Boxing: Joseph Parker camp say no to Charles Martin

The promoters of New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker turned down an offer to host a title fight against American IBF champion Charles Martin due to the expense involved, but say the door has been left open for a mandatory challenge in the near future. Southpaw Martin will make the first defence of his title against Englishman Anthony Joshua in London on April 9 - a fight likely to be very lucrative for both men, but also very difficult for the incumbent - after Duco Events turned Martin down.

"They actually contacted us to see if we would front with millions of dollars for a fight down here and I just suggested it was ludicrous to even think about the sort of money they were asking for," Duco's Dean Lonergan said. "They were looking for something and they got it in Joshua. "The money they were asking for was huge. It's available in England but it's not available here." Duco have fast-tracked 24-year-old Parker during his unbeaten 18-fight professional career, but in this case they are playing a slightly longer game. A victory for either Martin or Joshua will ease the door open wider for a mandatory shot by Parker, who is ranked No6 by the IBF, an organisation which has no official No1 or No2-rated fighters. After champion Martin, the next on the list is No3 Erkan Teper, a Turk who failed a drugs test in December and, should his B sample also test positive, is facing a lengthy ban. Fourth is Joshua, with 35-year-old Cameroonian-Frenchman Carlos Takam fifth, one ahead of Parker.

Should Teper drop out due to a drugs ban, Parker could be fighting Takam in an elimination bout for a mandatory shot at the title. Parker's next fight is in Christchurch on April 16 against an opponent Lonergan hoped he would be able to confirm in the next few days. Parker is also slated to fight in July, a bout which his promoters hope will be a warm-up for much bigger things to come. "Right now, what's happening in England is incredibly significant for us," Lonergan said. "With Martin signing to fight Anthony Joshua all sorts of interesting things open up. That's a brilliant fight to be made for British boxing. Britain is a hotbed of heavyweight boxing and it just got a lot hotter." Joshua, a 25-year-old Olympic gold medallist is an extremely powerful puncher and will present the relatively inexperienced Martin with easily the toughest challenge of his career. Joshua, unbeaten in 16 professional fights, will also be on home turf at the O2 Arena, a fight almost guaranteed to be a sellout.

The Englishman recently said he had been following Parker's career with interest and believed the two would meet in the ring eventually.

IBF standings:
Champion: Charles Martin
1. Not rated
2. Not rated
3. Erkan Teper
4. Anthony Joshua
5. Carlos Takam
6. Joseph Parker
7. Vyacheslav Glazkov
8. Steve Cunningham
9. Andy Ruiz
10. Bermane Stiverne

Just how good is Joseph Parker?

Are they serious? A world heavyweight title challenge within 18 months, probably in New Zealand, for Joseph Parker? The 22 fights, winning all inside the distance, which adds up to only 31 rounds of professional boxing. Yet his promoters, Duco Events, and trainer Kevin Barry, are deadly serious. And given the form which Parker has displayed so far, and the willingness of his team to put him in with competent opponents who can test him and teach him, not to mention the porous state of the heavyweight division, it Parker, Auckland enthusiasts. His father was named Dempsey, after the Manassa Mauler, and his younger brother is a promising amateur. Joseph was a successful, though not dominant, amateur. He won gold at the 2011 Arafura Games, silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Championships, and gold at the China Open, but missed out on hoped seems to be one of those fighters much better suited to professional boxing than to amateur. After dealing with local opposition in his first five pro fights Parker was matched with ageing former world title challenger Francois Botha. He won by stoppage in the 2nd round. He then won the New Zealand heavyweight title with another 2nd the very tough veteran Sherman Williams on the undercard of the Wladimir Klitschko title defence against Alex Leapai in Germany. But that fight was aborted when Williams fell out with the Klitschko camp, where he had been a sparring partner, and was sent back to the US.

Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento was the replacement. He had been five and eight rounds rounds respectively with world rated Tyson Fury and Manuel Charr. Parker won by TKO in the seventh. Next up July 5 rather optimistically) No 12 by the WBO. Again Parker won in the seventh round win when Minto, who had been down twice and was bleeding from a broken nose, retired. It was a very impressive performance by Parker aggressive. Parker will fight Keith Thompson in Pennsylvania on August 10. This is very much a warm two of them.. Then on October 16 he Frustratingly for the Parker team, they have been unable to make any of three tantalising fights with world attract huge interest and huger purses and would earn Parker a world ranking. Alex Leapai won Commonwealth champion Lucas Browne has his own future plans mapped out for him by Hatton Promotions in Manchester, but money is the big talker in this game and he fight between the two, if staged in Auckland, would be the biggest boxing event in NZ history So Parker will have to look elsewhere after Sherman Williams. If it goes to plan opposition will be gradually increased. now for over every time Joseph has won convincingly It can be taken as read that there will be no padding of his record with meaningless wins. Parker knows he his side. But while he and is keen to face respected fighters.

