Video: Joseph Parker defeats Kali Meehan via third round TKO
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By Adrian Warren
The young matador gored the old bull as New Zealand's exciting young heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker stopped Australian-based veteran Kali Meehan inside three rounds at Trusts Stadium on Thursday. The superior hand and foot speed of 23-year-old Parker enabled him to dominate against his vastly more experienced opponent. After a quiet start world ranked Parker unloaded in the back half of the first round in Auckland, the city in which both men were born. Meehan landed the odd blow but was fighting mostly off the back foot. He needed all of his 18 years of professional experience to survive the second round as it ended with the local fighter furiously pounding Meehan. It was the briefest of reprieves as Parker brutality ended the contest in the third with a quickfire left-right combination flooring his opponent.
The referee waved the bout off before completing the count and Parker won the five regional belts on offer for the winner. Parker's victory lifted his record to 16-0, 14 KOs. NSW central coast based Meehan's record dropped to 42-6. It was his first loss in ten professional fights in Auckland.
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Parker, Meehan ready for heavyweight showdown
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
WBO #6, WBA #13, WBC #14 heavyweight Joseph Parker (15-0, 13 KOs) will collide with his toughest ring assignment to date when he meets Kali “Mean Hand” Meehan (42-5, 32 KOs) over twelve rounds at The Trust Arena, Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday with WBO, WBA and WBC regional titles up for grabs. Former world title challenger Meehan, at 45 years of age, had one of his best ring performances in November 2014 when he scored a clear ten round points decision over Shane Cameron. Parker, at 23 years of age, is the youngest top ten world rated heavyweight and he is coming off a knockout in round one over former world ranked heavyweight Bowie Tupou in August.
The matchmaker for Duco Events Promotions , Stuart Duncan said, “We are pleased with Joseph Parker’s progress having scored impressive wins over Frans Botha, Brian Minto, Sherman Williams, Ireneu Beato Costa Junior, Jason Pettway, Yakup Saglam and the KO of Bowie Tupou. Kali Meehan has boxed the best heavyweights in the world and always performs well. He was unlucky not to be crowned WBO heavyweight champion when he lost a disputed split decision to Lamont Brewster in 2004. We are expecting a tough fight against Kali.”
Officials for the Parker vs. Meehan are referee Ferlin Marsh, and judges Derek Milham, David Craig and Jeff Nelson.
WBO #7, IBF #12, WBA #13 welterweight Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (11-0, 8 KOs) will be in action against Alfredo Rodolfo Blanco (15-3, 8 KOs) over ten rounds with IBF, WBO, and WBA regional titles on the line. Blanco is coming off a four round knockout over Juan Carlos Cano in August. Blanco, 25 years of age, was born in and resides in Pique, Bueno Aires. Horn is coming off a seven round technical decision over former IBF rated Viktor Plotnykov in August.
Stuart Duncan said “Jeff Horn has displayed world class skills with impressive wins over Robson Assis, Richmond Djarbeng and Viktor Plotnykov, who were all world rated when Horn defeated them. Jeff was an outstanding amateur and represented Australia at the 2012 London Olympics.
Officials for the Horn vs. Blanco are referee Derek Millham, and judges Ian Scott, John Conway and Ferlin Marsh.
Boxing: Joseph Parker ready for biggest test yet
Joseph Parker has spent the past seven weeks practicing keeping his left hand up high in preparation for Thursday's fight against powerful veteran right-hander Kali Meehan. Bunkered down in his Las Vegas camp with trainer Kevin Barry, Parker regularly sparred with 1.91m training partner Izu Ugonoh, in the hope of learning how to avoid and negate Meehan's 13cm reach advantage. "This is a big challenge for me because of the experience that Kali brings, his height, his reach, and the training camp has been awesome," said Parker. "With (Ugonoh) his height and reach, he helped me to practice how to avoid getting hit by someone with long arms, and trying to get in there and land the punches I need to land to win the fight. "Kevin was getting him to throw a lot of punches similar to Kali, so it's definitely helped me to keep my left hand up. Hopefully come fight night it doesn't drop again like in the past and I can protect myself."
Parker is well aware of Meehan's power and his ability to go the distance, and Barry believes his young charge is ready to be tested, with some similarly big and powerful fighters looming ahead. "We have a lot of big guys coming up for Joe to fight as he moves forward and keeps developing and maturing," said Barry.
