Boxing: Team Parker focuses on the big prize

And on the seventh day, Joseph Parker gets to have bacon and eggs. Which is a way of saying the young South Auckland boxer with increasingly credible designs on the world heavyweight title has no hope of doing things by halves. Everything from Parker's diet - he was a hamburger junkie - to life education is being run, quite obsessively, by the one and only Kevin Barry. Barry doesn't win every battle. After 17 gruelling training sessions a week, Parker enjoys a cooked breakfast on his day of rest. Barry wasn't even keen on that detour away from the oatmeal, fruit and vitamin drink but his wife, former New Zealand gymnast Tanya Moss, insisted.

"Kevin is the most driven man I know," says promoter Dean Lonergan, the ex-Kiwi forward turned impresario who is one of the most driven men I know. "This is total immersion for Joseph -- he eats, sleeps and breathes boxing six days a week with Kevin." Barry and Parker head back to their home in Las Vegas today, a week after the 23-year-old of Samoan heritage destroyed German Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North. Parker's hand speed was stunning. Saglam looked like a leaf that had run into a tornado. It was Parker's 14th consecutive victory as a pro, his days of frustrated Olympic and Commonwealth Games ambitions distant memories.

Even boxing sceptics are holding their tongues when it comes to Joseph Parker. When we meet at an Auckland cafe, Parker proves very easy to like. Brought up in Mangere East, but schooled with his cousins at Marcellin College across the Mangere bridge, boxing loomed large. His father, Dempsey, was named after the American boxing legend Jack Dempsey. "My grandmother must have loved boxing and I think she just liked the name Dempsey," says Parker. Boxing crazy Dempsey Parker never fought, but returned from a trip with gloves and pads for Joseph when he was 4. Game on. "I grew up watching boxing videos and he started taking me to different gyms," says Parker. Dempsey, a steel worker, and his wife Salavao, a social welfare worker, got into hock to fund their son's amateur career, which took him around the world. Others such as trainer Grant Arkell, and businessman Bob Jones, chipped in. Young Joseph Parker had eight jobs, trying to help. If his amateur career didn't bring the gold he hoped for, his professional career is zooming so fast that his handlers are prepared to talk wealthy retirement at 30. First things first, though, and time to introduce a controversial but vital part of the Parker story - David Tua.

There have been far too many boxers in the life of Barry - the 1984 Olympic silver medallist - to mention here, but one will always stand out for reasons good and bad. David Tua. Their famous bonds which took Tua to a failed world title bid against Lennox Lewis in late 2000 ended in tatters and a draining legal battle.

When Lonergan - a long-time friend of Barry's - and David Higgins from Duco took over Parker's management, Barry was their man. Lonergan said Barry's understanding of Pacific Island culture and the role of family, is essential. They also knew Parker faced too many distractions in Auckland. Some of Parker's education is straight from the school of very hard knocks. "David Tua and I grew and learnt a lot in 12 years together," says Barry. "It was a massive lifestyle change for a young family-oriented Pacific Island boy moving to America then. "It was very tough for him, especially as I had to go back to New Zealand and come back for the fights.
"David spent a lot of time alone and I remind Joseph of this every chance I get. There was no social media, no Skype. "His prize money didn't even cover his phone bills then." Tanya was concerned when her husband announced he was to train and mentor another Pacific Islands fighter, given the Tua history. She scoffed when Barry suggested he would keep some distance this time, particularly as there is an unusual trend to Barry's life. Barry's parents - his father was the renowned boxing trainer Kevin Snr - ran a social welfare home in Christchurch, meaning Kevin and his brother Bryan had a passing parade of surrogate brothers, 10 at a time.

It's a manner of open house living that has carried on. Tua, for instance, lived in four Barry homes. The family's Las Vegas home, in a gated community not far from the strip, has a welcome mat out for boxers and friends of the Barry kids. Joseph Parker was destined to live there. "Tanya knows if I'm in, I'm all in and also how damaged I was with the Tua relationship," says Barry. "But I am now Joseph's teacher, friend, mentor, trainer, manager, life coach. I am sharing with Joseph a lifetime of experience I have in boxing." It could have been a tough decision for Parker. "The Samoan community had sympathy for David Tua and a lot thought it was a strange decision," says Parker. "But that was someone else's life ... I knew Kevin had looked after a lot of champions. "I have so much faith and trust in Kevin, the bonds we have. His wife is like a mum to me. His kids treat me like a brother." Technically, Parker now fights like a big man, looking to "control the zone", his hips twisting for power, his strong chin no longer an inviting target. Earlier this year, Parker paid off his parents' mortgage. "It was the best feeling in the world as a son. I can already see the difference in them, not having the financial stress," he says. "They are at my fights and I fight for them. Growing up in Samoa, they never thought they would get to see the world the way they have." With his family in Las Vegas providing a secure base, there should be a lot more of the world to see.

- NZ Herald

Parker destroys Saglam in 2

By Bryce Wilson –Arena Manawatu, Saturday June 13th.

Undercard – Polish heavyweight Izu Ugonoh 12(10)-0 improved his unbeaten record with a rough and tumble unanimous 8 round decision against 6 foot 10 Julius Long. Ugonoh came out pumping the jab against the much taller heavier Long, hurting the veteran to body in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. A HUGE right hand floored Long in the 4th that he did well to recover from going into survival mode for the rest of the round. The action slowed a little in the 5th and 6th as both men had their moments. Ugonoh closed the fight strongly using an effective jab and hard body shots to cruise to a comfortable decision.

Rising Aussie welterweight sensation Jeff Horn 10(8)-0 scored an impressive 3rd round TKO against Ghanaian Richmond Djarbeng who falls to 20(15)-3-1 with the loss. Using angles and throwing sharp left and right hands, Horn had Djarbeng in trouble right from the opening bell. He put the Ghanaian on the canvass in the 2nd and finished him in the 3rd, Djarbeng either unwilling or unable to continue from a 3rd knockdown. It was an impressive win for Horn who looks sure to take Djarbeng’s ranking spot and looks set for big things in the next 12 months.

In the main event highly touted heavyweight Joseph Parker 14(12)-0 destroyed German heavyweight Yakup Saglam 34(31)-4 in just over 1 brutal round of action. Measuring the German in the 1st round with a stiff jab and right and left hands to the body Parker landed a HUGE right hand at just at the beginning of the 2nd round to signal the end to the fight. It once again served to illustrate the growing one punch power of the fats emerging heavyweight.

After a brief rest Parker and his team are looking at a quick turnaround fighting again on August 1st.

Heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker tipped for stardom

KIWI heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker continues to march headfirst down a path some believe will lead him to a world championship after another devastating knockout on the weekend. The 23-year-old, who stands 193cm tall and weighs 107kgs, needed just two rounds to dispose of German veteran Yakup Saglam (34-4) and take his record to a perfect 14-0. Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry believes his charge could become the best fighter New Zealand has ever seen — high praise given he’s following in the footsteps of boxers like David Tua. “Joe’s a great finisher. When Joe hurts you he’s going to get you out of there,” Barry told “He’s like a wild animal when he gets a taste of blood. That’s exactly what he’s like in the ring. Everyone knows how much of a sweetheart he is outside of the ring, but when he tastes that blood he’s going to kill you. There’s no survival.”

Parker, whose victory came in front of a sell out 3000-strong crowd in Palmerston North, finished the fight with a clean right hand to Saglam’s chin. “It could have gone longer, but I got him with a good shot and once you get caught with a good shot you can’t carry on,” he said.

Parker is expected to face former Japanese kickboxer Kyotaro Fujimoto (11-1) in his next fight on August 1 but is beginning to make waves overseas after having the Saglam bout televised in the US on ESPN3.

In the lead up to the fight he travelled to Florida to spar with world champion Wladimir Klitschko and impressed everyone who saw him in camp — including Klitschko’s trainer Johnathon Banks. “Joseph Parker is very competitive, he’s very skilled and he’s very determined. He has all the tools it takes to become champion. I think not only New Zealand, but the whole world, is getting ready to see Joseph Parker, because ready or not here he comes,” Banks said. American Deontay Wilder (34-0), who holds the WBC belt, and British Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua (15-0) are seen as the future of the heavyweight division. But Banks — who has witnessed all three spar in camp, believes Parker is on the same level. “They have three different styles ... but he’s just as talented. Keep in mind Deontay Wilder is a bronze medallists, Anthony Joshua is a gold medallist, so being mentioned with those two lets you know the type of level Joseph is on already,” Banks said.

Parker said sparring with Klitschko had given him the confidence he could one day win a world title. “Once I felt what the champ had I felt this could be me one day, I’m not that far off. Like, I am far off, but I could get there one day,” Parker told “I didn’t really get hit much, which I’m happy about. I moved my head and kept my hands up and I didn’t really feel anything too big or which worried me. That’s good.”

