyweight in the world. I'm damn sure that fight being on ESPN and being seen by a lot of people around the world and with Joe's growing profile that we've sent some more shudders through the division."

- NZ Herald

Joseph Parker at the head of heavyweight division's 'exciting youth movement'

Rising New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker is being placed at the head of a "potentially exciting youth movement in the heavyweight division". Parker's first round demolition of Bowie Tupou  saw the 23-year-old gain further traction with the international boxing media, who see him on an inevitable collision course with Britain's Olympic champion Anthony Joshua. The Invercargill fight, over in 63 seconds as Tupou ducked into a big right hand from Parker, resulted in some decent headlines and plenty of praise. Parker's next opponent, tipped to be veteran Australian-based Kiwi Kali Meehan, will be formally announced on Tuesday for an October 15 clash in Auckland.

It's another fight that will be followed with interest as Parker continues to climb the rankings. Boxing Scene's managing editor Cliff Rold felt the "thrilling" Parker "took another step towards contention" with his quick dismissal of Tupou, who at No 13, was ranked just five places below the Kiwi on the WBO rankings.

"Parker has impressed to date in his career with his own pressure and showed composure Saturday boxing tall and countering. Engaging at centre ring, a single right off the top of Tupou's head sent the Australian into the mat face first, unconscious before he hit the deck," Rold continued in his coverage.

"Recent reports have stated HBO may be interested in bringing Parker to their airwaves. Along with 25-year British prospect and 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal winner Anthony Joshua, Parker represents a potentially exciting youth movement ahead in the heavyweight division." There were similar sentiments from Eastside Boxing correspondent Olly Campbell.

"Big punching New Zealander Joseph Parker sent a further warning signal to the heavyweight division, wiping out Bowie Tupou in a little over a minute in Invercargill with a stunning right hook up close that the Tonga born fighter simply didn't see coming," Campbell wrote. "Tupou lay motionless, face down on the canvas for a few genuinely worrying moments before eventually being lifted to his feet.

"Comparisons will now inevitably turn to Britain's unbeaten heavyweight star Anthony Joshua who is following a similar career arc to the young New Zealander, boxing for the Commonwealth title on September 12th against Scotland's Gary Cornish – a belt Parker and he could potentially end up fighting for in the near future."

On Boxingnews24 Bryce Wilson was equally impressed.

"World rated heavyweight Joseph Parker 14(12)-0 sent another compelling message to the rest of the heavyweight division with a savage knockout of Bowie Tupou only one minute and three seconds into the first round," Wilson wrote.

"Tupou started the fight in frenetic fashion looking to land a big bomb in a desperate effort to manufacture the upset. After initially exchanging Parker took a step back and began to control the fight with his world class jab before landing a destructive right hand of his own that saw Tupou lying motionless on the canvas and the fight immediately waved off."

Parker's handlers have two more fights planned for him in New Zealand this year. They hope to open 2016 with a fight in Samoa before turning their attentions to trying to make an impact on the lucrative United States scene where his profile continues to grow.

American broadcasting giant ESPN covered Parker's win over Tupou with a live feed and their website gave the knockout prominence with a highlights package still available on the boxing page on Monday.

 - Stuff

JBoxer Joseph Parker could fight again in Invercargill in 2016


Joseph Parker could fight in Invercargill again next year before launching his campaign for a world title fight, the heavyweight's trainer says. Southland's love affair with New Zealand's premier fighter continued on Friday, with several hundred people packing into ILT Stadium Southland to see Parker and his opponent Bowie Tupou weigh in ahead of Saturday night's bout, far exceeding promoters' expectations. Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said the overwhelming reception meant Invercargill was already being talked about as the venue for a fight in late April or early May next year. "We've got fights booked in Auckland, Hamilton and Samoa, and he plan is to have one more fight in New Zealand before campaigning in America," Barry said.  "I'll reserve my final decision until after [Saturday] night, but the way we've been treated here in Invercargill and the way we feel about the place, we'd love it to be here." Barry, who won medals at two Commonwealth Games and trained former heavyweight title challenger David Tua, said ILT Stadium Southland was a "first-class" venue. The 4000-strong sellout crowd would be the loudest and most passionate Parker had ever fought in front of, he said.

"I've been in stadiums all around the world and I love this venue," Barry said. "I think people in the regions appreciate it a lot more [than in the cities]. It was always our plan to make Joe Parker New Zealand's fighter, not Auckland's fighter. That's why it's so big for us to come to the regions." Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan said there was "a big appetite" for major events in Invercargill, and not just at the indoor stadium. He had been hoping to convince a Sydney-based NRL club to bring a home game against the New Zealand Warriors to Rugby Park for some time, and a successful event on Saturday would accelerate those discussions, he said.

Invercargill leaders, businesses and accommodation providers welcomed the possibility of more major events in the city, saying business had picked up in the build-up to the Parker fight. The Invercargill City Council, Invercargill Licensing Trust, Venture Southland and the Community Trust of Southland have already shown a willingness to fork out for major events, having put together a $150,000 package to help get Saturday's fight to Southland. Mayor Tim Shadbolt said he had already spoken to Barry about bringing Parker back to the city. Most accommodation providers were booked out on Friday and Saturday nights, while pubs were preparing for a few busy nights. Ascot Park Hotel general manager Bryan Townley said the event was a good chance for the city to showcase its potential.

The hotel was cooking 850 three-course meals for punters at the corporate tables, with about 50 or 60 staff rostered on for the night, he said. Elmwood Catering was looking after the drinks and would have about 100 wait staff at the event. "It's chockers in here and it's going to be a great challenge to show what we're capable of," Townley said. "The corporates are getting a great dinner. It's a salmon entree, eye fillet steak main and a chocolate truffle layer cake for dessert, plus the breads."
McKnight and Brown owner Bernie Brown said there had been "a good number" of men hiring suits for the fight. "Events are great for Southland and people are certainly dressing up. It's created a lot of interest." Julie Bryce, who owns a fashion emporium on Kelvin St, said a customer had just left the shop with a new dress for the fight when The Southland Times rang. "Anything like this is always good for business. We totally embrace dress-up events." Southland police area commander Inspector Joel Lamb said there were "additional units" rostered on for the fight. They would be focusing on alcohol consumption and general behaviour in the city, he said.

eff Fenech: Joseph Parker should expect 'The Hulk' when he fights Bowie Tupou


Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker is about to learn what it feels like to be hit by 'The Hulk', boxing hall of famer Jeff Fenech says. Fenech, a former three-weight world champion, will be in Bowie Tupou's corner for the first time on Saturday night when Tupou squares off with Parker in Invercargill. Tupou had always been blessed with natural power, but he had never been in better physical or mental shape, Fenech said. "If you're built like the Hulk, you've got to fight like the Hulk, and we've ticked all the boxes to make sure he's ready to do that against Joseph tonight." Fenech said he could not be happier with Tupou's preparation, which included "dominant" sparring with Australia's best heavyweights including Lucas Browne.

He had handled everything that had been thrown at him in the build-up and knew what he needed to do to beat Parker, Fenech said. "I want him to go out there and be the aggressor. I want him to take Joseph somewhere he hasn't been before. "If we sit back and let Joseph dictate he will be unbeatable, but if we take him and make him play our game, there isn't a heavyweight out there that can take Bowie's punches."  Fenech, who has trained fighters including former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, again said Tupou's best chance of a win was a knockout inside the first six rounds. However, Tupou was in condition to go the distance and could win a 12-round bout if he was smart and took his opportunities, he said. "No disrespect to Mike Tyson, but how many times was he in a situation where the other guy was on top, and he landed a big punch to win the fight," Fenech said. "One good punch is all it takes and if Bowie lands punches in those early rounds, the fight will be over.

"But the way we've trained, Bowie can go 12 rounds, no problem." Fenech said he was not concerned to hear that Tupou never watched footage of his opponents in the build-up to a fight. While Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said the strategy was "crazy", Fenech said it was one he understood. "I was very similar. My outlook on the sport is that I want the other guy to fight my kind of fight," Fenech said. "I would watch my fights hundreds of times to see what I done well, or if I done something wrong [sic]. When I'm fighting a guy I'm going to make him adapt to my style." Saturday night's winner was potentially a few rounds away from a world title shot, and the fact this could be the 32-year-old Tupou's last opportunity was a great motivator, he said. "I keep saying to him, 'this is the fight of your life, you're fighting for your livelihood and for your family'," Fenech said.