At six foot four and around 225 pounds he fights tall. His hand speed is particularly impressive, and his left jab is a fast and deterring weapon. The following right crosses are powerful and accurate. He is a fanatical trainer, has a great relationship with trainer Kevin Barry, and enjoys fighting regularly and often. He easily bears comparison with the fellow prospects out there. If one defines fights, but having demonstrated realistic potential, then four undefeated fighters spring to mind Dominic Breazeale and Gerald Washington from the US. Joshua, superheavyweight gold medal winner at the 2012 London Olympics, has been touted as the next Lennox Lewis, but has been so cautiously matched so far that it to the pro ranks. What is certain is that he has power. He has not yet been taken past the second round. Hughie Fury, a cousin of top gold at the World Amateur Youth Championships. He is only nineteen, and still learning on the job, but thus far has failed to excite. He Breazeale, a former American football player, was also the number one ranked amateur American super nine wins, and outpointed the respectable Nagy Aguilera in his last fight. He big man at 245 pounds, but looks a bit fleshy. He Gerald Washington, who also played football first, is the most advanced, having outpointed Sherman Williams and stopped the dangerous Travis Walker in two rounds. He had no amateur experience, but may be the hardest puncher of the five. However, he is already 32. The race has begun. Who will win it?

Full interview: Joseph Parker taking on Brazilian heavyweight George Arias

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker is taking a step up in his boxing career when he fights reigning Brazilian heavyweight champion George Arias in March 2014.It's a fight that promoters are saying is a risk at this stage in Parker's career."A few people who I have great respect for warned me not to take this fight," says Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan.Parker is keen to get back into training as soon as possible, seeing his next fight as another stepping stone in his career."All these fights are building me up to be a better fighter, a more complete fighter. I want to go back to Vegas to carry on training and keep the momentum going. I can't stop now otherwise I'll be on the Georgie Pies and Burger King Whoppers and that," Parker says.While it seems a matchup with Sonny Bill Williams won't happen for Parker, he concedes Williams would have struggled to balance playing several different sports."I would have loved the opportunity to fight Sonny Bill you know, he's a great athlete and a great rugby player and a great league player but for me he can't really do boxing half-half. You can't put one foot in and one foot out, you've got to do it 100 percent to be able to improve and be a good boxer," Parker says."I believe I would have done real good against him," he says. Watch Video.. -3 News

Boxing: Parker confirms March fight

Joseph Parker will take a step up for his next fight when he takes on former South American champion George Arias in March. Parker, who claimed one of the two main New Zealand heavyweight belts with a second-round defeat of Afa Tatupu last week, was due to fight Arias in November. But after a head clash left him with a deep gash, the bout was rescheduled and a new deal was signed last night. It is a signature Parker's handlers hope they won't regret. "A few people who I have great respect for warned me not to take this fight,'' Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan said. "But if Joseph is going to progress as quickly towards a world title shot as I think he can, he has to be tested now. "Is it a risk? Yes. But I've put my trust in the boy to do the job.'' The 39-year-old Arias is a shorter heavyweight with a reputation as a durable and dangerous opponent and he's not like anyone Parker has fought before. Arias has fought 64 times in a 17-year career, with most of his wins over South American opponents little recognised in this part of the world. He has lost 11 times. He has also met a couple of bigger names - losing to former British heavyweight hope Audley Harrison after taking the fight with four days' notice. Arias has also only been knocked out twice - by big Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez (who went on to fight Vitali Klitschko, losing the fight for the WBC world title in 2009 by a TKO in the ninth) and Fres Oquendo, one of David Tua's victims in 2002. But Arias has now won his last 12 fights, many against young, inexperienced contenders and all defending his Brazilian and South American titles. Even though he is not a big name, Arias will be a step up for Parker. Parker is undefeated after seven fights following his destructive performance against Tatupu. "We are under no illusions about the challenge that Arias provides,'' Lonergan said. "But in this game you can't afford to sit on the sidelines and duck challenges. "Joseph needs to stay busy. And he needs to keep testing himself. Because of the calibre of the opponent, the decision to take the fight will place a bit of adversity and pressure on him. But, in this game, that's not a bad thing because sometimes you just have to go to war.'' - APNZ