Boxing: And Joseph Parker's next opponent is...

Joseph Parker's next opponent will be Japanese champion and former professional kickboxer Kyotaro Fujimoto. Parker will fight the 28-year-old Fujimoto in Invercargill on August 1 following his demolition of German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday. It is a bout which promoter Dean Lonergan believes will open up a pathway to a title fight against American Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion. Parker, who is ranked eighth on the WBO and 10th on the WBA ratings, has the potential to go 13th on the WBC ladder if he beats Fujimoto, who is ranked 15th by the organisation. He is then eligible to fight Wilder, who has won 33 of his 34 fights by knockout, although the 29-year-old known as the "Bronze Bomber" is unlikely to want to quickly put his title at stake against a rising force in Parker.

"Out of the current champions of the four organisations, Wladimir Klitschko, Ruslan Chagaev and Deontay Wilder, Wilder is probably recognised as the weakest of the three," Lonergan said. "That's what makes the Fujimoto fight so valuable to us - a victory over him will put Joseph on course to fight Wilder and that's why I've been chasing [Fujimoto] for over a year." Parker extended his undefeated professional record to 14 victories when stopping Saglam early in the second round in front of a noisy crowd of 3000 at Arena Manawatu. It was Saglam's fourth defeat in 38 fights but he was completely outclassed by a 23-year-old improving with every outing.

"He's a world-class fighter with world-class power. Not many heavyweights in the world have the shocking power that Joseph Parker has," trainer Kevin Barry said afterwards. While Fujimoto has a 12-win, one-loss professional boxing record, he is unlikely to last the distance against Parker, who believes he has gone to the next level after his recent training camp with Klitschko. The fight at Stadium Southland will be a special occasion if Saturday's at Arena Manawatu is any indication. The applause as Parker walked to the ring was among the loudest the South Aucklander has encountered - he later said it was the best crowd he has fought in front of.
"That was awesome, Parker said. "The crowd, the buzz, the atmosphere, got me excited." It vindicated promoters' Duco's decision to take Parker to the regions.

- NZ Herald

Parker demolishes Saglam, Horn hammers Djarbeng

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

WBO #8, WBA #10 heavyweight Joseph Parker (14-0, 12 KOs) scored a spectacular second round annihilation of Yakup Saglam (34-4, 31 KOs) on Saturday night at the Manawatu Arena in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Parker was busier and wobbled Saglam in round one, then dropped Saglam with a crushing right in round two and it was over. Time was :45. Parker retains his WBO Oriental and PABA titles.

WBA #15, WBO #13 welterweight Jeff Horn (10-0, 8 KOs) scored an impressive third round stoppage of WBA #11 Richmond Djarbeng (19-2-1, 15 KOs). Horn dropped Djarbeng in rounds two and three.

VIDEO:Joseph Parker knocks out opponent Yakup Saglam in two rounds in Palmerston North

German Yakup Saglam proved little more than a speedbump in Joseph Parker's career, with the Kiwi heavyweight easily winning by knock out in the second round in Palmerston North on Saturday night. Parker's left jab was lethal and it set him up for the win. He clocked Saglam with a jab, then finished it off with a big right hook 45 seconds into the second round, knocking The Scorpion to the deck and Saglam's corner threw the towel in. "The game plan was to go in and be a bit more patient that the last fight," Parker said. "When I went in there and [trainer] Kev [Barry] said to establish a jab, which I tried in the beginning, and I landed a nice shot which I felt landed good. "So I was trying to pick the right shots. After the first round Kev said keep establishing a jab and let it flow. "Once it flowed I saw the opportunity and I took it."

Parker battered Saglam late in the first round, but stepped it up in the second with his big hits. Saglam had a massive right hook of his own, but couldn't land any, while Parker's speed and power were too much. The work Parker, 23, has put in on his defence paid off, as he kept Saglam's big rights at bay. Parker maintained his unbeaten record, notching his 14th win and 12th by knockout, but he found this fight hard to rank. "I can't really say. At the beginning stages, when I got those knockouts, that was the beginning stages of my career. "But now I'm progressing, getting better and better, so I rate it as one of my best performances and hopefully everyone can see that." Parker said it could have gone longer, but he got Saglam with a good shot.  Parker's trainer Barry said they have a long way to go and can get a lot better.  The fight was shown on ESPN in the United States. A disappointed Saglam said Parker was inhumanely fast.  "He was too fast, it was all about speed," Saglam said through a translator. The 38-year-old said he lost his balance because of a hit on the ear and was unsuccessful landing a big blow.

"I tried twice and it didn't work, so it probably wouldn't have changed anything. You've got to be honest at this point." Parker said the noisy sell-out crowd of 3000 gave him one of the best receptions he's had. Parker has another fight in Invercargill on August 1 against a yet-to-be-named opponent, but he has another training camp in Las Vegas between now and then. Barry and Duco promoter Dean Lonergan spoke about the potential of Parker and Barry said Parker could be the country's best heavyweight. In the main undercard, top Australian welterweight Jeff Horn made short work of Richmond Djarbeng from Ghana, winning in the third round. Horn was too fast and had too much power for Djarbeng, who copped a couple of big blows from Horn and hit the deck three times. In the other undercards, Izu Ugonoh beat big American Julius Long by unanimous decision.

The 2.06m Long kept Ugonoh at bay with his big  reach, but once Ugonoh got inside, his body blows were too much and he landed some big hooks on Long, who was taunting Ugonoh during the fight. Christchurch's Bowyn Morgan levelled Australian Luke Travers twice within 22 seconds of the second round, before Travers' corner threw in the towel. The two started quickly trading blows, but Morgan knocked Travers down to start the second round, and finished him off with a flurry of lefts.
In the first of his two fights of the evening, Dave "The Brown Buttabean" was too good for Christchurch's JJ Smith. The ref stopped the fight in the third round when Letele had Smith stuck in the corner and was pummelling him. Smith landed a few good blows in the first round, but Buttabean was too powerful and once he got on top, Smith had no answer. In Buttabean's second fight against Manawatu fighter Lordly, with the ref stopping the bout in the third round in favour of Letele, who had Lordly stuck on the ropes. Joe Blackbourn from Wellington won by knock out against Friday Nwaiwu. Blackbourn levelled Nwaiwu two minutes into the second round with a massive left hook, and Nwaiwu dropped straight away.

 - Stuff

Joseph Parker executes emphatic Round Two knockout

Joseph Parker has barely raised a sweat knocking out Yakup Saglam early in the second round tonight, his right hook full of the power he's been working on.

His record looked good but Saglam was no match for Parker's speed of combo and jabs, constantly ducking into the way of crunching shots intended for the body.

It was the German's evasive technique that was his undoing in the end as he received the uppercut that had him reeling enough to create the space for Parker's right hook.

Parker's record improves to 14-0 and while he wasn't challenged, the signs look good for the next edition in Invercargill. 

Round 2: It's Over! Saglam gets the standing eight count and he's done for. Parker opens him up with some crisp body shots and cuts across with a crushing low right hook. Damaging blow and that's a night in Palmy.

Round 1: Parker all the way, showing his speed and having Saglam scrambling early with some powerful shots. If there's anything Parker should watch out for it's the dangerous looking overhand right from the German.

Here we go....

10.49pm: Parker makes his entry, absorbing all the energy of the crowd. We'll be fighting in a few moments.....

10.44pm: Saglam enters the arena to some jeers and this late fight has definitely given the punters a good head start.

10.32pm: Slight delay on the main event as two corporate sluggers go at it.

Pre Fight

He sparred with him not long ago now Joseph Parker gets another chance to take another step towards him.

Wladimir Klitschko is the benchmark who spoke highly of Parker but there's the German, Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam standing in the way.

No one knows much about Yakup Saglam except he did claim to have the Champion Klitschko running scared six years ago in a sparring session and boasts 31 knockouts in his 38 years.

Tonight's bout is Parker's 14th but more poignantly, his first to span 12 rounds, gearing up in sparring with Nigerian born Pole, Izuagbe Ugonoh.

The last little stride for Parker was Jason Pettaway and it wasn't the prettiest but still a knock-out win and the relaxed Kiwi is ready to step it up a level.

Parker already has his longstanding motivations and they will get a sentimental boost as he shared a close bond with fallen All Black Jerry Collins.

Fight gets underway no sooner than 10.30pm

Parker 'could be our best fighter ever'

Joseph Parker has improved his professional record to 14-0 with a stunning second-round knockout victory over German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North tonight.

Parker began slowly but launched an onslaught two minutes into the first round which Saglam did well to recover from. However, early in the second the 38-year-old had no answer to a short right hand from Parker and he went down. His corner threw in the towel.

"The game plan was to go in and be more patient than the last fight," Parker said. "[Trainer] Kevin [Barry] said to establish your jab which I tried at the beginning and I landed a nice shot... so I picked the right shots.