"With that in mind I think he'll go out there and shock the world."

 - The Southland Times

'We're going to have chicken pasta and play cards' - Joseph Parker chills before big fight

A cool, calm, and collected Joseph Parker has revealed his pre-fight routine before tomorrow night's big bout against Bowie Tupou in Invercargill. "Tonight we’re going to have a chicken pasta, with a tomato-based sauce. "A lot of fresh vegetables and finish off with a glass of water," he told ONE News, with a giant grin. "How we stay relaxed is we just listen to uncle Brian, and Kevin’s stories and play a bit of cards." Meanwhile, the Kiwi heavyweight boxer is close to securing one of his next fights in his parent's homeland, Samoa. Parkers trainer Kevin Barry told ONE News that the 6'4, 100kg plus fighter has two more fights scheduled for this year, in Auckland and Hamilton.  Mr Barry said he was hoping to take the rising star to Samoa in January next year.

Boxing: Parker eyes next step on way to top

Kiwi fight star’s team see Bronze Bomber as a vulnerable target.

American Deontay Wilder, the world champion known as the "Bronze Bomber", is in the sights of Joseph Parker's team should the New Zealander get past the significant hurdle of Bowie Tupou in Invercargill tomorrow. Wilder, who holds the WBC title, would be Parker's easiest route to the top, as the other titles are held by southpaw Ruslan Chagaev, a tough Russian, and the formidable Wladimir Klitschko. Team Parker would be happy to fight 36-year-old Chagaev, as they believe he is nearing the end of his career, but they are also aware that Parker never fought a southpaw during his unbeaten professional career. And although Wilder, a 29-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is unbeaten with 33 knockouts from 34 fights, there is a suspicion that he is vulnerable.

The most impressive performance of his six-year professional career was a points victory over Bermane Stiverne to claim the WBC title. His next and most recent fight - a defence against Eric Molina - was anything but impressive. Molina, considered a journeyman, put up a better than expected performance, and, although he was knocked out in the ninth round, he hurt the 2.01m Wilder. Parker, ranked 8th in the WBO and 10th in the WBA, doesn't feature on the WBC rankings, but that should change if he beats Tupou at Stadium Southland. Four belts are on the line - Parker's WBO Oriental and WBA PABA heavyweight belts, plus Tupou's WBO African title, and the vacant Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation heavyweight title. The OPBF is a significant one as the organisation has strong links to the WBC so a victory for Parker would probably put him at No 15 on the WBC rankings. "Wilder is six foot seven, but he only weighs 99kg and Eric Molina wobbled him," Parker's promoter, Dean Lonergan, said. Should Parker win - and the 23-year-old will be favoured to against 32-year-old Tupou who has power but not the hand speed or footwork of Parker - he will fight twice more in New Zealand this year and probably in Samoa in January.

The plan is to move him up the rankings until he becomes a mandatory challenger. Lonergan, of Duco Events, has recently had meetings with broadcasters HBO and Showtime in the United States and both are keen for Parker to fight Stateside next year. But if those negotiations fall through, Parker will keep fighting in New Zealand, and probably in the regions following the successful trip to Palmerston North for his recent win over Yakup Saglem and what will be a sellout in Invercargill. Lonergan acknowledged the threat Tupou represented, saying he and Parker's team weren't getting ahead of themselves. "Jeff Fenech has been training him and we know he's fit. This is his entry into the big time. A defeat for Joe would set us back a long way."

- NZ Herald

Joseph Parker adds muscle for Tupou fight in Invercargill

Joseph Parker is going into Saturday night's fight with some extra muscle, but the Kiwi boxer doesn't believe he's lost any speed. Parker's gained 1.5kgs since his last fight, tipping the scales at 107.5kg for his Invercargill bout with Bowie Tupou. "I put on a bit of weight, but I feel like the speed hasn't disappeared. I think the speed has improved, so we'll just have to see when I jump into the ring," Parker said. Tupou still overshadows Parker in the weight department, weighing in at a slim 120.5kg, down from 135kg. Tupou, 32, is nine years older than the quick-moving Kiwi and at 1.89m is fractionally shorter. The Australian fighter is tipped to be Parker's hardest challenge to date, something that the 23-year-old is wary of. "[Tupou] has a lot of experience and he's been in America for a while training with top coaches.

"He's been around the game for a long time and he's a dangerous fighter, so we're up for a challenge. We love challenges in our career as we make our way to the top and this is one of the challenges we've picked to have down here in Invercargill. "I think the dangerous thing that he has is the power that he presents. He comes in with big power and likes to throw big bombs, what can I say, I've prepared myself the best I can."

Holding a 14-0 professional record, Parker has shaken off thoughts that Tupou was brought in just to add another win to his tally. "Anything can happen in boxing. You pick a fighter, prepare for them, but one punch can change anything. I can't say that we picked him to not beat me, but I think he's prepared the best he can.

"He's lost the weight, and there is four belts up for grabs so I think there is extra motivation for us both." The fight will be the highest ranked boxing bout to ever be staged in New Zealand and Parker's trainer Kevin Barry believes it does come with some risks. "He's somebody that will give Joe a good test, somebody who at this stage of Joe's development is the right guy to put in front of him," said Barry. "There is risk with this fight, everyone knows that Joe has been caught a couple of times with overhand rights.

"Bowie Tupou throws a phenomenal overhand right, so it's very important for us that we fight the right fight, a disciplined fight, a smart fight. I need Joe to be very skilful and very clever out there. So there is risk, but there is also great reward in this fight."

The fight will take place at ILT Stadium Southland on Saturday.

3 News

Joseph Parker Interview: Winning fights and feeding his fans

By Bryce Wilson

Joseph Parker is back in town preparing to face hard hitting Tongan Bowie Tupou on August 1st at Stadium Southland, Invercargill. While comparisons are often odious it isn’t until our interview has concluded and we have reached the training gym that one begins to see the results of all the hard work Parker has been putting in with Kevin Barry over the past 24 months and the difference in how he now physically looks from the fleshy fresh faced rookie who began his tutelage with Barry back in 2013.

While always being a decent sized heavyweight, Parker’s physique now resembles that, to use the English vernacular, of a brick outhouse. The shoulders are noticeably broader, the chest and arms now filling out as Parker continues to grow into his frame. And just in case anyone is wondering, if watching him hit the mitts is any indication, he hasn’t lost any of his trademark speed.

In fact Coach Kevin Barry believes that if anything Parker has gotten faster and noticeably more powerful while Barry also believes that Parker is still only in the embryonic stages of his development, a daunting prospect for many others in the heavyweight division.

It is a noticeably relaxed and confident Joseph Parker who sits down to chat about his upcoming fight and his future goals in the sport, a young athlete whose horizons are opening further with each and every fight and each and every victory.

ESB: Before looking ahead I just want to touch briefly on your last fight. You must have been very happy with the way you beat Saglam last time out?

Joseph: It was definitely a good win and the crowd were great. We were very happy.

ESB: Much like the Costa Junior fight last year you pretty much ended the Saglam fight with one punch. Where do you think that one punch power has come from in the last 12 months?

Joseph: I think it’s down to the technique that Kevin has been teaching me. The way he has me sitting down on my punches, turning my hips and getting my form right. So it’s a mixture of all those techniques coming together.

ESB: I know you have also been working on your strength which is a slightly different commodity from raw power. I understand you have been building that up using a lot of old school bodyweight training.

Joseph: I think sometimes with weights you can get a bit tight, tense up your muscles, but with bodyweight training it’s a lot less likely to cause injury and more low impact.

ESB: Bowie Tupou, what are the strengths and what are the weaknesses?

Joseph: His strengths are his power, size, and in the fights I’ve seen he likes to mix up his defence. If his opponent is not dangerous he likes to leave his hands down……

ESB: I think he’d be a gambling man if he tried that against you.