Parker confident about fight injury

By Robert Lowe

Boxer Joseph Parker is confident the deep cut above his left eye will have no long-term effect on his promising heavyweight career. Parker suffered the cut in a head clash during his two-round knock-out of fellow Aucklander Afa Tatupu last week to claim the New Zealand NBF title and take his record to 7-0. The injury means the 21-year-old's next bout, against Brazilian George Arias, has been postponed from November to March. "I know I heal pretty good," Parker said on Tuesday. "I believe if I take good care of it and do the right things, it won't be a big problem in the future." Parker knows that part of his face, having been cut, will now be a target for opponents. The counter to that would be to fight smart, follow the game plan and avoid getting in range to be hit there. It was his failure to adhere to the game plan worked out with trainer Kevin Barry, and instead deciding to go toe-to-toe with Tatupu, that led to the head clash.

"It's a learning process," he said."I'm grateful I did the mistake now rather than in future when I'm fighting at a bigger event."Parker said his next opponent would be a step up.Arias, 39, has a record of 53 wins (39 by KO) and 11 defeats, and has won his last 12 fights."He's experienced, he's got a great record, but you have to take these steps to test yourself," Parker said.Meanwhile, Barry said the main concern with Parker's cut over the next fortnight was the threat of infection.However, indications were positive that the boxer would make a good recovery. Barry said a plastic surgeon who had seen Parker told him that the doctor who stitched the wound closed on the night did an excellent job."The signs look promising," Barry said. "I'm really happy with the way that it's healing." ​-NZN

Parker must now protect eye


      Joseph Parker will be forced to modify his fighting style before his next fight against Brazilian George Arias in March.Parker has proven he can stand toe-to-toe, mixing it with a legitimate knockout puncher in Afa Tatupu - he has the scar to prove it. But as a result, trainer Kevin Barry confirmed the cut from a head clash would demand a new focus on defence.

"With the uncertainty of the cut - and Joseph and I haven't sat down and put a plan in place here yet - but there is every indication that I may look to modify Joseph's style," Barry said."I don't want guys having the opportunity to tie him in with the right hand on the eye. I don't want the eye being tested at all. There will be some adjustments to his style."

Parker likes to drop his left hand down, possibly to bait his opponents. It also drops when he is swinging, as shown in the Francois Botha knockout. But now it will be used to protect his eye a lot more, a move which Parker said was "a must"."Now we have this little bit of a problem, the cut. We have to modify and make changes because I like to keep my left hand low. Now we are going to have to keep it up there," the heavyweight champion said.

The cut, which required 14 stitches over his left eye, was sustained in Parker's New Zealand National Boxing Federation heavyweight title victory over Tatupu last week. Instead of out-boxing his opponent from the outside, Parker traded blows with Tatupu."The obvious result of that was the cut and Joseph has already taken ownership of that," Barry said, who also said he doesn't believe a lack of discipline will ever be a problem again for his 21-year-old charge, chalking it up to a learning curve.

"Some guys will have to be sat on their arse to get a learning experience, other guys take a loss. We have got a cut. I don't think it will be a problem again," Barry said.

Parker has also admitted there was an element of pride to his move away from a strict fight plan.He said the reason he stood there and "brawled" with a fighter who had knocked out seven of nine opponents he had beaten was that he wanted to prove his chin.

"Even though me and Kev already know that I can take a punch with all the sparring we have done, other people had questioned my chin and maybe that is one of the reasons why I did that."Barry said he was shocked when Parker "went to war" but revealed a little more about what went through Parker's head when Tatupu came out like a bull elephant, charging and swinging.   "Joseph felt, the first time Afa hit him, he goes ‘This guy has got nothing to hurt me with'," said Barry.

"He didn't like the fact Afa jumped at him and caught him with a shot and Joseph decided to stand there and trade with him.

"What Joseph may have let get to him more than anything else was what people were saying about his chin."He was saying ‘I'm not afraid to stand there and mix it in close quarters'."Parker proved his point when Tatupu went down in the second round, but it came at a price; a cut that has had immediate repercussions for his career and a likely change to the way he sets up to fight.   