"Kali's a big guy and it's the sort of the fight that three years into his professional career, is the right fight for Joseph to have now. "You only have to look at the knockout percentages of Kali Meehan throughout his career and you know he punches like a heavyweight and he has a tremendous right hand that we have a lot of respect for.
"So it's a fight that Joe's got to follow the game plan. And everything he's shown me, I'm very positive that he will follow the game plan." While Parker has been working hard to be ready for a long night in the office, he acknowledged both he and his opponent have the ability to end the bout quickly.
"We train for 12 rounds but the boxing game is funny and anything can happen," he said. "One punch can change anything. We know that Kali's got power. I've got power, so it's just about who fights the smartest." The 23-year-old shrugged off Meehan's recent comments that his son and training partner, Willis, packed a harder punch, saying it was just a part of the pre-fight hype. "It's all part of the game. I'm sure Willis does have power because, of course, every heavyweight has power.
"It's a matter of landing the punches. I respect what he says, and that's his opinion, but after the fight we'll see if thinks I have power or not."
- NZ Herald
Joseph Parker Interview: Out with the old and in with the new
When Joseph Parker walks into the gym you can clearly tell he’s been in beast mode. At 23 he is still clearly growing into his body while in the last 12 months the chest the lats and traps have become noticeably bigger. Parker has been posting up various clips on his social media accounts, performing a multiplicity of pull-ups and press-ups; his trainer Kevin Barry opting for the old school bodyweight drills of yesteryear as the favoured way to build his charge’s strength and conditioning.
The result? Parker now resembles something close to a tank, but reassuringly if his pad and heavy bag work are anything to go by, he hasn’t lost any of his speed.
It has been a busy year for the young heavyweight contender, his October 15th bout with Kali Meehan will see him clock up his 4th fight of the year with one more planned for December as well as a January showcase bout in his parent’s country of birth Samoa close to being announced.
As busy as that schedule has been Parker has made short work of his previous 3 opponents in 2016 despatching them all, in 4 rounds or less, with his last opponent Bowie Tupou not making it past the first round. That was a fight that saw many casual fans questioning the authenticity of the knockout; although to more seasoned watchers of the sport it was obvious from the way he crashed face-first into the canvas that Tupou was legitimately out for the count.
Joseph is philosophical about it, ‘the public expect more of the fight, but it was a clean punch and I felt the punch. It was an unexpected punch which he walked into, but we got the win, training hard paid off and it’s on to the next fight.’
I wonder whether that power can now be something of a double edged sword to a young fighter. On one hand it’s nice to knock people out, you get noticed, but does it mean they are getting the rounds they would like under their belt?
‘Going into every fight we are always prepared to go 12 rounds. So if it’s a shorter night at the office great, but you have to understand that in training camp we are getting a lot of rounds in sparring. For me I have great training partner in Izu (Ugonoh) and we’ve also had the opportunity to spar Bermane Stiverne this time around as well. ‘
Kali Meehan is a durable 25 year veteran, a man that has fought for a world title against Lamont Brewster in a fight that many people believe he won. However it would also be fair to say that he has seen his best days. Being so I ask Joseph as to what it was about Meehan that made him an attractive opponent to face.
‘He’s an experienced fighter who knows what he’s doing in the ring. And for us looking at fighting taller opponents in the future you’ve got to start somewhere and I think Kali is the perfect opponent for me to learn and practice against for what we’re trying to do. The height and his experience were really the two most attractive qualities. I mean look at the heavyweight division. Most fighters are tall, taller than me, so we’ve got to experience facing this type of opponent.’
The reality is that even though Parker stands at 193cms, tall by normal standards, in this division of burgeoning giants he will be the shorter man in many potential match-ups with other contenders and champions. I wonder if it is a different mindset having to look up at an opponent in a life where you are normally the taller guy.
‘It’s a bit different for sure. It is a challenge. It’s definitely a new challenge and requires a different mind set but hey it’s what we training for and it’s why this fight is perfect for us.’
Meehan recently made the rather odd pronouncement that his son Willis, whom he has used for sparring in the lead-up to this fight, hits harder than Parker, which was strange inasmuch as he has yet to face Parker either in the ring or in sparring. What does Joseph make of that and does he enjoy a bit of trash talk before a fight?