"Once it flowed I saw the opportunity and I took it."

An estatic Barry said: "We were fighting a guy tonight who is a solid puncher, but he was fighting a guy who is a world class puncher."

The pair will return to Las Vegas for a short training camp before returning for Parker's next fight in Invercargill on August 1.

His opponent will be announced early this week, with promoter Dean Lonergan saying he was close to signing a fighter ranked in the top 15 in the world.

If the night is anything like this one at Arena Manawatu it will be a boisterous occasion. The place, filled with a noisy crowd of 3000 gave Parker one of his best ever receptions as he took the ring.

Parker described it as the best crowd he had fought in front of and the fight itself must rank as his best result in his short but highly promising professional career.

Saglam last lost two years ago. While he hasn't fought out of Europe before, and his record looks a tad padded, at 38 he is a powerful and experienced operator, but he had no answer to Parker's speed or power.

A comparable result would be Parker's knockout of Brazilian Ireneu Beato Costa Junior in Hamilton in December.

In the first round Saglam got Parker's attention with two looping right hands, but with one minute of the round remaining the Kiwi went on the attack and it was all Saglam could do to hang on. To his credit, he kept throwing, but not with the same intent. Parker has shown a slight vulnerability to the overhand right but to his credit he saw them early and comfortably dealt with them.

The fight is likely to make waves in the United States, where it was screened live by ESPN following a deal stitched up recently by Parker's promoters Duco. American audiences have a liking for stunning knockouts and they got one here.

Barry's enthusiasm for Parker's performance - after his lukewarm rating of his charge's last victory over American Jason Pettaway - was plain to see.

"This is the best Joseph Parker that we've ever seen," he said. "We only saw him for a little over one round tonight but believe me he is developing really well. There is still a long way to go but in another two years we're going to have a very special fighter.

"It's only the infancy stage of his career as a heavyweight... he's got tons of potential for development and that's what makes me as a coach really excited because he is going to turn into a fabulous fighter. He could turn into the best fighter we've ever had - but he's still got a few things to do before we can give him that mantle."

- Herald on Sunday

VIDEO: Parker defeats Saglam via second round TKO

Heavyweight Joseph Parker remains undefeated after a second round TKO win over German Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam in Palmerston North. The Kiwi Samoan looked dominant from the outset, establishing his jab early then continually finding the mark with his lethal right hand. Parker had Saglam wobbled after a series of combinations with around one minute to go in the first round, the towering German stunned as he headed towards his corner at the conclusion of the round. A mere 30 seconds into the second round Parker stung Saglam with an uppercut and followed it with a lightning left-right to the chin to send 'The Scorpion' sprawling to the canvas. Saglam rose in an attempt to answer the eight count but his corner had seen enough and sent the white towel over the ropes to hand Parker his 14th consecutive victory.

3 News

Best of the Joseph Parker vs Yakup Saglam undercard fights in Palmerston North



Julius Long v Izu Ugonoh

Ugonoh (Poland): Age: 28. Record: 11 wins (KO 9), 0 losses. Height: 193cm. Weight: 104kg.

Long (USA): Age: 38. Record: 16 wins (KO 14), 2 losses, 1 draw. Height: 206cm. Weight: 130.5kg.

Long: "I've got God on my side. I'm pretty sure he's got God on his side too."

Long certainly showed why he's called "The Towering Inferno", the seven footer being head and shoulders above everyone in the room.

"You're gonna know" Ugonoh, a former world kick boxing champion, has put on 4kg since his last fight.

Bowyn Morgan v Luke Travers

Morgan (Christchurch): Age: 26. Record: 3 wins (1 KO) 0 losses. Height: 170cm. Weight: 69.25kg

Travers (Australia): Age: 20. Record: 2 wins 1 loss. Height: 173cm. Weight: Weighing in on the day.

Joe Blackbourn v Friday Nwaiwu

This super-middleweight bout is a rematch of their previous drawn match.

Joe Blackbourn (Wellington): Age: 29. Record: 8 wins (8 KO), 0 losses, 1 draw. Height: 178cm. Weight: 75.8kg.

Nwaiwu (Australia): Age: 29. Record: 2 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw. Height: 173cm. Weight: 73.8kg.

Jeff "The Hornet" Horn v Richmond Djarbeng

Horn (Australia): Age: 26. Record: 9 wins (7 KO), 1 losses, 1 draw. Height: 175cm. Weight: 66.3kg.

Djarbeng (Ghana): Age: 26. Record: 19 wins (15 KO), 2 losses, 1 draw. Height: 175cm. Weight: 64.45kg.

Ghanaian Djarbeng was obviously finding the Palmerston North winter a bit cold. He turned up to the weigh in with a beanie, a jacket, a shirt, singlet and two pairs of track pants, before stripping down for the weigh in.

Dave "Brown Buttabean" Letele v JJ Smith

The Buttabean is fighting two men on the night, in two bouts of three two-minute rounds. Due to rules there has to be another bout in between.

Dave "Brown Buttabean" Letele v Lordly Kaihua

Letele (Auckland): Age: 34. Record: 7 wins (3 KO), 0 losses. Height: 191cm. Weight: 132.55kg.

Kaihua (Feilding). Age: 33. Record: Debut. Height: 188cm. Weight: 117.95kg.

JJ Smith (Christchurch): Age: 29. Record: Debut. Height:182cm. Weight: 101kg.

Smith: "It's massive. Nothing compares to jumping in that ring, eh. On the league field you can hide behind your friends and your mates on the battle field. When you're in the ring, one on one, sucking on each other's ear, there's nowhere to go."

Kaiuha: "Hopefully I can give you guys [Manawatu] something to be proud of on Saturday."

Buttabean entered the weigh in wearing a regal cloak, holding a sceptre and wearing a Burger King crown.

Buttabean: "Have a look at me, have a geez." "I've turned into an absolute beast. I'm in my absolute prime. Anything I can say absolute, that's me."

Three charity bouts:

Damo Neil vs Lynden Noakes

Haylee Mutch vs Kate Blundell

Jason Burton Brown vs Dion Kumeroa

 - Stuff

Boxing: Saglam in good shape ahead of Parker bout

Yakup Saglam is the latest man to try and derail Joseph Parker's promising start to his heavyweight boxing career and he has arrived in Palmerston North in good shape. The German, who sports a padded 34-3, 1 NC record, tipped the scales at a trim 100.7kg in Manawatu today ahead of tomorrow's meeting with Parker (13-0) where the 23-year-old will put his regional belts on the line. Parker weighed-in at 106.6kg and also looked in good nick but it is the 1.93m Saglam who forms a man of intrigue heading in to the bout. He is the German heavyweight champion and while his list of opponents isn't a "who's who" of the sport, he has dispatched many of them in the opening rounds. Of his 34 wins, 31 have come via knockout. "Anything is possible in heavyweights," he said through a translator when asked if he had what it takes to stop Parker.

At 38, Saglam is on the downside of his career and the bookies have written him off with Parker installed as a red-hot $1.04 favourite. Saglam is at $9 for the 12-round affair. "The training camp that we've had has been a tremendous training camp," Parker declared as he stepped off the scales. In the premier undercard bout that is also scheduled for 12 rounds, Australian welterweight Jeff Horn (9-0-1), who weighed in at 66.3kg, will meet Ghana's Richmond Djarbeng (19-2-1). Djarbeng looked to be struggling in the Palmerston North cold as he had two pairs of tracksuit pants on at the weigh-ins where he tipped in at 65.45kg. Also on the undercard, Parker's premier training partner Izuagbe Ugonoh (11-0) will give up plenty of height and weight when he meets American heavyweight Julius Long (16-17) over eight rounds.

Ugonoh, who weighed 104kg and stands 1.93m, looked up at Long, who weighed 130.5kg and is listed anywhere between 2.06m and 2.16m, depending on who you believe. Super middleweights Joseph Blackbourn (8-0-1) and Friday Nwaiwu (3-5-1), who battled to a draw in March, will meet again tomorrow over six rounds to settle the score. Blackbourn, a former top-ranked amateur, weighed 75.8kg, while Australia's Nwaiwu was 73.8kg. Christchurch middleweight Bowyn Morgan (3-0) weighed in at 69.25kg ahead of his six-round bout with Luke Travers (2-1). Australia's Travers chose not to weigh-in today and will have until some time tomorrow to make weight. Dave Letele, aka the Brown Buttabean, will potentially meet two opponents in one night in corporate bouts. Firstly, Canterbury Bulls rugby league player JaeJae Smith will take him on and if Letele is victorious, he will meet local doorman Lordly Kaihua.

Boxing: TV fight tipped to propel Parker to next level in US

Joseph Parker's fight against Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North tonight will be screened live to a potential audience of millions in the United States after his promoters Duco struck an exclusive deal with ESPN. "We are very, very excited about this," Duco's Dean Lonergan said. "This will enable Joseph to get cut-through in the United States and Latin America. All of his fights will be screened live there and news shows such as Sports Nation and Sports Center will be able to use them. This will take his profile to the next level."The 23-year-old Kiwi's fights would be screened on ESPN3, a channel available to 99 million homes in the US, Lonergan said.