Joseph: Maybe, with the better opponents he keeps his hands up. He throws big bombs. He doesn’t throw a lot of punches but if he sees an opening he will throw a big bomb.

ESB: What do you think his weaknesses are?

Joseph: His movement isn’t the greatest, plus speed-wise from what I’ve seen he doesn’t possess my kind of speed and there’s a lot of body available to hit.

ESB: He has lost a lot of weight for this fight so it seems as though he is taking it pretty seriously.

Joseph: Well it’s a serious fight for us both. There’s a lot to gain for us both, there’s two belts and the opportunity to improve our rankings.

ESB: Your coach Kevin Barry mentioned to me that due to the respective level of your rankings with the WBO, you being at eight and Tupou at thirteen that the winner of this fight could potentially move up as high as number five?

Joseph: Yeah potentially. That will definitely tick off a box and move us closer to what we are trying to achieve.

ESB: How much impact do you think Jeff Fenech will have training Tupou?

Joseph: I definitely think Jeff will help Bowie with a few things but I’m not sure due to the small amount of time that they’ve had together they can make significant changes. I’ve been with Kevin Barry for two years now and I don’t think I could make all the changes we’ve made in four or five weeks.

ESB: It does seem that you appear a lot more relaxed in the ring and really trust the work you’ve done with Kevin?

Joseph: Yeah you’re right, it’s about trust, me believing in what he’s saying, believing in the conditioning work that we’ve done. Everything.

ESB: there seems to be a lot of talk about the overhand right that you occasionally get hit with. Kevin’s been very vocal about this. When a fighter has a supposed weakness or Achilles heel they don’t really discuss it in public. Do you think in a way he is issuing you a public challenge to improve in this area and why do you think you have been hit by that shot in the past?

Joseph: Maybe it is a challenge to improve. I think it has occurred because of some bad habits I picked up in the amateurs. Now every time I train I make sure my right hand is up. Sometimes I prefer it down a bit so I can see what is in front of me but if you are caught with the right one from the right person it changes the whole fight.

ESB: Kevin wants the jab to be a big factor in this fight.

Joseph: Yes certainly with this opponent. I can abandon it at times, occasionally I can stray away from the game plan, but now we’ve done so much training it‘s really stuck in my head, jab, jab, jab.
ESB: I know sometimes when you’re looking for that right hand the jab goes from being a weapon………….

Joseph: To a touch (laughs) yes I know, but like you mentioned the jab is the most important punch I have. Kevin has said it to me so many times, repeatedly, that if I hit my opponent with the jab it opens everything else up. And especially with Tupou, I think he is open for the jab.

ESB: Will this fight be going live to America?

Joseph: Yes, that’s what I’ve heard.

ESB: Are you looking to fight in America next year?

Joseph: Yes it’s something we’d like to consider. My promoters at Duco are over there right now talking to both HBO and Showtime.

ESB: Now on to something a little bit different, I see you’ve been making some TV ads for Burger King. I’ve enjoyed watching them, have you enjoyed making them and how much time do they take up?

Joseph: Yes I have and they only took up a day. It was fun, the team around me was fun. I’m enjoying trying these different types of things.

ESB: I know you did a promotion after your last fight where Burger King sold Whoppers for one dollar. Will you be doing something like that again?
Joseph: Yes this time I think they are going to do something similar, see I’m fighting to feed the people! (Laughs)

Joseph Parker 14(12)-0 faces Bowie Tupou 25(17)-3 at Stadium Southland, Invercargill, August 1st.

Underdog tag sits comfortably with Bowie Tupou ahead of Parker fight

Bowie Tupou is more than happy to be carrying the underdog tag when he gets into the ring against Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker in Invercargill on Saturday night.

Australian Tongan Bowie Tupou will fight New Zealand’s Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker this weekend. The 32-year-old Aussie-based Tongan is likely to be Parker's biggest challenge to date.  “Especially coming here fighting Joseph in the ring it's just me and him," Tupou said. “The pressure is on him and not me. He has to push himself to the next level to be able to satisfy four or five thousand people not only that but the whole country." Tupou is trained by three weight world champ Jeff Fenech and they know they have a battle on their hands to end Parker's 14 bout winning streak. "We're hoping for a knock out but I said it before if it's not there we continue to pressure him and do what we're here to do," said Tupou. There has been plenty of speculation that Tupou may try to lure Parker into a brawling situation, but he's not confirming or denying. "Maybe that's what everyone is hoping for but I don't know, I'll see what happens". Tupou is quick to point out that he hasn't watched any of Parker's fights. "I let my trainer watch him and see what they think and come to the gym and talk about it and see what we can do."

Source: ONE News

Bowie Tupou fighting for career against Joseph Parker, says trainer Jeff Fenech


Jeff Fenech  believes Bowie Tupou's right hand is not Joseph Parker's biggest concern. Fenech, a former world champion boxer-turned-trainer, predicts Tupou will be the first opponent Parker has faced that shares the Kiwi heavyweight's desire to win when they square off in Invercargill on Saturday night. Talk of Parker needing to avoid Tupou's right hand has been everywhere in the pre-fight hype, but Fenech, who corners Tupou, believes his fighter's desperation is what makes him a boilover chance. A loss for Parker would be a massive stumbling block on what is being touted as "the road to the title" by his promoters but defeat for Tupou would be the end of the road.

"He'll step into the ring knowing that he is the underdog but also knowing that this is his last chance," Fenech said in Christchurch on Wednesday. Tupou is ranked 13 with the WBO but that will plummet if he loses to Parker. Fenech believes if Tupou  is beaten he can "plod along" with his career but big fights on the world stage  will be off the radar. "I've told him there is really nothing after this if he loses to Parker, it's all or nothing." Parkerhas shown a stack of potential in compiling a 14-0 professional record but Tupou is arguably  his first opponent  who can genuinely see some chance of victory -  albeit slim - rather than just a cheque at the end of the night. "If he wins this fight he's right back up there again. He knows that and I know that, that's why we're here," Fenech said.

The Tongan-born heavyweight's hand speed is not even on the same chart as Parker  while comparisons around footwork are on a similar scale, but Fenech hopes the determination of a man fighting for his career will even up the ledger. Tupou has everything to gain and in the eyes of most, little to lose. The two most recognisable names on Tupou's 25-3 record are knockout loses to Bryant Jennings and Malik Scott.  Add in a loss to Parker and few, if any, promoters will want to know Tupou, unless it is to be a punching bag for an up and coming prospect. His career has largely stalled since moving home to Australia from the United States in 2012 but Fenech says he will head into the Parker fight in career-best shape and with a better fight plan than he has had in previous fights.

"I've got him physically ready and I'll have him mentally ready." Fenech keeps busy in life after boxing and said he would not be here if he did not think Tupou was going to be competitive. "In the right frame of mind, if he believes in himself, he can knock anyone out," Fenech said. "It's up to him now, he has to want to do it."

 - Stuff

Joseph Parker trainer Kevin Barry comfortable with small town approach for boxer


Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua are regarded the future of heavyweight boxing. While Wilder and Joshua are currently showcasing their skills in places like Las Vegas and London, Parker is preparing for his 15th professional fight in Invercargill - a city of just 50,000. Parker's trainer Kevin Barry has no problems with the small town approach, however. The Kiwi heavyweight's last fight was in Palmerston North in June and is now eyeing New Zealand's highest-ever ranked bout against Australian Bowie Tupou on Saturday night. 

Training session with a guest appearance from Mayor Tim Shadbolt, Joseph Parker on left and boxer Izu Ugonoh.  "This fight is being shown live on ESPN, so it is great. It doesn't really matter where the fight is, it is about the event that is staged, this is going to be a great event," Barry said.

"This will probably be the biggest crowd so far in Joe's career, so it was important we had a decent fight, it was important we brought a good fight to Invercargill, and this fight has more meaning than any other fight in his career. There is a lot at stake."

Joseph Parker training at ILT Stadium Southland ahead of his fight on Saturday night. Barry said the enthusiasm in Palmerston North was special and he was expecting the same type of atmosphere in Invercargill. 