‘I don’t really care either way to be honest. I think maybe he was attempting to give his son some confidence as he is fighting on the undercard. I don’t pay too much attention to it.’
This is certainly the type of fight that can be viewed two ways. On one hand it would be nice for Parker to get some rounds in against a big durable experienced guy, but on the other hand if he doesn’t put Meehan away in two or three rounds people will say he hasn’t done his job.
‘For sure. I have a lot of respect for Kali. Kevin and I have been watching his fights and we know what to do to get to him. He’s experienced, he’s been many rounds. We train to go 12, but if the early knockout comes it comes.’
It’s fairly obvious that Meehan will favour a slower paced fight and will look to turn it into a grappling, mauling affair. Facing a bigger man who knows how to use his reach could pose some new questions for the younger man? Parker agrees but feels confident in the blueprint they have laid out in camp.
‘Kevin has taught me how to counter someone with those kinds of moves and what they are going to do. But we have a game plan that I have a lot of confidence in. ‘
Joseph even seems keen to unveil a developing inside game to compliment the ramrod jab and lightening speed we’ve seen from the outside. We both discuss how good Lennox Lewis’ uppercut was and what a good addition to his arsenal a punch like that would make. ‘Lennox threw a lot of uppercuts but when you saw it even though he was a big guy it was really accurate and crisp. We’ve definitely been practising it in camps it just hasn’t been available so much in recent fights.’
Outside of the technical add-on’s, coach Kevin Barry has introduced a mixture of old and new strength and conditioning techniques into their pre-fight preparations. Recent additions have included swimming, something they picked up off Wladimir Klitschko when Parker was in camp sparring with the champ, yoga plus some old school bodyweight training; all of which Parker has enjoyed and embraced.
‘I see a lot of benefits not only in how my body feels but how I feel overall. For instance with pull-ups I think when I started it was around 15 and now it’s over 30. I’ve been doing extra push-ups and sit-ups every morning. I notice it in sparring; when I’m landing shots I can see my opponents are feeling that power.’
Talking of power the heavyweight scene is really starting to heat up with more than a few big punchers staking their claims as best in the division. As a fight fan first and foremost I wanted to get Joseph’s take on some potential up and coming clashes, namely Povetkin/Wilder should it get signed, as well as the upcoming title clash between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko plus the looming British domestic dust-up between Anthony Joshua, a fighter that Parker is often compared to, and bitter rival Dillian Whyte.
‘With the first fight you mentioned I like Povetkin, he’s just a bit more skilled and experienced. Wilder’s a heavy hitter but in his last couple of fights you haven’t perhaps seen a step up. With Fury/Klitschko, Tyson has the height but Klitschko has been undefeated for 10 years, it’s hard to go past his record but I’m excited to watch that one. With the last one I like Joshua. In his previous fight with Minto, Whyte got caught with some shots that perhaps he shouldn’t have taken. What happens if he gets hit with the same shots from Joshua?’
Whichever way you dice it, the heavyweight division has finally got interesting again and although at 23 he is still incredibly young in heavyweight terms and still very much learning his craft, one suspects that Joseph Parker will very soon be edging his way into the frame of the heavyweight landscape.
It’s not any secret that Kali Meehan will attempt to play the spoiler in this fight. He’ll look to slow up the pace and draw the younger, stronger man into a brawling mauling type of contest. Expect to see Parker come out fast though and never relent. The jab will obviously be a weapon and you would also expect Parker look to the older man’s body as a way to break him down. The verdict: Parker by either early or mid-fight stoppage.
Joseph Parker 15(13)-0 faces Kali Meehan 42(32)-0 at Trusts Arena, Auckland on October 15th.
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(Watch the full interview with Joseph Parker in the video above.)
Joseph Parker is preparing for a "serious fight" against experienced boxer Kali Meehan. The 45-year-old said that Parker has never had a 'real fight' before, and while Parker knows that it's nothing but trash talking, he's ready for a challenging bout with the tall, experienced fighter. The veteran has got a 13cm reach advantage on Parker, which has the 23-year-old focusing on a new approach. "I think this is going to be a good challenge for me and the team," Parker told the Paul Henry show.
"I've been training very hard in Vegas like I always do, haven't been going off track doing anything else, and I'm focused." Parker understands the challenge he'll face and knows that his unbeaten record will only motivate Meehan more in the ring.