Brian Kweder snr, an ESPN director, said Parker was becoming an international name in the sport. "When boxing fans and writers talk about 'who's next' in the heavyweight division, the name Joseph Parker is always in the top two or three on that list," he said. "We want to provide US fight fans with the opportunity to see Joseph Parker in action in preparation for the day when we see Parker against a Deontay Wilder or a Wladimir Klitschko for that heavyweight title."

There will be no monetary gain for Duco or Parker from this television deal, but future deals have the potential to be lucrative. "Floyd Mayweather is a case in point," Lonergan said. "TV is where he makes most of his money." While Parker is starting to make waves in the United States, his popularity in Palmerston North and Invercargill, where he will fight against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent on August 1, will ensure more of his bouts will be held in provincial New Zealand. Lonergan said all corporate tables and general admission tickets at Arena Manawatu had sold, and he described the advance sales for the bout at Invercargill's ILT Stadium as "stunning". "The last three weeks have seen a stunning uptake in corporate tables and tickets in Palmerston North and Invercargill, to the point where we are seriously thinking about delaying a push into the American market next year. We will probably hold two or three more fights in New Zealand in Taranaki, Napier, Christchurch, Invercargill or Palmerston North before we push into Las Vegas or Los Angeles or New York." Parker tipped the scales at 106.6kg for the fight at Arena Manawatu, his 14th as a professional. Saglam, known as The Scorpion, weighed a trim 100.7kg.

- NZ Herald

Joseph Parker's fight in Invercargill to go global through ESPN


Boxing promoter Dean Lonergan says a deal with television giant ESPN showcases just why Joseph Parker can become a star on the world stage while still fighting in places like Invercargill. Parker will fight in Palmerston North on Saturday and then is scheduled to fight at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on August 1. His promoters Duco Events confirmed on Friday they had signed a deal with ESPN to screen Parker's fight in Palmerston North live into American. The likelihood is that deal will be extend to the Invercargill fight in August as well. Lonergan said it was a boost as they try to grow Parker's brand on the international stage, while still fighting in provincial New Zealand.

"I've heard many people on radio and TV shows scoffing that we would go to Palmerston North or Invercargill, it's a long way from Caesers Palace and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But I would guarantee you we would get greater support, and we would get more people coming to our events in these regions that actually pay, than 90 percent of the boxing shows that take place in Las Vegas," he said.

"Right now I'd much rather Joseph Parker be plying his trade in Invercargill than probably anywhere else in the country. Simply because the response we have had in the deep south has been nothing short of amazing. I can see this being a the first of many high profile events we bring to Invercargill."

"From our point of view this might turn out to be a very long term love affair with invercargill," he said.

The Invercargill Licensing Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Invercargill City Council, and Venture Southland struck a deal with Duco to bring the Parker fight to Invercargill on August 1. Lonergan felt the contract with ESPN would help provide another return for those organisation's investment.

"The best thing we can do is have Mayor Tim Shadbolt opening an oyster and eating it on August 1 and put it global. The world should know about the great delicacies of the deep south."

ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael, an unashamed fan of Parker, announced the television deal with Duco telling his audience Parker is "most definitely worth taking a look at."

"New Zealand's Joseph Parker is one of the best heavyweight prospects in boxing - just ask champion Wladimir Klitschko, who had nothing but good things to say about the 23-year-old after having him in a recent training camp to spar," Rafael wrote.

Parker's opponent for the fight in Invercargill is expected to be named within the next week.

Lonergan said the likely opponent had yet to sign the contract, but added he was ranked in the top 15 in one of the world boxing organisations.

 - The Southland Times

Joseph Parker declares himself in best shape ahead of showdown with Scorpion

The word from Joseph Parker is that he's in the best shape of his life and raring to go. The man he is fighting on Saturday, Yakup Saglam, is adamant he's not just another victim for Parker and believes he can upset the young Kiwi heavyweight. Parker, 23, will face Turkish-born German Saglam at Arena Manawatu, a matchup between two hard-hitting fighters. Parker is the fittest he's been and although typically relaxed, he was confident about getting in the ring with Saglam, who is 15 years older. "This is the best Joseph Parker you guys have seen," Parker said. "I feel like this is the best shape I've been in and I'm ready to show you guys on Saturday night. "What can I say. I'm in great shape, my body's feeling strong and I'm well rested." There has been a lot of talk about knockouts, but Parker  said he is happy to go the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career, if needed. Parker expected Saglam to come at him and try to land a big bomb, but has been training to counter that.

In Parker's short career he has won 11 of his 13 fights by knockout, while the veteran German has won 31 of his 34 wins by stoppage.  Saglam has had 23 knockouts in the first round. Parker's trainer Kevin Barry echoed Parker's thoughts. "They're both very good punchers and Joseph is showing me the best form that he has in the 10 fights that I've worked with him," Barry said. "I think it's going to be a very difficult night for the German champion." Barry has a plan for Parker against the strong Saglam. "What I've asked Joseph in this particular fight is I don't want him to come out all guns blazing from the first bell. We know that Saglam's got some power."

Barry wants Parker to be patient and careful. "If he uses his world-class left jab to control the distance to control the momentum of the fight and to set up his power punches, then I think we're going to have a very good result." Parker wanted a test against an older opponent, what Barry called "a real guy", so they can  measure his progression up the world rankings. Barry said Parker has to keep developing so they can target fighters in the top 15 in the world. "I hope to see Joseph ranked in the top 10 right across the board by all the major organisations and even possibly in the top five by one of them. "What Joseph has to do is keep learning and keep winning." Saglam didn't think he was another victim brought to New Zealand just for Parker to steamroll. "No I don't think that way at all," he said through a translator. "I don't see myself as a victim at all." Saglam, who said he has been the main event at least 20 times, has a reputation as a knockout specialist, but is ready to go the distance if necessary. "Anything can happen in heavyweight. You never quite know what's going to happen until you're in the ring. "It could be a knockout straight away, but you just don't know." At the weigh in, Parker came in at 106.6kg, while Saglam was a trim 100.6kg.

 - Stuff

VIDEO:Joseph Parker welcomed by fans in Palmerston North

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is looking to engage fans around the country. He begins this weekend in Palmerston North with his bout against German fighter Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam. Parker received a warm reception on a chilly morning in Feilding. He was welcomed by a group of fans young and old as he prepares for his bout against Saglam on Saturday.  "It's a special welcome for me and my team," he says. "It's really nice to be here in the smaller parts and meet everyone." Parker's expecting Saglam to come at him aggressively in the opening rounds and that suits his camp. "I like guys who come on to Joe's power," says Parker's trainer Kevin Barry. "The fact that Saglam is an aggressive fighter that likes to come forward plays into our gameplan."

"He's got a few dirty tricks," says Parker. "So I think it'll be an exciting fight [with] lots of punches thrown and [there] could be a knockout." That would certainly please the fans in Palmerston North and it'll be a full house at Arena Manawatu, with tickets sold out. That's making it easier for Parker to take his fights around the country, with a bout in Invercargill already booked in for August and more expected.

3 News

Parker carries weight advantage over Saglam

Joseph Parker has maintained his weight for what is expected to be a one-sided heavyweight fight against veteran German Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday. The rising New Zealand boxer weighed in at 106.6kg for his 14th professional fight, seeking to extend an unbeaten record which features 11 knockouts.
Parker, 23, was fractionally heavier for his fourth-round stoppage against American Jason Pettaway in Auckland in March, a weight which his trainer Kevin Barry says is ideal for the slick-moving Kiwi. Turkish-born Saglam, 38, has won 34 of 37 fights, including 31 by knockout. He tipped the scales exactly 6kg lighter than his Kiwi opponent at 100.6kg. It is Parker's first test since sparring with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in early April. He takes a World Boxing Organisation ranking of eighth and a World Boxing Organisation rating to 10th into the fight in which his domestic belts for both organisations go on the line. The fight is scheduled to last 12 rounds.


VIDEO:Joseph Parker cool and confident (1:47)

The Kiwi heavyweight takes on his toughest opponent yet - 38-year-old German Yakup Salgam.

Big hitters Joseph Parker and Yakup Saglam going after knock out


All the hype was around who was knocking who out at the weigh in ahead of Joseph Parker's fight against Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday. Kiwi heavyweight Parker came in at 106.6kg, while German Saglam was a trim 100.6kg. The two heavy hitters were both asked whether they would follow their career records and win by knock out. "I'm not expecting it to be an early finish, but if the knockout does come, one punch can change anything" a relaxed Parker said. "But I'm ready to go 12 rounds; I'm ready to go one round." Earlier in the week Parker predicted someone was going to be on the canvas and with both of their records, there is a high chance of that happening. In Parker's short career he has won 11 of his 13 fights by knockout, while the veteran German has won 31 of his 34 wins by knockout.