"We had a tremendous response in Palmerston North, the crowd reaction there was bigger than anything we had before. I remember saying to Joe that night in the dressing room, 'you wait until we go to Invercargill, it's going to be even bigger down there.

"Joe and I are pumped to be here in Invercargill. When we started coming [to Invercargill], we talked many times with Dean [Lonergan] and David [Higgins] from Duco about the possibility of bringing a fight to Invercargill. So when it was actually sorted out, with the logistics and business, and we knew we were coming, we were very pleased."

Barry said the plan was to fight in Auckland and Hamilton in October and December before a historic fight in Samoa in January. Parker's trainer would like one further fight in New Zealand before then starting a campaign in the United States.

"Because of the international media coverage Joe is getting Dean and Dave were in New York last week meeting with ESPN, Showtime and HBO - there is a lot interest from HBO and Showtime in staging Joe in America - so we will definitely be fighting in America next year, whether it is the beginning of the year or the middle of the year I don't know," he said.

The target it seems for Team Parker is American Deontay Wilder, who is the current WBC champion.

"For me a far better path is Wilder rather than targeting [Wladimir] Klitschko. I like the possibility of us some time down the track - if Deontay Wilder is still wearing the bout - fighting him. There is a lot of things about his style that I think Joe measures up really well with."

 - Stuff

Parker and Tupou clash on Saturday

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photos: Dave Cameron

WBO #8, WBA #10 Joseph Parker (14-0, 12 KOs) will clash with WBO #13 Bowie Tupou (25-3, 17 KOs) over twelve rounds on Saturday at the Southlands Stadium in Invercargill, New Zealand, with PABA and WBO regional titles up for grabs. Tupou is trained by former three-time world champion Jeff Fenech, who is confident his charge can defeat New Zealand’s pride and joy inside the distance.

“I believe Bowie will take Joseph Parker somewhere he hasn’t been before,” a confident Fenech declared as the fighters squared off at a media conference in Auckland on Tuesday. “He will do something to Joseph, especially over those first six rounds, that Joseph has never experienced before. I believe the only way that Bowie can win the fight is by knockout so we have trained to knock Joseph Parker out.”

Fenech said he had been impressed by Tupou’s work and attitude during their six-week training camp.

“Bowie has caused a lot of damage in the gym. He has knocked out opponents, he has dropped opponents with body shots.”

Fenech had assembled Australia’s best heavyweight talent, including Kali Meehan, Lucas Browne, and Solomon Haumono to help Tupou’s preparations for an opponent he clearly respects.

“Bowie sparred with all the best [Australian] heavyweights out there and had no problems whatsoever. He has come through unscathed. He will give Joseph Parker the real test that he needs finally.”

Video: Parker not ready for world title shot yet

(Please click link to watch video)

Joseph Parker believes he is potentially 18 months away from a world title shot. The unbeaten Parker is gearing up for his 15th professional bout against Bowie Tupou in Invercargill on Saturday. The 23-year-old's swept aside all that have stepped in the ring with him and although Tupou will be the highest ranked fighter he'll have fought, he's still a few bouts away from the big time. "I think we're still a year-and-a-half to two years away from that chance of fighting for a world title," said Parker.
"With this fight, I believe it's the toughest opponent because of the power he presents and the punches that he throws. "Sometimes I was open to the right hand, which he loves to throw, with my left hand always down so I've learned in this camp how to keep it up a bit more."

'Haven't seen a heavyweight before with Parker's speed' - boxing great Jeff Fenech

One of boxing's greatest Jeff Fenech is backing Joseph Parker to go all the way in the heavyweight ranks.

Fenech is a triple world champion and loves what he sees in Parker. "I'm not a huge fan of the Klitchskos, they're boring, Joseph brings a fight to the fight," he says.
In fact Fenech says he hasn't seen a heavyweight before with Parker's speed. This weekend though Fenech will be backing his man Bowie Tupou to upset the Kiwi star in Invercargill on Saturday night. Fenech is promising that his Aussie boxer will attack from the first bell.  "I believe the only way Bowie can win the fight is by knockout, we've obviously trained him to knock Joseph Parker out." If Parker handles himself and he's favoured to register his 15th professional win, he'll fight again in October, his promoter Dean Lonergan has his next opponent lined up which will be announced next week. Longergan does agree that this weekend is another big step up for the 23-year-old. "And if we get the right opponent after that we've only got one more fight to get to a heavyweight world title, it's as simple as that, that's how close we are." All four world sanctioning bodies will be in attendance this weekend, the fight will also be on ESPN in the States.

Video: Parker not ready for world title shot yet

(Please click link above to watch video)

Joseph Parker believes he is potentially 18 months away from a world title shot. The unbeaten Parker is gearing up for his 15th professional bout against Bowie Tupou in Invercargill on Saturday. The 23-year-old's swept aside all that have stepped in the ring with him and although Tupou will be the highest ranked fighter he'll have fought, he's still a few bouts away from the big time. "I think we're still a year-and-a-half to two years away from that chance of fighting for a world title," said Parker. "With this fight, I believe it's the toughest opponent because of the power he presents and the punches that he throws.

"Sometimes I was open to the right hand, which he loves to throw, with my left hand always down so I've learned in this camp how to keep it up a bit more." 
Parker joined the Paul Henry Show earlier today and confidently said "I have a 100 percent belief I can be world champion one day.

Boxing: Tupou wants brawl against Parker

Bowie Tupou is preparing to lure Joseph Parker into a war in their heavyweight fight in Invercargill on Saturday, a tactic he believes is his best chance of winning. 
Looking at it objectively, it's probably his only chance, and it's a scenario Parker and trainer Kevin Barry will be desperately wanting to avoid. Today, in their first press conference together since the fight was announced, Barry joked it could be a "phonebox fight", with Tupou's trainer Jeff Fenech replying: "All right, well, we hope so". There were smiles and jokes between the two parties - Fenech and Barry's friendship goes back more than 30 years - but the intent was obvious. Tupou, 32, a big man without the skill or fitness of the 23-year-old Parker, will want to turn on the pressure and hurt the New Zealander from the opening bell. In sparring against Australian heavyweights Lucas Browne, Solomon Haumono, Kali Meehan and Peter Graham in Sydney, Tupou has more than held his own, Fenech said.

There was a suggestion of knockdowns by Tupou in training - including kickboxer Graham - although Fenech wouldn't elaborate out of what he said was respect for the fighters."I believe the only way Bowie can win the fight is by knockout," Fenech said. "Obviously we've trained to knock Joseph Parker out. Bowie is a nice, modest guy but if you've seen what Bowie has been doing in the gym over the last six weeks to opponents... Bowie has caused a lot of damage in the gym." 
Asked if Tongan-Australian Tupou can lure Parker into a stand-up brawl, Fenech said: "Definitely so - he's got to. For us to win we've got to make Joseph fight. Of course we're going to make him fight. When someone is six inches away you've got to punch - especially a guy who is 120-125kg and punching consistently. You've got to punch, it's no use catching punches."

Barry said it was "a very good fight plan from Jeff", adding: "We've trained very hard to prepare for 12 rounds. The fight might only be one round, but if it's 12 rounds I can promise you that Joseph will still be up on his toes and sticking that jab in your face at the end of the 12th round." The stakes will be high for both fighters at Stadium Southland in front of a crowd of about 4000 - the biggest Parker has fought in front of. A Duco spokesman said 80 of the 81 corporate tables had sold and there were fewer than 100 general admission tickets remaining. Parker, ranked eighth on the WBO list, will move into the top five of the organisation if he beats the Tupou, who is ranked 13th. A win for Tupou would likewise shoot him up the rankings.

In talking about the need for his man to fight intelligently, Barry was asked about Parker's fight against Afa Tatupu 18 months ago in Auckland, the last time he fought a fellow Polynesian. It was a brutal bout which ended in success but also a nasty head cut from a head-clash for Parker, who had felt the need to prove his toughness. "Everyone knows I wasn't very impressed with the way Joseph followed the game plan in that fight," Barry said. "That fight was a year and a half ago - this is a different guy standing beside me here today."