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Being a boxer's mum can't be easy. Sala Parker has watched people try to punch son Joe in the head for over half his life. It has brought a few tears but also plenty of joy. Sala Parker proudly displays Joe's achievements at home. While Joe is successful, bringing up a boxer can be nerve-wracking. Sala has watched him enter the ring for 11 years, and the 23-year-old always gives her a kiss and re-assures her. "At the last fight she was a bit teary looking at my opponent, Bowie Tupou," he says. "He's a big, dangerous guy and I said, 'Mum, don't worry.'" "I couldn't help it and I cried," she says.
Sparring partner reaches out to help Joseph Parker defy long shot in boxing bout
The value in welcoming Polish-born, Nigerian Izu Ugonoh into Joseph Parker's camp could be apparent when New Zealand's leading heavyweight tries to keep Kali Meehan's jab at arm's length. A former kickboxing world champion turned heavyweight boxer, 28-year-old Ugonoh has potentially given Joseph the ideal leg up as he seeks to combat Auckland-born Meehan's long levers in Auckland next Thursday. Parker has rarely faced an opponent with a superior reach during his unbeaten 15-fight professional career, but Australian-based veteran Meehan (42-5) fits that description with a 13cm advantage, according to the tale of the tape.
To compensate for Meehan's 206cm reach Parker has been sparring with close friend Ugonoh, who joined trainer Kevin Barry's Las Vegas-based operation a year ago.
Ugonoh, who is 13-0 and on the undercard to Parker and Meehan's main event has, according to Barry, the wingspan of an albatross - or in boxing dimensions, 213cm. "It's been a great training camp," said Parker, before a shadow boxing session with Ugonoh in Christchurch on Wednesday. "Izu's been great, the best sparring partner I've had. He's got a long reach as well, I know I've prepared well." Parker, 23, had rarely been troubled since his professional debut in 2012, though Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento did pose some technical challenges until he succumbed to a seventh round TKO in Germany in April 2014.
"I had a bit of trouble with Nascimento's height and reach, trying to cut him off in the ring, but I've been able to learn what I did wrong against a tall opponent. "With every camp Kevin's been teaching me the things I've been doing wrong and helped me improve. Kev's been focusing on me trying to work my way into someone with a long reach." Parker said he would also rely on his speed and movement to tire the 45-year-old, though he did not expect Meehan to flag aerobically despite this being his first bout since he ended Shane Cameron's career with a unanimous decision last November. "We've seen in the last fight he can go the 10 rounds and we've given him a lot of time to train hard and prepare for this fight," said Parker. However, Barry thought the hard-hitting Parker's youth and conditioning would prove influential.
"Joe has phenomenal hand speed. He also very strong, he's got very young legs that will be used in this fight."
Joseph Parker well prepared for tall task against Kali Meehan
Kali Meehan is old enough to be Joseph Parker's dad, but that doesn't mean the impressive Kiwi is taking his next fight lightly. The 23-year-old sized up Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on Wednesday morning, the venue for December's Fight For Life, during a nationwide tour ahead of his bout on Thursday, October 15. While the Fight For Life will again be the exciting finale of another promising season, Parker isn't letting thoughts of the Meehan fight escape his mind. Against one of the tallest opponents he has faced to date, Parker will be presented with new challenges in the wily 45-year-old veteran. He is coming off what he rates as his best training camp to date in Las Vegas, his home away from home, and said he and coach Kevin Barry have come up with a game plan to combat the height and reach Meehan will possess.
Sparring with his house mate and training buddy Izu Ugonoh helps that. "I'm ready for this fight," Parker said. "The training has been really good. I've had some great sparring to get ready for this fight, and I think we could see a few more things come out in this fight which people wouldn't have seen from me before." Barry said Ugonoh has been key to Parker's preparation, and poses more of a size threat than Meehan has, hence the team is ready. "Izu is 6'5" and has an 84 inch reach, which is more than Kali Meehan," Barry said. "This has probably been the best training camp I have had with Joe since he came over. It was a very, very good camp.
"We've had three fights this year, all 12 round fights, but we've only been in the ring for seven rounds. We could go a little longer against Kali Meehan and that might give us the chance to show some things Joe has learnt this year. "He hasn't had the chance to show some of his improvement because the fights haven't lasted.