Saglam has had 23 knockouts in the first round. "Anything can happen in heavyweight," Saglam said through a translator. "You never quite know what's going to happen until you're in the ring. "It could be a knockout straight away, but you just don't know." Parker is as fit as he's ever been, but Saglam is prepared to go the distance if required. "I can do anything," Saglam said. "I can go 12 rounds, anything is possible." Parker said Saglam hits hard and comes forward, but they have been practicing how to avoid that. Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said Saglam is by far the most opponent they've faced. "At this stage of Joseph's career, it's very important that we start stepping him up," Barry said. "[Parker] needs real guys in front of him. "With a record of 34-3 it's a real guy. He's the current German champion. "We brought a guy out here who will test Joseph Parker and Joseph wanted to be tested."

 - Stuff

ESPN to screen Joseph Parker's latest heavyweight fight in the United States

Joseph Parker's global appeal continues to grow with American broadcasting giant ESPN televising the Kiwi heavyweight boxer's fight this weekend.

Dan Rafael, ESPN's highly respected boxing correspondent, announced the deal on Friday for Parker's fight against German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday night.

Rafael, an unashamed fan of Parker, told his audience the young prospect is "most definitely worth taking a look at".

"New Zealand's Joseph Parker is one of the best heavyweight prospects in boxing - just ask champion Wladimir Klitschko, who had nothing but good things to say about the 23-year-old after having him in a recent training camp to spar," Rafael wrote.

ESPN say they will stream the fight live and have it available again on demand about an hour after the fight finishes.

They have said they are also interested in televising Parker's next fight on August 1 in Invercargill against an opponent still to be named.

Rafael also spread the broadcasting developments to his vast social media audience.

 - Stuff

Yakup Saglam has to come to New Zealand to find someone man enough to fight him


No-one in Germany is man enough to fight Yakup Saglam, so he has come to New Zealand to find someone with the guts to face him. Saglam was in Palmerston North on Monday checking out Arena Manawatu ahead of his bout with Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker on Saturday and gave a simple explanation for why he came to New Zealand for the bout. "Nobody wants to fight me in Germany and I am grateful that Joseph has given me the opportunity to fight," Saglam said through a translator. "In Germany nobody wants to fight because I am too strong and too much of a champion over there. "So I don't get any fights over there. So [Parker's] done me a favour by bringing me to New Zealand." Parker has racked up a 13-0 record, with 11 knockouts, but the veteran German isn't going to be a walkover.

"We will see who's got the biggest balls on Saturday," Saglam said. Saglam arrived in New Zealand from Frankfurt with his trainer-manger Detlef Loritz on Sunday night. Saglam got the word three weeks ago about fighting Parker. The 38-year-old Saglam had another fight lined up, but cancelled that to come to New Zealand and the German said he was well prepared for this bout. "I know that Joseph Parker is a young 23 year old, but I am much more experienced," Saglam said. "I'm older and I so I'm able to go into this fight and be a tough nut to crack for Joseph." Some of the talk coming out of Parker's camp is that Saglam uses dirty tactics, but Saglam dismisses it. "I fight clean and if Joseph fights clean, I will also fight clean and proper." For those wanting to know his boxing style, he said they will have to come to the fight to find out. He is ranked 84th on boxing website BoxRec's heavyweight ranking, compared with Parker's 23rd spot. Saglam's last bout was in March, his only fight this year, when he beat countryman Marcel Zeller by knockout, which seems to be Saglam's specialty. The heavy-hitting Saglam has had 37 fights for 34 wins, 31 by knockout.

This is his first fight out of Europe. He was born in Turkey and was adopted by his uncle, then moved to Germany when he was 12 and now lives near Cologne. His nickname of "Scorpion" comes from an tale of where he originates in Turkey. Usually when a man is stung by a scorpion, the man dies, but in Saglam's area, the scorpion dies because the men are so hard. During Saglam's visit to Arena Manawatu, he was ambushed by two young fans. In what couldn't have been scripted better, two children were in a car driving past and they pulled over to grab a photo with him. Obviously boxing fans, they recognised him instantly and were yelling" Scorpion".

 - Stuff

Boxing: Parker's opponent had Klitschko 'scared'

Yakup Saglam, Joseph Parker's next opponent, was sent home from a Wladimir Klitschko training camp because the heavyweight champ couldn't handle the beatings the man known as 'The Scorpion' was handing out.

That's the summary of his dealings with Klitschko of six years ago given today by Saglam ahead of his fight with New Zealander Parker in Palmerston North on Saturday.

It is unlikely to worry the 23-year-old Parker, however, who sparred with Klitschko as recently as April.

As alluded to by Parker's trainer Kevin Barry, Klitschko is extremely prescriptive with his sparring partners - he doesn't like recklessness or deviations from plans. Sherman Williams, whom Parker beat last year, was another who fell out with the Ukranian.

According to Saglam, Klitschko booked him for two weeks of sparring but could handle only two days.

"It was too hard for him to do sparring with Yakup," Saglam's translator said.

"Yakup thinks that he was pretty much scared and had had enough after two days of being beaten constantly so he left.

"He wasn't there to make friends. He definitely wanted to fight and give his best and he did."

Barry said in response: "I know Wladimir uses a lot of sparring partners. Every time he goes into camp he's always got six to eight different guys there. He's got a very careful mindset on what he wants from those sparring partners.

"The footage that I've looked at from Yakup - he's very physical, he's very aggressive and I can see that the sort of style that he has... Klitschko six years ago may not have liked some of the pressure that he was bringing to him, so I can believe that."

Another good line from Saglam at his press conference referred to the 38-year-old's journey from Germany to Palmerston North.

"He said he has done so much flying recently he is going to be a pilot in his next life."

NZ heavyweight Joseph Parker training to go the extra distance with Yakup Saglam


Joseph Parker's boxing will be tested over 12 rounds for the first time on Saturday night when he takes on German fighter Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam in their heavyweight bout in Palmerston North. Parker has had 13 fights as a professional but mostly over 10 rounds and has been preparing for the fight to go all the way at training in Las Vegas and Florida. "The way we have prepared we are prepared to go the distance," Parker said at Wednesday's press conference. "It gets pretty serious, worse than the fight sometimes. My fitness is there to go 12 rounds, so I'm ready." Parker has been going hard with his Polish sparring partner of Nigerian origin, Izuagbe Ugonoh.

Parker's opponent, Saglam, might be aged 38 - Parker is 23 - but the German fighter of Turkish origin looked trim when he fronted the media and is expected to plant himself in the middle of the ring on Saturday.

"He has definitely got a lot of power; he looks like he can throw big bombs," Parker said. "He's not floating like a butterfly, but he is definitely staunch and we can tell he's in good shape."

The Parker camp have studied footage of Saglam and know they have to sharpen up Parker's defence which has slackened off in the past, and hope to bring the jab into play.

Saglam possesses more power than most of Parker's previous opponents: "An 80 per cent knockout percentage is pretty big," Parker said.

The Kiwi could see the amusing side of holding a press conference in a burger eatery, in deference to the fight sponsors, but said he would only indulge in the products after the fight.

Rankings from two organisations, the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) and WBA (World Boxing Association), will be at stake in Palmerston North and the more regional titles Parker can collect, the quicker he can climb them.

Saglam said he'd sparred with world champion Wladimir Klitschko six years ago and claimed, through an interpreter, that the Ukrainian "got scared and pulled out".Saglam hadn't been there to make friends, he claimed.

Most took that rhetoric with a grain of salt while Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, said Klitschko had a lot of sparring partners, often six to eight.

 - Stuff

Joseph Parker to use Wladimir Klitschko's attention to detail to beat Yakup Saglam


Joseph Parker is hoping a lesson from world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko will help him maintain his unbeaten record when he returns to the ring this weekend. The highly regarded Parker takes on German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday night. It's Parker's first fight since attending Klitschko's last training camp in Florida where the 23-year-old Kiwi-Samoan sparred with the champion and earned his praise. Now Parker wants to put some of his learnings into practice as he fights for the 14th time as a professional. Parker says the biggest impact Klitschko had on him – apart from landing a few decent shots – was his attention to detail.

The giant Ukrainian made it clear that he leaves nothing to chance with his preparations and that spills into his performance. "The biggest thing I learned was the focus that he had," Parker said of Klitschko. "Every training session that he did, and sometimes you could see that he was tired, sore and in pain, but the focus that he had, just doing everything right and focusing on the small details. "A lot of people do forget about the small details. But it's as important to focus on them as it is to make the bigger things happen." Parker has a bit on his plate with this fight. He has a an opponent similar in physical stature and while Saglam might not have the fast hands that make Parker so dangerous, the Turkish-German fighter does have a big bang with 31 of his 34 victories coming via knockout and usually early in his fights.