- NZ Herald

Jeff Fenech backs Bowie Tupou to knockout Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker


Boxing hall of famer Jeff Fenech is backing his fighter Bowie Tupou to deliver the knockout blow required to beat rising New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker. 
Australia's three-weight world champion has been training Tupou for Saturday night's showdown in Invercargill and says the only way they will win is to put Parker on the canvas. Fenech has promised early action in the quest to achieve that, acknowledging that the longer the fight goes on, the tougher Parker will be to beat. 
"I believe Bowie will take Joseph Parker somewhere he hasn't been before," a confident Fenech declared as the fighters squared off at media conference in Auckland on Tuesday. "He will do something to Joseph, especially over those first six rounds, that Joseph has never experienced before.

"I believe the only way that Bowie can win the fight is by knockout so we have trained to knock Joseph Parker out." Fenech said he had been impressed by Tupou's work and attitude during their six-week training camp. "Bowie has caused a lot of damage in the gym. He has knocked out opponents, he has dropped opponents with body shots." Fenech had assembled Australia's best heavyweight talent, including Kali Meehan, Lucas Browne, and Solomon Haumono, to help Tupou's preparations for an opponent he clearly respects. "Bowie sparred with all the best [Australian] heavyweights out there and had no problems whatsoever. He has come through unscathed. He will give Joseph Parker the real test that needs finally." 

Much of the buildup to this fight, that has the WBO's Oriental Pacific (Parker) and African (Tupou) belts on the line as well as a potential No 5 spot in that respected organisation's rankings, has centred on Parker' supposed susceptibility to an overhand right. Fenech reiterated that, but also added some perspective to the task in front of Tupou. "One punch isn't going to be enough to knock Joseph Parker out. We have to punch in bunches and that's what we have done," Fenech said. 
"Joseph will certainly be tested. This is a chance that Bowie has really needed. I believe that Bowie will cause a huge upset." Tupou was more modest than his trainer, saying simply that he was well-prepared and believed he had what it takes to win. Parker's trainer Kevin Barry believed Fenech's fight plan to attack heavily over the opening six rounds was "sensible" under the circumstances, but he backed his man to cope with the expected early storm.

"We have trained very hard to prepare for 12 rounds. The fight might be one round, but if it's 12 rounds I can promise you Joseph Parker will still be up on his toes and sticking that jab in Bowie's face at the end of the 12th round," Barry said. Parker said he respected Tupou's power but he backed his own punch and his other skills to gain his 15th consecutive victory as a professional. "I have to bring my A-game and show the defence we have been working on. We are going to box smart and use my height and be victorious at the end," a calm Parker said.

 - Stuff

Boxing: Fenech adds extra clout to Tupou preparation

Bowie Tupou's trainer Jeff Fenech is looming as a wildcard figure in the fight Joseph Parker hopes will take him into the top echelon of the world's heavyweights. 
A victory over the 13th-ranked Tongan Australian Tupou will take the eighth-ranked Parker into the big league - potentially the top five - and a potential fight in the near future against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, but it's a victory that will be made more difficult by the presence of Fenech in Tupou's corner. Fenech, a Hall of Famer, former trainer of Mike Tyson, and world champion in three weight divisions - bantamweight, super-bantamweight and featherweight - will ensure Tupou, a big man, will be prepared like never before as Kevin Barry, Parker's trainer, well knows. "I have huge respect for Jeff Fenech," Barry said. 
"He's been to the big dance many times. He's an experienced guy, he was a great fighter and he's a very good coach.  Jeff and I have known each other our whole boxing careers. Jeff will make Bowie Tupou a better fighter, there's no doubt about that.

"Bowie campaigned in America for a long time and he worked with a lot of good coaches. He worked with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym, he worked with Jeff Mayweather in Vegas, he has had some very good tutors over the years. Jeff Fenech is also a very good motivator, so whatever Bowie has, Jeff will get it out of him for this fight. "Jeff is a smart guy. I'm sure he's watched all of Joe's fights and he would have taken notes. He would have looked at the good things that Joe does and the things Joe is susceptible to. He knows how to put a game plan together. It will come down to which fighter can implement the game plan best." 
Tupou is said to have lost 12kg for the fight in Invercargill next Saturday, a loss testament to his determination to cause a big upset, says Parker. "To hear that he has lost some good weight means he is determined to maybe make his career rise again," Parker said of the 32-year-old Tupou. "It's a big fight for us both - whoever wins can make the top five. I've trained as hard as I can and I feel ready and strong and fit."

Fenech and Barry greeted each other like old friends last month when the fight was announced in Auckland. But, as the bout approaches, the friendliness is likely to diminish. There are pay per view sales to consider, after all, plus the fact that Fenech is a sharp and entertaining speaker. "I've known Kevin since 1983," Fenech told Brisbane's Courier Mail. "We both boxed at the Commonwealth amateur titles in Belfast, the World Cup in Rome and then the LA Olympics in 1984. "He's a great trainer but I think he's going to get a surprise when Joseph fights Big Bowie. I'll have Bowie in the best shape of his life. He has a huge left hook and has the power to give Joe Parker his first loss."

- NZ Herald

Kevin Barry keen on Joseph Parker taking All Blacks' path and fighting in Samoa


Rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is set to follow in the footsteps of the All Blacks and fight in Samoa. Plans are firming with a January 23 date in place, and promoters Duco Events now busy working around the logistics of making that happen. They are in talks with the Samoan government and tourism bosses there, and looking for the right partners in the island nation. The scale of the operation could see Parker fight outdoors at Apia Stadium to accommodate the expected size of the crowd, given Samoa's strong support for him. The plans include making tickets affordable to the local market. It would be an emotional "homecoming" for Parker, whose Samoan parents still own property there. Parker regularly holidays in Samoa. The 23-year-old wants the fight to happen, his family want the fight to happen and his trainer Kevin Barry has an extra incentive to see his charge step into the ring in Apia.

"I think it is fantastic. Watching the All Blacks being there, I thought it was massive and all I could think about was what it would be like to take Joe over there to fight," Barry said. "That's one thing that I have always regretted with my 12 years with David Tua … that we never did a fight in Samoa. "Here we are in our third year of Joe's career and we are looking to take this fight there. It will be huge, the country will come to a standstill. "It will mean a lot to Joe, it will mean a lot to Joe's parents and his relations." Duco Events boss David Higgins said any timing of a Samoan fight would be tied in with a New Zealand television audience that would be "essential" to the deal going ahead. He anticipated the fight being broadcast in Australia and further afield.

"The recent All Blacks game showed what can be done there, which is encouraging," Higgins said. "We also have a very good relationship with TV3 Samoa who show all of Joe's fights. "We want to make this happen. There's work to be done but we believe it's possible." The fight would continue a busy schedule for Parker, who is unbeaten over 14 professional fights and continues to rise up the rankings. He fights respected Australian Bowie Tupou in Invercargill next Saturday and has fights scheduled in Auckland in October and Hamilton in December. His handlers want to see him fight five times next year as they try to manoeuvre Parker towards a world title fight. The Tupou fight has proven an unexpected bonus in that area. Ranked No 8 by the WBO and No 10 by the WBA, Parker's management are desperate to get him into the WBC rankings that are headed by the vulnerable Deontay Wilder. That's an easier route to a title fight than through the other organisations that have the imposing Wladimir Klitschko as their champion.

Parker's promoters have convinced the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation, an organisation with strong links to the WBC, to put their vacant heavyweight title up for grabs. As a result, the winner in Invercargill is likely to go to No 15 in the WBC rankings. "That is something that we have been working on for a long, long time," Barry said. "Once we start getting in the rankings with the WBC then we are on a path to be taken seriously as a contender to Deontay Wilder. 
"That's a path that I like for Joe. We're very excited." A win in Invercargill would also enhance Parker's standings with the WBO. Tupou brings that organisation's African belt to the fight. Parker already holds their Oriental title. It's conceivable Parker could go as high as No 5 with the WBO, who will have two senior officials ringside in Invercargill. Their presence is a further sign of the growing interest in Parker, who continues to gain strong international media attention.