"I know Kali Meehan has talked about how he wants to take Joe into the deep water and drown him. We are ready for that kind of battle." Tickets for the Auckland show have sold fast, with more corporate tables added due to the demand. Being in Parker's home town helps, but Hamilton boxing fans are also ready to make the trip up to Auckland for the fight night.
Corporate tables are selling at a good rate for December's Fight For Life, which will feature Parker as the headline act and includes celebrity fights on the undercard. Silver Ferns legend Irene van Dyke will fight, while former All Black wing Zac Guildford will fight the bachelor Art Green.
Another major celebrity fight is set to be announced in the coming months. Joseph Parker fights Kali Meehan on October 15 at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.
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Unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker needs no motivating as he heads to his 16th pro fight, facing former Australian champion Kali Meehan. Parker will fight 45-year-old Meehan in Auckland on next Thursday in a scheduled 12-round affair where the 23-year-old will chase a 16th win. His trainer told reporters in Auckland on Friday that he and Parker have returned from a seven-week training camp in Las Vegas. "This is our 11th fight together and I think this is possibly the best camp we've ever had, which makes me very confident in the week counting down to this fight," Barry said. He described Parker as a "phenomenal trainer".
"Here's a guy who trains three times a day, never has to be forced to be on time, to get up and run at 5.30 in the morning. I never have to shake him up for training," Barry said. "He's always the first guy ready for training and the last guy to leave the gym." Parker claimed his 13th knockout victory in his last fight - a 53-second demolition of Tongan-born Australian Bowie Tupou in August. Auckland-born Meehan has won 42 of his 47 fights dating back to 1997 but has fought only once in the last 14 months - notching a unanimous decision victory over Shane Cameron in November which sent the Kiwi into retirement.
Boxing: Meehan ready to rumble
I can go the distance with Parker — veteran
By Anendra Singh
He goes by the nickname of Kali "Mean Hands" Meehan so it's fair to say the heavyweight professional boxer prefers to let his fists do the talking. Consequently trash talking isn't really the forte of the Australian-based New Zealand-raised veteran who will enter the ring against Kiwi Joseph Parker in Auckland on Thursday next week.
If you ask the 45-year-old Fiji-born, west Auckland-raised pugilist he'll tell you nothing has changed for him in the coming bout against undefeated 23-year-old Parker.
"I treat every fight as my last fight simply because I don't look past my opponent," he said yesterday after passing through Hawke's Bay with his son, Willis, a fellow heavyweight and his trainer.
The 20-year-old, who will fight Leamy Tato before finding a perch in his dad's corner, punches harder than Parker? Trash talking? To see the man who tips the scales at more than 120kg bob and weave his 1.95m frame mockingly while his father talks is a sight for mere mortals to behold. "He hits harder than most people. He's a lot heavier and a lot bigger. Hey, Joe-Joe hits hard too but this boy [Willis] can hit harder," says Meehan, emphasising the professional relationship with his son isn't a case of filial mercy. "What I need is hard sparring and he gives that so family doesn't come into it. He needs it too so I give it to him." No doubt Willis should be on a collision course with Parker "if the price is right" but right now the focus is on the "old man". "I've done everything I can. Physically I'm in my best possible shape just to be prepared," said the senior Meehan in Hastings, revealing he had amassed 80 rounds of sparring against his son and "other boys".
He was struggling to quantify his level of fitness but suffice it to say "I'm just right where I need to be". Parker commands a variable top-20 ranking depending on which global body you consult in the murky world of prime-time boxing, while Meehan hovers closer to the No30 mark. Detractors will be quick to point out opponents for budding world-class talent such as Parker tend to be bums or journeymen to build a mean reputation for the new kids while the former walk away with decent pay cheques. But Meehan, a former world title contender, isn't in that category despite the inevitable dad's army billing with Parker.
His purple patch last year defies such claims. This is the bloke who ended the career of Shane "the Mountain Warrior" Cameron by unanimous decision and also won the inaugural Super 8 promotion in his home-town of west Auckland. "We do it for the money because otherwise it's no point doing it if it isn't good, but there's something else that comes with it. I've got a lot of pride in what I do. My legacy on this earth is boxing's taken me to to the top so I want to be remembered for that."