Parker should win this fight comfortably. But he has been guilty of wandering from game plans in the past, a product of his inexperience and general enthusiasm to get things done quickly. He will need to adhere to trainer Kevin Barry's advice for this fight against an opponent they believe will bring some questionable tactics to the ring along with his more orthodox dangers. Saglam has also sparred with Klitschko in the past which is a recommendation for Saturday's showdown.

Parker feels his time in camp with Klitschko will help him prepare for a European style of fighting he expects Saglam to bring to the ring.  "A lot of those guys on that side of the world have similar styles so I think that is going to help," Parker said. "Sparring Klitschko was a big confidence-booster for me. Being able to spar the champ and then him saying at the end he was impressed with my technique and skills just shows that we are heading the right way." Parker announced delight with his general preparations as he gets set to put his WBO Oriental and PABA belts on the line as well as risking his top 10 rankings with both the WBA and WBO.

"I'm feeling great. I'm in perfect condition. My body is feeling strong, my fitness is awesome."

 - Stuff

Joseph Parker Interview: In the Pursuit of Happiness

By Bryce Wilson

Boxing is often referred to as ‘the hurt business’ and over time the sport has been littered with many casualties, oftentimes angry young men whose star burned brightly but then faded just as fast, the dark energy that propels them to the top inevitably proving unsustainable over the long term. Sitting down with Joseph Parker you sense none of that. Instead you find a young man at ease with himself and the environment around him.

Talk which starts with boxing soon moves on to family and friends, a subject that is never far from Joseph’s mind. But it is a deceptive energy because make no mistake; once the opening bell rings, as he has proven in recent fights, he is all business.

ESB: You must be excited to be back on home soil fighting in front of your family and friends. I understand that your parents have been able to watch you fight overseas as well?

Joseph: Yes, America and Germany and a few other places. My mum arrived in Germany when I was fighting and she just cried, she was so excited and happy, grateful to attend the fight. They’ve had the opportunity to travel a few places in the world which is something they’ve never expected and I’m so happy that they can do that.

ESB: Talking a little bit about family whenever I hear people ask about how training is going or how sparring went with Klitschko etc I often hear you reply ‘me and Izu’ or ‘Izu and me.’ It seems like although this is an individual sport you very much have a family or team type atmosphere going on.

Joseph: The reason I say that is that we do everything together. We are in the same weight class and we do have the same goal of becoming champion and who knows our paths may one day cross but at the moment me and Izu are doing everything together and he’s a great training partner.

ESB: And you two have become good friends as well?

Joseph: He’s not only a good person to train with but he’s a great person to be around as well.

ESB: I you can have your trainers, promoters, friends and family but at the end of the day the only person who truly understands what a fighter has to go through on a daily basis is another fighter?

Joseph: Yes, maybe your coach and another boxer. Another boxer is doing exactly what I’m doing; they go through the same kind of hurt and pain. He feels exactly the same.

ESB: And with Izu plus Kevin and his wife and kids you’ve got a kind of de-facto family over there in Vegas now. How much has that helped you being so far away from home?

Joseph: I think if I didn’t have the structure we have in Vegas now it would have been a lot harder. The first time I went over it was a little hard, something new, away from home and family and friends but the way Kevin and Tanya took me in and treated me from the start it made it so much easier. The second time I went back it was like going home. People say ‘don’t you miss home?’ and yeah I do miss home but I have a second home now. I must say I wouldn’t have any of this opportunity if I wasn’t with Kevin. Me and Kevin make a great team. And without him I wouldn’t be where I am today.

ESB: In many ways as Tyson says the happy fighter is the most dangerous fighter.

Joseph: If you’re happy and in a happy environment and happy with things behind the scenes then you’re gonna be happy in the ring.

ESB: Yakup Saglam is a fight taken at short notice. How hard is it to take a fight on short notice or is it more important that you implement your game plan from the outset so that the opponent is, I wouldn’t say irrelevant, but that you don’t give them the opportunity to fight their type of fight against you?

Joseph: I think my ultimate goal was to train hard and to just be as prepared as I can be. Now the fight is signed we’ve seen some of his fights, seen the dangers he presents, but I agree it is more important to get our game plan going.

ESB: Clearly coming into your backyard I don’t think it will be any surprise to think that he will come out fast looking to throw some big bombs early like he did against Solis.

Joseph: I know he’s gonna come out fast. I know he wouldn’t have signed for this fight if he didn’t believe in himself. But Kevin’s been teaching me new things all the time, my skill level has gone up, my fitness has increased tremendously and I’ve just got to use my boxing skills.

ESB: The template that I see Kevin wanting to implement with you in all your fights is to be first, control distance with the jab and throw body shots off of the jab. Would that be a fair assessment?

Joseph: What Kevin teaches is that now I have a big body attack. At the start of my career I wouldn’t think to go to the body but now I have a body attack that is dangerous.

ESB: I remember with the Costa Junior fight Kevin saying to you in training that he wanted you to come out first and for him to feel your power straight away. I guess something similar will be in order for this fight?

Joseph: That’s pretty much the plan; you establish your jab and establish your power so that he can actually feel it which will make him a bit wary from trying to put on too much pressure.

ESB: The thing that sets you apart from other heavyweights is your speed. Can you tell when you face opponents in the ring that they are surprised when they experience it? Was it something that you think surprised even Wlad when you sparred him?

Joseph: To be honest I think he was a bit surprised. Like when I faced Brian Minto he said that he had seen me fight, he knew I had speed but when he was in the ring it was a different thing to experience it. So I think Klitschko was a bit surprised with the speed, but y’know he handled everyone there because he is a defensive genius. He’s been in the sport along time.

ESB: One other thing I wanted to ask you. There seems to two schools of fighters, those that want to get into a ball of rage before a fight like Tyson, James Toney was another one, and then you get the polar opposite like Manny for instance, walking into the ring smiling then the first bell sounds and it’s all go. Obviously you are in the second camp; clearly relaxation plays a big part in your camp?

Joseph: Everything now is about enjoyment. We like to crack jokes, even though the work is hard, enjoying what we’re doing. So I can definitely relate to the second option.

ESB: At what point do you go into total game mode and flick the switch?

Joseph: As soon as we touch gloves and the referee says have a good fight, then I go back to the corner and hug Kevin and then (clicks fingers) I switch it on. Sometimes if you’re too tense it drains you. Nothing flows if you are too tense.

ESB: I also notice that when you knocked out Costa Junior you were a little bit concerned about him as I guess a fighter knows when he’s landed a great shot. So the minute you’ve hit that punch you switch back into being Everyday Joe?

Joseph: As soon as the fight is finished and depending on what state they are in, I saw his (Costa Junior) eyes roll back and I was ‘damn’ and the first thing was to make sure he was alright. It’s important to do the job but be human as well.

ESB: I would imagine it would be tiring to always carry anger around.

Joseph: I haven’t experienced that kind of anger but I’ve seen people like that and it must be tiring. I mean how can you carry that anger around all the time? (Laughs) Anger is one thing I would never want to carry around.

ESB: You’ve fought in March, you’re fighting now in June and then in August, October and December. How are you enjoying the busy schedule and how is both the body and mind holding up?

Joseph: I love it. It gives me less time to veer off away from training. I do get times to rest after the fights. I love fighting often, I love keeping in shape. I’ve had a little bit of shoulder soreness in a couple of fights but that’s been taken care of.

ESB: The reality is a fighter through their whole career will always be carrying some bumps and aches.

Joseph: Correct. But as long as you get the proper treatment and rest you should be OK.

ESB: Doing a bit of yoga now I hear?

Joseph: Yeah (laughs) Izu told you? I did go to one yoga class but it was hot. I thought ‘this can’t be too bad’ but then you hold stretches for like 2 minutes and it’s surprisingly tough. We now have some private sessions and it’s been a big help.

Our chat concludes there. It is a bright and sunny mid-winter Saturday afternoon and sitting in the plush lobby at the Pullman Hotel feels a world away from the violence of the ring and that’s because it is. Yet there will be Joseph in just over an hour’s time, being put through his paces in a small and modestly appointed private gym, hitting the mitts in fast and decisive fashion, envisioning the hurt he is preparing to unleash on his opponent, just another step on the long road to a title, but always in the pursuit of happiness.

Joseph Parker 13(11)-0 fights Yakup Saglam 34(31)-0 at the Arena Manawatu on Saturday June 13th.

Kevin Barry Interview: A Tale of Two Contenders

by Bryce Wilson

 Meeting up with Kevin Barry in his suite at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel and making small talk he ruefully remarks on the bumps and lumps that come from training not one but two very powerful heavyweight contenders. Barry now finds himself in the relatively unique situation of having both heavyweight contender Joseph Parker and recently adding Polish up-and-comer Izu Ugonoh living with his wife and family in Las Vegas.