Higgins and his Duco Events partner Dean Lonergan spent last week in New York talking to officials from American broadcasting giants ESPN, HBO and Showtime. 
"We had great discussions with all of them," Lonergan said. "The higher up the rankings Joe goes, the more interest there is in him and they are acutely aware of his progress, especially Showtime. "They like Joe's record … not just who he has fought but how he has won. They see him as exciting. "There is a market there for Joe and it's important that we keep him busy." The challenge is finding the right opponents. The higher Parker gets, the more difficult it is to find respected fighters willing to put their own rankings and title hopes at risk against such a dangerous youngster.

 - Stuff

Trainer Kevin Barry says best Bowie Tupou won't beat the best Joseph Parker

Good but not good enough – that's trainer Kevin Barry's verdict on the latest boxer to line out against his prized heavyweight Joseph Parker. Australian Bowie Tupou enters the ring with Kiwi Parker in Invercargill next weekend in a clash that has big ramifications for the WBO rankings. Parker is eighth with the respected organisation and Tupou 13th. The winner will take a significant step forward with the WBO's Oriental and African belts on the line.  Tupou, tipped to be around 120kg for the fight, brings power to go with his size. But Barry knows Parker has the goods to handle. "This is a massive opportunity for Bowie Tupou and I think we will get the best Bowie Tupou that there is," Barry said of an opponent boasting a 25-3 record that includes 17 knockout victories.

"I personally think that the best Bowie Tupou doesn't beat the best Joseph Parker. "But it's a fight that we have prepared very well for; and it's a fight where we must get things right. "It's fight that could be a very easy fight for Joe if he gets everything right. It's a fight that if he gets caught with an overhand right could make it a very difficult fight. "I need Joe to be smart, patient, disciplined and to control things form the outside and not let Tupou into the middle zone where he can be dangerous.Barry's main concern is Parker's vulnerability to the overhand right, a defensive weakness that has been exposed several times during his unbeaten 14-fight professional career. It's something they have worked hard on during their latest training camp in Las Vegas. "I have a lot of respect for his power, he has real heavyweight power," warned Barry who said Tupou's classy handlers would ensure he entered the ring in good shape, physically and mentally. "I have respect for Jeff Fenech. He will motivate Tupou to the hilt and will bring out the best in him. "Believe me, this is a real fight for us."

 - Stuff

Video: Is boxer Joseph Parker susceptible to an overhand right?

Joseph Parker may be undefeated but there is a glaring weakness in his defence that he needs to address.​

(Please click link above to watch video)

No weights and lots of push ups: Joseph Parker's trainer reveals secret to speedy boxer

Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has been working hard on his defence and is not taking his Australian opponent Bowie Tupou lightly when they face-off at Stadium Southland in Invercargill on August 1. The 23-year-old Parker said that he and his trainer Kevin Barry have been trying their best to fix parts of his defensive pattern. “With the overhand right in the past I always got caught. My chin was up and my shoulder wasn’t where it was supposed to be, covering my chin,” said Parker. “Kevin has taught me to keep my chin down. “I have been practicing and hopefully when I get in there I can show everyone that I have improved on my defence,” he said. Barry said he has been happy with Parker’s boxing camp and said he has been particularly impressed with his fighter’s physical transformation.   

“He (Parker) visibly put on muscle for the Saglam fight and he has put more muscle on for this fight,” said Barry. “We don’t lift weights; we do a lot of work with our own body weight. We do a lot of pull ups, a lot of push ups, a lot of explosive exercises but we don’t actually physically pick up any weight up. “He is very quick at the moment; he is very big and very strong,” he said. “Parker is showing me real heavyweight power with phenomenal hand speed.”  Parker is expected to weigh in around 106 kilograms as he did against his last opponent Yakup Saglam while the 32-year-old Tupou is expected to weigh about 120 kilograms in next week’s bout.

Video: Joseph Parker looking to use brain over Bowie Tupou's brawn

(Please click link above to watch video)

​Joseph Parker has one major concern before fighting Australian Bowie Tupou next Saturday in Invercargill – avoiding power punches. While Tupou is ranked 13th with the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and holds the organisation’s African Heavyweight belt, his skillset is limited. The 32-year-old has 17 knockouts in his 25 wins but his three losses have shown a lack of speed and movement, as well as defensive frailties against those who do. "I see this one as a big fight and a big challenge at this stage of my career with the power that he presents in his punches…and he says he's going to try and knock me out," Parker said. "I don't really think about myself getting knocked out. I always go in as prepared as I can and it gives me confidence within myself. "I just have to fight smart." So, as long as Parker can keep away from his overhand right; the belt and a possible move into the top five of the rankings should be his. Watch the video to see Joseph Parker and trainer Kevin Barry discuss how they can beat Bowie Tupou.

3 News

Boxing: Parker to be tested by bigger man

Joseph Parker's one area of vulnerability - a susceptibility to the overhand right - is likely to be tested to the fullest in his next fight by Bowie Tupou. Tupou, a Tongan Australian of considerable size and strength, is said to have gone from 140kg to a little over 120kg in preparation for the fight in Invercargill on August 1, but in training with the renowned Jeff Fenech he is unlikely to have lost any of his power. The overhand right happens to be his favourite punch - he knocked over American Bryant Jennings with it - and Parker has been tagged by it by Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Sherman Williams, and even Yakup Saglam, whom he knocked out in the second round of his last fight in Palmerston North last month. Trainer Kevin Barry said: "It's something that I'm genuinely concerned about. It's been an Achilles heel for us for a while now and it's something we have religiously made part of our training programme since I've been working with Joe.

"We've got the chin down but he still likes to drop the left hand. It's something he's comfortable with but it's something that does worry me. I know he has a very good chin but I don't want his chin to be tested. Because of the fact he does drop his left hand we have worked on three or four ways of catching the overhand right... it's a punch that Joe has been hit by. Nascimento hit him with a right hand, Sherman Williams hit him with a couple of overhands, even in the last fight against Saglam - Saglam threw a right hand that I thought was coming that slow it wouldn't hit me, but it got to Joe." Parker, ranked eighth in the world to Tupou's 13th, said: "It's a bad habit I have. On this camp I've worked on tucking my chin into my shoulder, so if he does throw the overhand right hopefully people can see I've improved and can catch it." Billed by promoters Duco as the highest ranking heavyweight fight to have taken place in New Zealand, the fight is proving extremely popular to the people of Southland, just as Palmerston North responded to Parker last time out.

The 23-year-old Parker, who has a 14-0 professional record, should be too fast and fit for the 32-year-old Tupou, who has a 25-3 record, provided he commits to a game plan of keeping the heavier man on the outside. "It's important that we fight a smart fight," Barry said. "We can't get careless, we must stay patient and he must fight him on the outside because if Joe keeps him there I don't think Tupou can hit him."

Lucas Browne tips Bowie Tupou to beat New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker


Heavyweight contender Lucas Browne believes fellow Australian Bowie Tupou can beat rising New Zealand boxing star Joseph Parker. The unbeaten Parker squares off with Tupou in Invercargill on August 1. Tupou has been in camp with Browne, who  is biding his time for a potential world title shot by fighting Argentina's Gonzalo Basile in Melbourne two weeks later. Browne, who has resisted offers and taunts from the Parker camp to plot his own course towards a shot at a world title, believes Tupou has the size and power to trouble Parker. "I've been very privileged to have someone like Bowie who has a plethora of experience helping me. To be in the same camp is unbelievable," Brown told, adding that Tupou had been working overtime on his fitness.

"He's a big boy. When I first met him he was 135kg. He's trimmed own to 120kg at the moment … he's looking great. "I honestly think if he comes in fit, which I think he will, he's going to give Parker a real run and come away with the win." Whether Browne is blinded by loyalty remains to be seen. There's no doubt Tupou has the punch to cause some problems but landing  one is another matter. Tupou doesn't have the speed to match Parker's lightning hands nor the footwork to avoid an inevitable confrontation. Tupou comes into the fight with a respectable 25-3 record. He has 17 wins via knockouts but all of his losses have seen him end on the canvas. He has recovered from consecutive losses in the United States in 2012 to put together a hat-trick of wins against lowly-rated opponents.