Critics reckon if the bout goes the distance Meehan's lungs and stamina will be exposed while Parker goes for the jugular. Meehan was mindful of the pundits' views but said: "I wouldn't like it to go that far ... but it is what it is so if it goes the distance I'll be prepared." Surely "Mean Hands" will go hell for leather to make sure Parker bites the canvas pretty early? "Boxing is one of those sports where you can have a game plan but you can't start believing too much in predictions because it'll frustrate you," he said, alluding to the need to be prepared to think on his toes pretty smartly and switching to plan B. "Hey, the main plan is I'm fit enough to go the 12 rounds so I've made sure I've covered that," said the man who is honoured, privileged and blessed to add another chapter to Kiwi boxing history in the footsteps of David Tua and Cameron. Willis, who is 3-0 with two KOs, said training his father was inevitable, as would be their roles reversing once "Mean Hands" retired. "I've been his biggest fan since I could walk. I know all his flaws, I know his strengths because we're in the gym together every day and have a bond unlike father-son combinations.
"The ability to train, eat and live together in the boxing world is special because you can be quite alone in the world," said the youngster who intends to return to the rugby league equation with the Sydney Roosters next year after three big bouts. "You'd rather be in there with somebody you can trust and in boxing that's hard to find."
Willis said the pair had fine-tuned a lot since the Cameron promotion last November. Among heavyweights, he stressed, it often took one punch to turn a fight on its head. "It's not about what Joe's bringing but what Kali is, so we're ready," he said, adding it was a no-brainer that he was refining his craft, too.
He bade "as-salaam-alaikum" (peace be upon you) to his "Muslim brothers" in west Auckland to encourage them to support the Meehans cometh the hour on Thursday.
- Hawkes Bay Today
Boxing: Parker preparing for toughest test
Joseph Parker says he's in the best shape of his life as he prepares for his fight against veteran boxer Kali Meehan next week. 23-year-old Parker, who has an unbeaten record of 15 fights with 13 knockouts, is set to face an opponent with a superior reach, something he has rarely come up against. And when it comes to reach, Meehan has a 13 cm advantage. "Kali fought three world champions, he's very experienced, he's been in 12 rounds a bunch of times, so I think this fight is the most prepared Joseph you'll ever see," he said. "He's definitely well prepared and we've both gotten a long time to prepare for this fight so I've prepared as best I can to keep my unbeaten record, to try and get another victory." Meanwhile, Meehan had a lot to say in the run up to the fight, claiming that his son and sparring partner Willis Meehan - who is fighting on the undercard - had a harder punch than Parker. He also claimed it would be the unbeaten young boxer's "first big fight".
"You know, he has his opinion," Parker said in response. "I believe that every fight we've had is a big fight and every fight we've had is a fight where I've learned a lot of things in the ring, I learn about myself and it's sort of pushed me to know where I can go." However, it is likely to be a big fight for Parker due to Meehan's advantages when it comes to height, reach and experience. But Parker said he was well prepared for the challenge, thanks to his sparring partner, Polish-born Nigerian Izu Ugonoh. "[Ugonoh] helped us prepare for it pretty well," said trainer Kevin Barry. "He's got an 84inch reach and I think his punches come a little bit faster than Kali's."
The fight had come at the right time for Parker, who had returned to New Zealand in his best possible condition with no injuries or health issues, Barry said. "Kali's a big, strong, very experienced guy and the respect we have for Kali is one of the reasons why we've prepared so well for this fight. "We will get the best that Kali has to offer and that's what we expect and that's what we prepare for." Despite the challenges Meehan presented, Barry said he was confident in Parker's ability. "We have huge confidence in our camp. Confidence comes with preparation and we prepare very very well, each and every time we sign to fight anyone. "This is payday for them, for all the hard work they do in camp, training three times a day for seven weeks." While Parker joked that the biggest challenge on the night would be "picking what I have for dinner", he said the most important thing leading up the fight would be staying healthy, focused and well rested. And despite everything that's been said, he's keen to make friends with his opponent - after the fight of course.
"My message would be, let's have a great fight, let's let the hands do the talking and let's be friends later."
- NZ Herald
Shane Cameron predicts rising boxing star Joseph Parker to beat veteran Kali Meehan
Shane Cameron knows plenty about both boxers and he's picking Joseph Parker's youth and confidence to prevail over Kali Meehan's experience in next week's New Zealand heavyweight showdown in west Auckland. The 47-year-old Meehan steps into the ring for the first time since ending Cameron's career with a unanimous points decision last November. Cameron has trained with the unbeaten Parker and believes the momentum of a busy unbeaten schedule should see him win though expects the 23-year-old to receive a stern examination from Meehan on October 15.