You get the sense when talking to Kevin that training fighters to be successful isn’t so much of a calling as a total immersion job. Kevin‘s assessment of his fighters will often veer from their physical skills into the realms of character and substance. He clearly believes that champions aren’t just borne in the ring but more crucially they are moulded outside the ropes, formed by those day-to-day challenges that face every other human being, as well as how they cope with the increasing pressures and interest that comes from being successful sportsmen.

One can’t help but think of certain lines from Kipling’s famous poem, If, (and I paraphrase,)
‘If you can meet with Trump and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it
And-which-is-more, you’ll be a man, my son!’

Barry also talks a lot about trust and living by a code, qualities that are important to him both professionally and also within his family life. There is something distinctly old school, that speaks of a bygone era in the way Kevin and wife Tanya have created this family environment for their fighters, and recalls those famous photos of Cus ‘D’Amato and Camille Ewald sitting around the dinner table with a bunch of young hopefuls, one of whom went by the name of Mike Tyson.

I ask Kevin just how the consultation process went with his family when deciding to take Joseph Parker into their home. How did it come about?

Kevin: With Joe you have a young guy that was coming from a very close family in New Zealand who was being asked to leave his family and come and live with a stranger at the time. We had met at the offices of his promoter Duco and had spent 2 days together, maybe a total of 3 or 4 hours and the next minute we are on a plane and he’s coming back to my house to live with my family who he had no knowledge of. It was very important for Joseph’s development that he felt comfortable and like a member of our family and he has very quickly become a part of the family. My wife and children love Joe. He’s an outstanding young man and a credit to his parents. That relationship he has with me is why we’ve been able to have him on this accelerated program and why we’ve been able to have such great results.

Boxing News: Is that why Izu (Ugonoh) approached you? He saw the close relationship you had with Joseph and the family atmosphere and being a long way away from Poland he wanted something similar?

Kevin: Yeah he did. It was very important that what I had going with Joe, if I was going to bring another fighter into my house and stable that they would be compatible and similar in their hunger and training attitude. Guys that I believe are both outstanding gentlemen. It was a decision that wasn’t made immediately. When talking about Izu coming into my home and joining our team I had to first consult my wife Tanya, who without her support I could not do this. I had several discussions with Joe because it was important that he and Izu had chemistry and that Joe could see the advantages of having a world class training partner. And I had several meetings with my business partner Richard Moriarty who along with his brother Sean have provided the financial support to back Izu’s training program.

Boxing News: How do the day-to-day dynamics work for them?

Kevin: The program that I already had in place for Joe was also inherited by Izu. Most morning s they are up and on the road running by 5.30. Sometimes if they are not on the road they are in the pool. When not on the road they are doing hills, but they are doing it together and they are pushing each other and they are making each other better. Then it’s back home, breakfast, shower and back to bed. Then get up at 10 and we leave the house by 10.30. If I have other business to do my son Tay will take them to the gym. Tay is with them all the time. We have so much laughter and comradery in the house and it’s not all training. There is a lot of training by all means and they have made each other better in pushing each other along.

Boxing News: You mentioned the family aspect quite a lot I notice?

Kevin: My parents had a child welfare family home in Christchurch where my brothers Bryan and Tim and I grew up with 10 foster brothers; we always had a big house full of people. We all saw that living together made everyone better.

Boxing News: So this is something that harks back to your childhood?

Kevin: Yes, I’ve always had fighter’s living in my house for as long as I can remember. My children who are 22 now and my twins are 20 have spent all their lives with fighters in the house. There has always been somebody living in our house, thank God I have an amazing wife who has been generous in opening our home up.

Boxing News: You feel like it is a big part of what helps a fighter get better?

Kevin: Completely, the environment is important when you are overseeing a person’s life. After all this is a very serious business and these young men are putting their trust and confidence in me and I’m doing the best job I can to make them into champions. And that involves a lot of hard work from me and an extreme amount of hard work from them.

Boxing News: And a lot of trust on both sides?

Kevin: A lot of trust and a lot of openness and a lot of honesty and these are all things that so important in developing a close relationship with a fighter.

Boxing News: I know Joe and Izu are good friends, how competitive does the sparring get?

Kevin: The sparring is actually world class and has improved them both immensely.

Boxing News: As their success continues to grow I guess your phone is starting to ring more now as well. What is the maximum number of fighters you would consider training?

Kevin: This is a question I get asked all the time. I get asked by my wife, I get asked by Dean and Dave at Duco (Joe’s promoters.) Sometimes its young fighters coming through, sometimes its former world champions, sometimes its undefeated prospects from other countries. At the moment we have a small private training facility that works well with a couple of fighters. I don’t know how well it would work with 4 or 6, maybe I might have to upsize my location.

Boxing News: For the rest of this year what goals have you got for Izu specifically? Is it a particular ranking spot or to have him fight a 10 round?

Kevin: My dream plan for Izu is that he looks great in his first 8 rounder on June 13th against Julius Long. He fights his first 10 rounder on August the 1st and his second 10 rounder on the 15th of October and then I’m hoping we can put Izu into a spot where he can fight for a regional title in October because this young man is certainly good enough.

Boxing News: They both went into Wladimir Klitschko’s last camp and by all accounts gave Wlad some of his best work. How did you assess the experience for them?

Kevin: It was a tremendous experience. Physically it was great to challenge themselves against a fighter that has been the best heavyweight in the world for the last decade. Mentally it was a tremendous exercise in self belief in confidence. Izu sparred more rounds than Joe.

Boxing News: Why do you think that was?

Kevin: I think with Joe the hand speed especially in the 3rd and 4th sessions with the champ was probably something that surprised him. And he was very complimentary to a number of major media outlets about the great work that Joe Parker gave him.

But I was very pleased with the way Izu also went. In fact in the 7 sessions Izu sparred with Wlad he improved with every session.

Boxing News: And for Joe I guess he was flattered by Wlad’s kind words?

Kevin: The biggest thing for us was the mental exercise, knowing there is a still long way to go but for Joe also knowing that if he keeps improving he belongs at this level. For me, it’s alright when everyone’s telling him and he’s seeing the results but a lot has happened in a short space of time and it’s been a bit of whirlwind. I wondered whether or not it was all happening too fast for him and it was a reality check and a good one but he was so motivated when we came back to Vegas and it was all from believing in himself after that camp.

Boxing News: A lot of people, particularly in NZ, seem to think Joseph should be fighting for a title sooner rather than later, but what do you think is the more realistic timeframe, bearing in mind you just don’t want to fight for a title, you want to win it, defend it and then unify it?

Kevin: I was asked the other day where did I think Joe was at. If Klitschko was a 10 where did I rank Joe? A lot of people would like me to say an 8 but he’s not an 8 he’s more like a 6 at the moment and that’s where he needs to be. He’s shown me so much maturity in the gym and the development of his skills has really impressed me. Considering where we are after a little over two years given another two years I believe we’re going to have a seriously good fighter.

Boxing News: And that only makes him 25.

Kevin: I think Joe will be a lot stronger, far smarter more seasoned, we will have him by that stage at around 22-23 fights. For me that would be a perfect foundation.

Boxing News: Another undefeated prospect Anthony Joshua had an impressive win in the weekend, what do you make of him?

Kevin: Anthony Joshua I think is progressing very nicely. They are being very cautious but he probably needs to start stepping it up now and fighting real opponents. Kevin Johnson promptly retired after their fight and came out with his hands down low. There were red flags from the first bell, that’s just not how he fights. But we watch Joshua very closely, he’s very marketable, has a huge following in the UK, a guy that if Joe and he can both stay undefeated over the next couple of years there will be comparisons made that will create a super fight.

At this stage Kevin’s phone starts buzzing for the umpteenth time signalling it’s time to move off to training where Kevin will put Joseph and Izu through their final paces in the lead-up to Saturday night’s hostilities. These are the nights that both the trainer and his young charges look most forward to, an opportunity to showcase all the hard work that goes into forging the next generation of champion. A test not only of athletic ability but also of resolve and character which one suspects is just how Kevin likes it.

Joseph Parker 13(11)-0 faces Yakup Saglam 34(31)-3 and on the undercard Izu Ugonoh 11(9)-0 faces Julius Long 16(14)-17 at Manawatu Stadium on Saturday June 13th.

You can follow Kevin on his twitter page:

Joseph Parker's opponent German Yakup Saglam denies he is a dirty fighter

Yakup Saglam has scoffed at suggestions he's a dirty fighter but says he can take that route if it's needed to beat rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker.

Parker's experienced manager Kevin Barry has questioned the tactics of the German champion ahead of Saturday night's showdown in Palmerston North, alleging Saglam has a dark history of hitting opponents on the back of the head and with low blows.