Parker has steadily accumulated 14 wins in impressive fashion, 12 via knockouts. Parker is putting his Pan Asia, WBO Oriental and WBO Africa belts on the line while the Oreintal and Pacific organisation's vacant title is also up for grabs. While Tupou boasts a respectable No 13 ranking with the WBO, a better guide to his standings in the heavyweight division comes via the respected BoxRec website  which lists him at 143. Parker, the WBO's No 8 and No 10 with the WBA, is rated No 20 with BoxRec. That puts the Kiwi out of sight with Tupou and even two places higher than Browne in the eyes of an independent outfit. But when it comes to the biggest belts, Browne's handlers – he is in the stable of British great Ricky Hatton – have manouevred the tattooed giant well. Unbeaten Browne (22-0 with 19 KOs) is ranked No 3 by the WBA, No 6 by the WBC, and No 13 by the IBF.

Browne, dubbed "Big Daddy", is hoping to edge closer to a world title fight by fighting a WBA championship challenge next March against the winner of Ruslan Chagaev vs Fres Oquendo fight.

 - Stuff

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker takes his fitness to a new level 

​Joseph Parker's body is evolving as fast as his boxing skills and rankings. The New Zealand heavyweight has returned from his latest Las Vegas training camp in peak physical condition, unveiling his new look in Auckland. Parker fronted the media ahead of his fight against Australian Bowie Tupou in Invercargill on August 1. 
The improved muscle definition was there for all to see. "Joe is looking like a real heavyweight now. But you don't get a body like that without hard work," trainer Kevin Barry said. Barry allied any fears that Parker's physical development might hinder his hand speed and movement, key attributes that have taken him to No 8 with the WBO and No 10 with the WBA on the back of an unbeaten run over 14 professional fights. Barry is confident that Parker will still enter the ring around the 106kg mark he fought at to quickly knock out Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North in June. 

He said Parker had reduced his body fat and increased his muscle. Having played around with weights last year without achieving the right results, Barry had turned to different methods to improve Parker's physique and the results are obvious.  "Most of the strength work we are doing is Joe using his own body weight through pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups," Barry said. "Joe has seen the results and been inspired. He's also very, very disciplined with his protein shakes." Barry said having a regular training partner in Izu Ugonoh had also proved inspirational with the two pushing each other with their work in and out of the ring.

Barry has taken personal pride in the development of Parker. When he came on board as Parker's trainer in 2013 Barry had told the management team that it would take two years for the fighter to grow into his body. "I remember standing him in front of a mirror before we fought Frans Botha and telling him to take a look at that person because he would not remember him in two years," Barry said. "That is how it has played out." Parker continues to impress his trainer with his skill-set.
"We've had a short camp since the last fight but Joe has taken it up another notch in sparring." Parker is fighting a big man in Bowie Tupou who is expected to tip the scales at round 120kg at next week's weigh-in. Tupou comes into the fight with a WBO ranking of 13 meaning there will be instant reward with that respected organisation for the winner.

 - Stuff

Jeff Fenech takes on old friend in trans-Tasman heavyweight battle

AUSTRALIA’S most successful boxer Jeff Fenech will go head to head with one of his oldest friends in a huge trans-Tasman heavyweight battle on August 1. Fenech’s 120kg strongman, Bowie Tupou, the world No. 13, will fight New Zealand’s top heavyweight Joseph Parker, the world No. 9 on August 1 in Invercargill. On the same card Brisbane schoolteacher and world No. 10 welterweight Jeff Horn faces world No. 12 Viktor Plotnikov of the Ukraine. The undefeated Parker, one of New Zealand’s favourite sporting stars, is trained by Christchurch-born Olympic silver medallist Kevin Barry. “I’ve known Kevin since 1983,” Fenech said on Friday. “We both boxed at the Commonwealth amateur titles in Belfast, the World Cup in Rome and then the LA Olympics in 1984.

“He’s a great trainer but I think he’s going to get a surprise when Joseph fights Big Bowie. I’ll have Bowie in the best shape of his life. He has a huge left hook and has the power to give Joe Parker his first loss.” Tupou, a former Penrith Panthers junior, started boxing with Fenech’s old coach Johnny Lewis, but spent most of his boxing career in Las Vegas. He was one of Alex Leapai’s main sparring partners when the Logan truck driver challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight title last year. The 190cm powerhouse has 25 wins in 28 fights. He lost to world title challenger Bryant Jennings and to Malik Scott, the conqueror of Brisbane’s Alex Leapai.
The 193cm Parker is unbeaten in 14 pro fights. Kevin Barry believes he can go one step further than his previous heavyweight David Tua, who was outpointed by Lennox Lewis for the world heavyweight title. Jeff Horn faces the toughest test of his pro career against the lanky 37-year-old Plotnikov who is coming off a one-sided victory over England’s former Commonwealth champ Denton Vassell. Plotnikov has 32 wins in 34 fights stretching back to 2002. He has never been stopped and his last loss was in 2012.

Horn is undefeated in 11 fights.

Tupou a heavyweight test for Parker

Joseph Parker will be working on his defence ahead of his next fight in six weeks against a true heavyweight in Australian Bowie Tupou. Parker's promoters Duco moved quickly to sign 32-year-old Tupou after the withdrawal of Japanese champion Kyotaro Fujimoto, Parker's original opponent for the August 1 fight in Invercargill.
Tupou was originally slated to be Parker's opponent in Auckland in October. Instead he will have an earlier opportunity to, as his trainer Jeff Fenech said yesterday, spoil the party. This is a fight which will be relatively easy for Duco to sell. It's New Zealand v Australia and also Samoa v Tonga. It is also being described as the highest-ranked heavyweight fight ever staged in New Zealand, with Parker, ranked eighth by the WBO, matched with Tupou, ranked 13th by the same organisation.

A raucous crowd of about 3000 saw Parker demolish German Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North recently, and Duco are expecting an even more riotous welcome for their man at Stadium Southland in front of an expected crowd of 4000."Bowie Tupou is by far and away the strongest and most imposing guy that Joseph Parker has ever fought," Duco's Dean Lonergan said. "This is a big step up for us because we haven't fought someone who is right in their prime and as strong as he is." Another thing for Lonergan to be both wary of and pleased about is the presence of Fenech as Tupou's trainer. Fenech, a three-time world champion, provides credibility to Tupou but also the potential for an entertaining build-up. "I'm here to spoil their party," he said. "I believe I have a fighter in Bowie Tupou who can take Joseph Parker out of the park and into the jungle, somewhere I believe he hasn't been before." Fenech added: "I believe if Bowie fights the right fight ... that Bowie has the power, the size and the strength to be the first person to cause an upset. I have great respect for Kevin Barry, great respect for Joseph Parker, but I also have amazing respect for Bowie. The only thing that has been missing over the last couple of years has been somebody to make him work hard."

Parker has shown vulnerability to the overhand right - he was hit with it by Saglam in Palmerston North - and it's here that Tupou is likely to attack. Fenech said of Parker's defensive lapse: "Maybe he's not listening and not learning that well." Tupou, who has a 25-3 record and has been a professional since 2009, said he didn't watch Parker's fight against Saglam and wasn't concerned about the 23-year-old's recent training camp with Wladimir Klitschko. Two of Tupou's losses came against Bryant Jennings, who took Klitschko to 12 rounds recently, and Malik Scott, who fought WBC champion Deontay Wilder last year. "We're coming here to win. I'm not coming here just to be an opponent or pick up a pay cheque. This is my career and my job."

- NZ Herald

Bowie Tupou's journey from rugby player to taking on NZ heavyweight Joseph Parker


It was announced this week Bowie Tupou will fight Joseph Parker in Invercargill on August 1. But just who is the Tongan-born heavyweight? LOGAN SAVORY caught up with him and quizzed Tupou on his background and his thoughts on fighting New Zealand boxing's rising  star. When Bowie Tupou reaches for a handshake he make an everyday person's hand look like the size of a thimble. There's little surprise then that Tupou has a found a home in the sport of boxing. However, he hasn't followed the traditional pathway through the boxing ranks to position himself as No 13 in the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight rankings. Tupou's sporting exploits started as a Jonah Lomu type winger in rugby union, after him and his family shifted from Tonga to Australia.