"I've been in the ring with both of these boys. I've fought Kali and he beat me, it was a good night for him. I haven't fought Joseph but I've sparred many rounds with him," Cameron said as he met up with Meehan at his North Shore gym on Tuesday. "I think this is going to be a fight where Joseph will be tested but I think the way he is going at the moment, it's going to be hard to get on top of him. "I know when I was young I felt bullet-proof and no one could beat me. I'm sure the way Joseph's mind is thinking, it will be exactly the same thing." Cameron believed all the pressure was on Parker given his rapid rise up the ranks and the plans in place for him to capitalise on that over the coming year.
Parker is ranked six at the WBO, 13 at the WBA and 15 at the WBC. He is also up to No 18 with the independent rankings issued by respected website Boxrec. Meehan, a former world title contender, is at No 28 with them. "He's the next king-pin. He's needs to win this fight. He has to win this fight and that's where all the pressure is," Cameron said of Parker. "But he has good people around him and it's how he deals with it. I can't see him having any problems dealing with the pressure and that's the biggest thing – dealing with the top two inches. Eighty per cent of it is psychological when you are in the ring. If you can sort that out, well, you can sort the fight out."
Cameron has huge respect for Meehan's abilities and achievements but says this fight will come down to desire. Impressions yesterday suggested Meehan had done plenty of hard work at his Australian base, looking in good shape. "Kali isn't coming here to come second. He knows he's up for it and he knows he's in for it … it comes down to how much he takes up this challenge," Cameron said.
Cameron, who fought in two big New Zealand promotions against David Tua and Meehan, said they had a special atmosphere that was to be cherished by the fighters and the fans. He felt this would be a defining fight for the New Zealand scene.
"It's not very often you get these, they are special nights and this is big for New Zealand boxing because once Kali retires there's no one else coming through. They talk about Hemi Ahio but I don't see him being there just yet."
Kali Meehan claims his son Willis hits harder than NZ boxing hope Joseph Parker
Kali Meehan claims his son has a bigger punch than Joseph Parker. That's quite a statement as the veteran boxer gets set to take on New Zealand's rising heavyweight in west Auckland next week with Parker boasting 13 knockouts in his 15 successive wins. Meehan, never one for trash talk, has been using his 20-year-old son Willis as his main sparring partner. Willis is quite a specimen. He stands 1.95m and weighs more than 120kg. He has ditched a promising rugby league career to concentrate on boxing. The former Australian super-heavyweight amateur champion will look to improve his fledging professional career on the undercard to his father's fight with Parker.
Kali Meehan believes his son has provided him with an ideal buildup, presenting power and movement in the training ring that are among Parker's assets.
"He's a big, hard guy who I believe hits harder than Joseph," Meehan said of Willis, adding, "he's harder to hit, he's very evasive." Meehan hasn't fought since systematically dismantling Shane Cameron over 10 rounds in Auckland last November, a fight that ended Cameron's career. Inactivity should count against a 45-year-old but the wily Meehan is a meticulous planner who prides himself on his preparation and physical appearance in the ring. "It's been about a year off. That's not perfect but I've had around 80 rounds of sparring, hard sparring. I feel I will be ready on the night, I'm feeling good." Meehan had a stunning 2014, winning the inaugural Super 8 tournament in west Auckland and then out-gunning Cameron in results that earned him some overdue respect in New Zealand.
He's thrilled to get another opportunity in New Zealand and believes he's in better shape than when he entered the ring against Cameron. "I'm much better now and I also have those 10 rounds with Shane under my belt, too. Even though it's close to a year ago, it still helps," he said. Born in Fiji and raised in west Auckland, Meehan took his game to Australia where he did enough to become an international force, fighting for the WBO title in 2004, losing a controversial split decision to Lamon Brewster. Having applauded the ground-breaking work of Kiwi heavyweights Jimmy Peau and David Tua to ignite the Kiwi fight game, Meehan now gets a chance to face the fresh face of the New Zealand scene in Parker - and get a chance to measure the power of Parker against his son's.
The upcoming fight with New Zealand heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will be a special occasion for Kali Meehan. What might be the veteran boxer's last bout will be held in his old stomping ground of West Auckland. He will also be competing on the same card as his son, 20-year-old Willis Meehan. The pair has been sparring together in Australia in preparation for the fight night at The Trusts Arena on October 15.