Joseph Parker sets his sights on Brazilian Arias​

Brazilian George Arias is being eyed as the next opponent for rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker.Parker claimed one of the two main New Zealand sanctioning bodies' heavyweight belts with his second-round demolition of Afa Tatupu in west Auckland last Thursday. Arias comes with both the Brazilian and South American heavyweight belts.The Arias fight was to be announced on Tuesday - a November 28 clash in Christchurch.

That fight has now had to be postponed because of the large cut above Parker's left eye, courtesy of a head clash with Tatupu.Parker can't spar for a month, and will now return to Las Vegas for training. He will also consult plastic surgeons there to see if the cut requires further attention in order to avoid a long-term problem.Arias was due to arrive in Auckland this weekend. Parker's promoters Duco Events had to hurriedly cancel that flight and put the 39-year-old on hold.They definitely want to see Parker in the ring with Arias but that won't happen until February or March, probably in the South Island. There is a chance that Parker, providing his cut heals well, could have a tune-up fight in Vegas.Arias looks a worthy opponent. He is 39 and well respected. He has had 64 fights as a professional for 53 wins (39 KOs) and 11 losses (4 KOs).He's a heavy hitter and fits in with the philosophy of Parker's management to keep the pressure on their impressive product.Trainer Kevin Barry believes Parker could line up a world title fight within five years if he is handled correctly.

"Our plan is not to feed Joseph 20 taxi drivers . . . we want to put Joseph in fights where he's actually learning something every time he enters the ring," Barry said."I don't want him fighting 20 guys who can't fight and all of a sudden we put him in a real fight and then he has to fight a real fighter and he hasn't been prepared."We have him on a fast track, we don't believe we have to bring him along slowly. He is doing great work in the gym, he is getting great sparring, that is where he is going to get his learning and development and every time he fights will be a test."Within five years we will be in a position to well and truly fight for the world title."Barry, who took David Tua to a world title shot, has no doubts about the potential he is working with now."Joseph is the most exciting fighter to come out of New Zealand in the last 20 years. He has got enormous potential. When he gets it all right, Joseph Parker is a very, very good fighter . . . (he) will be a good world-class fighter in a short time in the future."

Parker power boost for veteran George Arias


Joseph Parker will be bigger and stronger by the time he meets former South American champion George Arias in March next year, says trainer Kevin Barry.Barry was adamant Parker's increased size and power wouldn't come at the expense of his impressive speed.He is worried the cut Parker suffered above his right eye in his New Zealand heavyweight belt win against Afa Tatupu in Auckland last week could affect his career long-term.Parker faces a lengthy spell of no sparring ahead after 14 stitches were needed to mend the cut. Parker, in Christchurch last night to personally thank Heathcote's Valley Inn owner George Calvert who made the belt won last week, will head to Las Vegas early next week for more training.

Barry pointed out Parker added two kilograms of "straight muscle" to his 21-year-old frame in his last stint in the States and he said there was plenty more where that came from."We're really going to work on that hard," Barry said."He's got a lot more to go, he's still a baby. I want him to grow into his body. We're not doing the big, big weights, I'm not training a body builder. We're doing a lot of resistance work with lighter weights and more reps."Parker's crew claimed he sparred more than 130 rounds before the Tatupu fight and Barry said a break from sparring would mean he could train much harder."Even though we're not fighting in Christchurch at the end of November now, when Joseph comes back from Christmas and New Year, I want him to be in even better shape."He'll have to be if all the hype around Brazilian fighter Arias is to be believed.Parker, Barry and promoter Dean Longeran all said Arias is a big step up in class and the experience numbers speak for themselves.Parker has now had seven professional fights, Arias has 64 for 53 wins and he hasn't been beaten in five years.And while every effort is being made to make sure Parker's cut heals properly - including preventative antibiotics to lower the risk of infection - Barry admitted to being concerned.

"We've done everything we can, the doctor's done a brilliant job, but it does worry me. There is always a possibility that this could be an issue for the rest of his career. The other thing that concerns me is that fighters in the future will be aware and he will be targeted."Barry said boxers often went after known problem cut areas anyway they could including illegally using their heads, elbows and shoulders to gain an advantage.Meanwhile, Parker said he was "really disappointed" he would not get to fight in Christchurch where he said he has a lot of support."It was part of our plan for the year, but unfortunately this cut happened and that's boxing."