At 100-plus  kilograms he was a daunting sight for opposition wingers.

He played age-group rugby for Penrith where he toured New Zealand in 2001, it included a game against Southland under-21 in Queenstown.
Penrith Panthers' rugby league club  then swooped as Tupou was included in their setup with the prospect of progressing the giant winger into the NRL.
An NRL career never happened though. Tupou says there was a booze culture and he fell into that trap like many youngsters can. His partner - and now wife - Georgia was the first person to suggest boxing as a sport to help get him back on track and install some discipline in his life. He trained for a year, before at 23-years-old, with no amateur background at all, he took the plunge and took on his first fight. in his debut fight he squared-off against Brian Fitzgerald, who had an extensive and successful amateur background. After six rounds of boxing Tupou won by unanimous decision and he was hooked. Boxing was where he wanted to make his name.

From 2006 to 2009 he won 15 straight fights, as he went from a rugby league player-cum-boxer to a talented fighter who made the boxing community standing up and taking notice. He made the move to the United States to train alongside some of their best heavyweights as he continued to rise up the world rankings. His biggest assignment was in 2012 when he took on respected American heavyweight Bryant Jennings. It was his move to set himself up for a world title shot. Tupou however was stopped by Jennings in the fifth round.  He felt he could continue but the referee had seen enough. The defeat left him pondering his future  in the sport, and he decided it was time to return to Australia and continue his boxing trade there. His decision to ditch the Untied States was not him giving up on his dream, he says. He felt he  performed best when he was surrounded everyday by his family and friends. Tupou has also been able to link up with legendary Australian trainer Jeff Fenech on his return to Australia. Fenech himself was a world champion boxer and has since trained many fighters, including Mike Tyson. Tupou has had three fights since returning to Australia and won all of them. His latest was against Hunter Sam where he won by split decision in a 10-round contest. Tupou now turns his focus to Joseph Parker in Invercargill on August 1. It was a fight Tupou was always planning for but the original thought was for it to be staged in Auckland in October.

However, with Japanese boxer Kyotaro Fujimoto pulling out of the Invercargill bout, Tupou's shot at Parker was brought forward. The fight makes sense, according to Tupou. He believes a win will help him climb back up the world rankings and feels it is also a fight the public wants to see. Having a Samoan and a Tongan go at it he thinks will appeal. Tupou and Parker are not only both Pacific Islanders, but they are also both Mormons which meant there was a healthy respect for one and other.
 As a result there is not expected to be any of the traditional trash talk leading up to the fight in Invercargill, but Tupou promises when they do enter the ring they will become the fiercest of enemies. "You don't often get two Islanders going at it at this level," he said. "The reason I am taking the fight is it is an opportunity for me. He's No 8 I am No 13 [in world rankings]. I've got to take this opportunity. No-one up there in the rankings is  normally keen to take on a young lion."

 - The Southland Times

Parker's next opponent changed

Parker was originally scheduled to face Kyotaro Fujimoto until the Japanese champion unexpectedly pulled out of the bout following Parker's second round knockout of German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North earlier this month. 32-year-old Tupou has a record of 25 and 3. Tupou will put his WBO African title on the line, while 23-year-old Parker will put up his WBO Oriental and WBA PABA Heavyweight titles. Promoter Dean Lonergan says Parker has so much more to gain if he can beat Tupou anyway so Fujimoto running scared has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

He says there's no doubt a convincing win over a guy ranked 13th in the WBO will fast track us towards our overall goal of being top five by the end of the year.

The August 1 bout is also a showdown of the boxing brains with Parker's world-renowned trainer Kevin Barry battling wits against International Boxing Hall of Famer, Jeff Fenech, who is in Tupou's corner. Fenech, who has previously trained Mike Tyson, is also a three-time former world champion. Barry says Jeff doesn't train mugs so they have to be wary. 32 year-old Tupou brings the experience of nine years professional ringcraft to Southland on August 1st.

Bowie Tupou confirmed as Parker's opponent

(Please click link to watch video)

Australian Bowie Tupou has stepped in to fight Joseph Parker in Invercargill after Japanese champion Kyotaro Fujimoto pulled out. Tupou shapes as a better opponent than Fujimoto, who decided he no longer wanted to fight Parker on August 1. The 32-year-old's 25-win, three-loss record has him ranked 13th with the WBO, where Parker sits eighth."Joe has so much more to gain if he can beat Bowie Tupou anyway so Fujimoto running scared has turned out to be a blessing in disguise," said promoter Dean Lonergan. "There's no doubt a convincing win over a guy ranked 13th in the WBO will fast track us towards our overall goal of being top five by the end of the year." Tongan-born Tupou will put his WBO Africa heavyweight title - which he won from fellow Australian Hunter Sam in March - on the line for the 12-round contest. Tupou will also have International Boxing Hall of Famer Jeff Fenech in his corner, a challenge Parker's trainer Kevin Barry is relishing. Fenech, who has previously trained Mike Tyson, is also a three-time former world champion.
"Jeff doesn’t train mugs so we have to be wary," said Barry. "Tupou is a world ranked opponent who were looking to fight in October but Auckland's loss is Invercargill's gain." As a Penrith Panthers junior, Tupou flirted with a league career before becoming a professional boxer in 2006.

3 News

VIDEO:Joseph Parker to fight Aussie slugger in highest ranked

heavyweight bout in NZ

(Please click link to watch video)

Invercargill will host the highest-ranked heavyweight boxing bout ever staged in New Zealand with Joseph Parker challenging Australian Bowie Tupou (25-3) for his WBO African title over 12 rounds at Stadium Southland on August 1. Tupou is almost 6'3" and is expected to weigh-in at an imposing 120kilograms. Adding further interest to the trans-Tasman showdown will be the 23-year-old Kiwi also putting his WBO Oriental and WBA PABA Heavyweight titles as the to the Title moves up a gear. Parker was originally scheduled to face Kyotaro Fujimoto until the Japanese champion unexpectedly pulled out of the bout following that devastating second round knockout of German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North last Saturday. "Joe has so much more to gain if he can beat Bowie Tupou anyway so Fujimoto running scared has turned out to be a blessing in disguise," says promoter Dean Lonergan. "There's no doubt a convincing win over a guy ranked 13th in the WBO will fast track us towards our overall goal of being top five by the end of the year". The August 1 bout is also a showdown of the boxing brains with Parker's world-renowned trainer Kevin Barry battling wits against International Boxing Hall of Famer, Jeff Fenech, who is in Tupou's corner. Fenech, who has previously trained Mike Tyson, is also a three-time former world champion.

Joseph Parker's opponent changed

Joseph Parker has had a change of opponent for his next bout in August with Japan champion Kyotaro Fujimoto pulling out of the fight. Fujimoto unexpectedly pulled out of the bout following that Parker's devastating second round knockout of German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North last Saturday. Parker will now face Australian Bowie Tupou (25-3) for his WBO African title over 12 rounds at Stadium Southland on August 1. Tupou is almost 6'3" and is expected to weigh-in at an imposing 120kilograms. Adding further interest to the Trans-Tasman showdown will be the 23-year-old Parker is also putting his WBO Oriental and WBA PABA Heavyweight titles. "Joe has so much more to gain if he can beat Bowie Tupou anyway so Fujimoto running scared has turned out to be a blessing in disguise," says promoter Dean Lonergan."There's no doubt a convincing win over a guy ranked 13th in the WBO will fast track us towards our overall goal of being top five by the end of the year".

32 year-old Tupou brings the experience of nine years professional ringcraft to the fight. "He (Tupou) has boxed 112 rounds in his career", says International matchmaker Stu Duncan. "When you compare that to Parker who has boxed only 54 rounds, that tells you something. "This is the most significant fight in Parker's career as there are three titles in all up for grabs with two of them being an official WBO unification challenge. "There is no doubt the winner of this fight will be considered for a top five position with the WBO which, in turn, will place them firmly into world title contention".

- NZ Herald