Kali "Mean Hands" Meehan, 45, arrives in the country on October 5 and says that whether this will be his final bout depends on the result. If he is victorious over the much younger Parker, 23, then monetary doors will open and "I'd be a fool to just say no". "But I've got to weigh everything up at this stage in my life," he says. "And it's my son's career starting now so I've got to be there for him also." Meehan has lived in Australia for the past 18 years but says he is proud to have grown up in Avondale – although he was "one of the naughty kids in the street". He hopes he will have a lot of support in West Auckland, where he says he owes a lot to his first trainer Latu Raeli who lived nearby and built a big gym in his backyard. "He told all us teenage boys, who were all friends of his son, he said 'if you guys ever have problems at home, you ever need a place to sleep, the door to the gym will always be open, there's a bed in the back'."
But the trick was Raeli had one rule: Anyone staying overnight had to train when he told them to. Meehan often found himself sleeping over and says Raeli , who died several years ago, was always there for him and taught him about being a man. "A lot of his wisdom that he passed on to me I realised once he was gone." Meehan says he left for Australia with his family when he was aged 28, initially to work on a prawn trawler. But in the week before it was set to sail he was offered a fight and accepted. "I hadn't been training or anything and the guy I was fighting at that time was ranked No 1 in Australia. I had had four pro fights by that time, and I won – I knocked him out in the fifth round." Meehan never did step foot on a prawn trawler as his career took off and he saw himself boxing around the world, including a go at the WBO world title against Lamon Brewster in 2004. Meehan says most people think he won that fight, although he lost in a split decision.
The last time Meehan was in the ring was when he beat Shane Cameron in November, which took his career record to 42 wins and five losses. "It's not ideal having such a long time between fights, but the main thing is that you get the good sparring in." He has been "doing the hard work" in preparation for the twelve 3-minute rounds, including clocking up about 80 rounds of sparring with his son as main sparring partner. Meehan says he is not underestimating Parker, who he knows will come at him with speed. "I think the fans are really in for a treat," he says. "These sort of fights don't come by too often."
Kevin Barry pressures Joseph Parker for defining performance against Kali Meehan
Kevin Barry is demanding a statement performance from boxer Joseph Parker in his heavyweight clash with Kali Meehan. The two square off in west Auckland on October 15 as Parker starts another busy phase that sees fights lined up in Hamilton in December and Samoa in January. Barry says that "three years into his trade" Parker needs a defining performance against the veteran Meehan. "This fight means a bit more to us than other fights," Barry said as Parker completed his Las Vegas training camp.
"With the momentum we have, it's important we don't slip up now. We want all our weapons on display against Kali Meehan. "It's very important we take care of business in tremendous fashion." Barry sees this fight as an opportunity to silence some doubters. "People say Joe hasn't had a war yet, hasn't had to dig deep over the last few rounds and had to come back. People say Joe has to start fighting big guys because the current champions are big men. "Kali Meehan presents these challenges. I think this is the right fight at the right time for Joe. "We are taking this very, very seriously. We are fighting a very big, very experienced guy who really has nothing to lose. I'm sure we are going to get the best Kali Meehan has to offer and we have prepared accordingly." Barry, who has a long history with Meehan, has nothing but respect for the Australian-based New Zealander. He knows Meehan will use all of his tricks against the fast-handed Parker and will look to utilise his powerful right-hand punch which is seen as a weakness in the younger fighter's defence. Meehan has 42 wins from 47 fights in a professional career dating back to 1997.
"Kali is a big, strong, physical guy and we expect a big, strong, physical fight. This is a chance for Joe to show he is stronger in the ring." Barry said the tight schedule added pressure because short turnarounds would limit training. There was also pressure to maintain the growing appreciation for Parker in wider boxing circles. Parker has significant rankings with three major organisations – six at the WBO, 13 at the WBA and 15 at the WBC. He is also up to No 18 with the independent rankings issued by respected website Boxrec. Meehan is at No 28 with them. With an ambitious management team, Parker needs to keep delivering and extend an unbeaten record that now stands at 15 wins, 13 by knockout. There are four belts on the line in this fight. "There is no room for error, no room for an off day, sickness or injury," Barry said. Parker arrives in Auckland from the United States this weekend to acclimatise and round out his training.