​- © Fairfax NZ News

Nasty cut gives Parker chance to be 'more cut'

Promising heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker will not step into the ring again until March next year but a holiday is far from the sights of the 21-year-old.His plan to fight in Christchurch next month was ended by the nasty cut over an eye during last week's second round knockout win over Afa Tatupu.Parker's team wants to give him as much time, and the best medical intervention, as possible to ensure the cut is healed before he fights again.The young boxer and his trainer Kevin Barry were in Invercargill yesterday afternoon to speak with The Southland Times about what is in store next and to also show-off the New Zealand National Boxing Federation heavyweight title belt he won last week.Barry said that despite the four and a bit months out of the ring Parker is set for a gruelling training regime when they head back to Las Vegas next week.It won't involve any sparring but will include a lot of conditioning work as they look to take Parker's physique to another level.

"The main thing I said to Joseph is look we've had a bump in the road, but lets use this time so that when he comes back [to New Zealand] in December he comes in better shape than when he come back for the Tatupu fight. To come back bigger than he was and more cut, that's going to be the challenge," Barry said."The momentum we've had and the progress Joseph has had in under six months is huge. We don't want to take a backward step now, we don't want to undo what we have done."Even though he's not going to be sparring we need to keep building, it's only the infancy stage of his professional career."Barry said the key thing is Parker was eager himself to do just that and it didn't take a lot to motivate the young charge to put in the hard work.Parker was proud of the way his body had developed in the five or so months he had spent under Barry's tutelage and didn't want it to slip."In the training camp environment Joseph is a great trainer and I never ever have to crack the whip on him, he pushes himself hard every day. If anything I pull him back sometimes and tell him he doesn't need to do that much that day," Barry said."He's proud of the way his abs are and that they are taking shape now and that doesn't just happen, that's through a lot of hard work and you know they can disappear three times as fast as they come.""It's easy for people to say you're building him up and you're saying all the right things but the proof is if he didn't push himself hard, as we say he does, you wouldn't see the development in his body like we've seen in a short time.

"Don't forget he was an amateur boxing all around the world for a long time and he never had a body like that."Parker admits his understanding of what it took to be an elite athlete had sunk in in recent months.He laughs when he recalls what he did after the weigh-in to his first professional fight against Dean Garmonsway in July last year which was before he linked with Barry."I wasn't that serious about it all and after that weigh-in I went and had Burger King and that is why my body wasn't in the shape it is now because of the wrong food I ate. I was training hard but I wasn't pushing it to the limit like I am now," Parker said."I have direction now from someone that's guiding me to what I have to do."Parker's fight in March will be against Brazilian George Arias, a fight that is going to be another step up for the Kiwi prospect.Arias' professional record stands at 43 wins and 11 losses."He's got a good record, he's won his last 15 fights so he's got good momentum. This is going to be a step up," Parker said."Kevin says that some professional fighters get a whole lot of easy beats in the beginning but I like to be tested and I'm happy they've got this opponent for me."

​- © Fairfax NZ News

Heavyweight champ makes flying visit'
Nelson is what we look forward to', says Parker

In some ways its lucky domestic flights don't have metal detectors, you would have a hard time taking this particular belt off Joseph Parker.Everything ran smoothly as the New Zealand heavyweight champion brought his new golden belt to Nelson this morning as part of a nationwide tour. Parker said it was ''great to be back'' in Nelson.''Nelson is what me and Kevin look forward to, even on the last tour you know, it was great coming back to Nelson.Today, Parker and trainer Kevin Barry were due to visit Victory Primary School to catch up Parker's swarm of supporters at the school and also meet some of Nelson College's young boxers.

Then Parker, who enjoyed some Nelson scallops on the night of his title victory, would head to Guyton's to sample some more of Nelson's famous kai moana.Good with his hands, with great speed and co-ordination, Parker's fine motor skills will be put to the test when Rob Sharland of Guyton's give Parker a whole fish filleting challenge.The catch is, whatever the state of the fillet Parker ends up producing, that will be the one served to him - cooked up by chef Joe Horton at The Styx restaurant where Parker and Barry will be hosted for lunch.''I'm excited about seeing the kids again and looking forward to the challenge of filleting fish.''It is a great way to finish off our trip and we will look forward to coming back again.''

- © Fairfax NZ News