It's added an edge to the buildup to the scheduled 12-rounder, clearly hitting a nerve with Saglam.

"I am a fair fighter. I don't know where Parker's manager got that from. But if you want a dirty fight … if Joseph is going to use dirty tactics, he will get it from me too," the 38-year-old declared as he fronted the media in Auckland.

Speaking through a translator, the Turkish-born veteran said he would reveal his style on Saturday night.

Known for his heavy hands – he has 31 knockouts in winning 34 of his 38 fights – Saglam believed he offered a unique challenge for unbeaten 23-year-old Parker.

"I'm experienced, I have been through a lot of fights. Joseph is a good fighter but he has not fought someone like me. I've been chosen because I'm a hands-on fighter and Joseph has to learn to take on such hard enemies if he wants to go further. I've been through a lot of tough fights."

Saglam, like Parker, has sparred with world champion Wladimir Klitschko and revealed he took his "Scorpion" nickname after a man in his village was killed after being stung by one.

"It only took five minutes," he said of the death that left an impression on him.

This is his first fight out of Europe and he welcomed the chance to fight further afield as opponents were becoming increasingly hard to find.

His camp acknowledged the difficulty of taking the fight on late notice and the jet-lag factor after only arriving in New Zealand on Sunday. But they said they didn't want to make any excuses and didn't expect either to be deciding factors.

 - Stuff

 VIDEO:Emotional Joseph Parker dedicates Saglam fight to Jerry Collins

(Please Click to watch)

An emotional Joseph Parker said he would be dedicating his upcoming fight to friend Jerry Collins who died in a car crash on Friday. Parker, whose parents are Samoan, fights German heavyweight Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam in Palmerston North on Saturday and said he would be thinking of the former All Black and his family. Collins and his partner, Alana Madill, were killed when their car was hit by a bus on a French motorway. Their three-month-old daughter was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. Parker forged a friendship with Collins after a meeting in 2012.

"Jerry Collins was one of the guys that I looked up to and the when I got the opportunity to meet him for the first time, I was excited. We took a lot of photos together. He was a nice guy towards me," said Parker. "We partied together at times and chilled together. I have a lot of good memories of Jerry Collins. "I followed his career closely, 34 is so young to die. Just hearing the sad news about him and his partner was terrible. It was sad for a lot of us. My heart goes out to his daughter." Parker is currently preparing for his fight with Saglam which will be one of the young Kiwi's toughest yet. Saglam has a record of 34 wins in 38 fights with 31 of those victories coming via knockout.

3 News

VIDEO:'I'm doing this for my uso': Joseph Parker to draw on mate

Jerry Collins' death for inspiration

(Please click to watch)

If all goes according to plan, Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker will honour his friend Jerry Collins with a knockout win over German champion Yakup Saglam next Saturday. Parker, fresh from a two-month training camp which included a stint in Miami sparring with Wladimir Klitschko, is just one of the many sporting figures rocked by the sudden death of the former All Black flanker and his partner, Alana Madill, in a car crash in France. He revealed that he and Collins, who is also of Samoan heritage, had a personal connection. "I met him on numerous occasions. We partied together. We chilled together," Parker said. "I have a lot of good memories with Jerry Collins. "I'm going to dedicate this fight to my uso [brother]."  Parker's last fight was against American Jason Pettaway in Manukau in March, afight which the South Aucklander won by way of a fourth-round knockout, but it was a victory he possibly tried too hard to force.

Boxing: Parker camp brace for dirty tactics

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker is preparing for a dirty fight against German champion Yakup Saglam next Saturday.

Parker and trainer Kevin Barry are wary about what they say is Saglam's reputation for hitting the back of the head and below the belt - tactics which could unsettle the undefeated 23-year-old in Palmerston North.

The last time Barry raised similar concerns about an opponent of Parker's was 11 months ago ahead of his convincing TKO victory over Brian Minto, a fighter known for leading with his head and using his elbows.

Barry said the 38-year-old Saglam, nicknamed the Scorpion, was potentially more dangerous than Minto because he was much taller - about the same height as Parker, who stands 1.94m.

In Manukau last July, Parker was relentless in his punishment of Minto, who later complained about a broken nose suffered in training, forcing the American to quit on his stool at the end of the seventh round.

Of his 13 professional wins, the Minto fight was one of Parker's best, and Barry hopes his charge responds to the threat posed by Saglam, who has a 34-win, 3-loss record.

"I don't like bagging the guys we're fighting but this guy is a dirty fighter," Barry said of Saglam. "With Brian Minto, everyone saw on TV [that he used] headbutts and elbows, and this German has a lot of dirty elements. He hits to the back of the head, he hits low. All the fights I've watched, he punches low repeatedly.

"I know with his experience, age and reputation that he's going to see Joe as a young guy and he's going to try to throw him off his game and the way he's going to do that is fight his type of fight and that's dirty. He's a guy who will do anything he can to win.

"I love that because I see that as part of the challenge for this fight. It's another step up for Joe - for the way he handles a powerful, heavy-handed guy who fights rough. We're going to be fighting other rough guys on the way up the rankings."

Parker, fresh from a tough training camp of just over two months which included a stint in Miami sparring with Wladimir Klitschko at the Ukrainian's invitation, is in a confident mood. That confidence is based on his extensive preparation and the fact he knows his jab will make Saglam's predilection for coming forward uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.

"With the dirty tactics we've seen him use, that jab is important to keep him off," Parker said. "That's why we've been training so hard."

Parker's last fight was against American Jason Pettaway in Manukau in March, a fight which the South Aucklander won by way of a fourth-round knockout, but it was a victory he possibly tried too hard to force. Parker's night was made more difficult by Pettaway's reluctance to engage and it led to an "average" rating by Barry.

While Saglam is a much more dangerous opponent in terms of his weaponry, his confidence could also serve to make Parker look good.

"I like guys who come on to Joe rather than him having to chase someone down like a Pettaway," Barry said. "This guy backs his own power and I love that because, for me, Joe, with his world-class jab and hand speed, can open up holes.

"This is a heavy-handed guy. He's had 22 knockouts in the first three rounds. We need to be very focused and disciplined. It's very important Joseph follows the gameplan and controls the distance in the early stages of this fight. We don't want to make mistakes or get careless."

- Herald on Sunday

Kiwis seek out heavyweight advice

“He should have hit him for doing that,” said New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley, holding on to the ropes of the boxing ring with one hand and stifling a laugh with the other. Bazeley had just watched midfielder Moses Dyer enter the ring and nutmeg a 6’3”, 100 kilogram-plus giant to thunderous applause and cheers from his team-mates.

A day before their final group game against Myanmar, the Junior All Whites chose an unusual method of preparation by heading to the Les Mills gym in Wellington, the capital, where the decisive encounter will also be played. was on hand to witness the young men meeting with New Zealand’s most famous boxer, Joseph Parker, where they picked up some tips on how to get their opponents on the ropes. And given that the FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts’ next Group A fixture is must-win game if they are to reach the Round of 16, it was a fitting training exercise; after all, who better to give advice on landing knockout blows than a heavyweight boxer?

A rising star in the boxing world, Parker, whose next bout is on 13 June in Palmerston North, had a short sparring session with New Zealand U-20 captain Bill Tuiloma, goalkeeper Nikola Tzanev and defender Jesse Edge. His demonstration of quick-wittedness was a lesson the Kiwis would do well to learn from in light of their winless, and goalless, record at the tournament so far.

“Pow, pow, pow,” panted Tzanev as he launched a combination of punches under Parker’s watchful eye, while his snickering team-mates ironically mimicked his loud puffing. During a subsequent stare-down with Parker, New Zealand’s defensive rock Tuiloma managed to mask his respect for his considerably more powerful opponent and match his fierce expression. “He’s enormous,” Tuiloma said afterwards. “But it’s all good practice for tomorrow as we can’t show any fear.

That is precisely that kind of positive energy that Bazeley wanted to tap into, and the coach himself was also visibly delighted to be part of such an unconventional event: “We’ve got a big task ahead of us tomorrow. It’s a fantastic gesture from Joseph [Parker] to personally wish us all the best in this manner and give the boys such a wonderful experience. Now we want to make our country proud tomorrow.” 

By way of thanks, the youngsters gave Parker a signed All Whites jersey and at the end of the visit the whole team formed a circle around him to listen to a motivational speech. “Play as a team and give everything you’ve got,” Parker urged. “If you lose then make sure you lose to a better team, but never because you didn’t do your best. You’ll be in the spotlight tomorrow and you’ve got the chance to make history.”

His words clearly had an impact on the players. “It’s just fantastic to meet Parker here,” said Tuiloma, who occasionally likes to box in his free time, in an interview with “It serves as a huge motivation for us and it gives us the feeling that the whole country is really behind us. We’ll do everything we can to make history for New Zealand.” The occasion was rounded off with a loud chant of “One, two, three – TEAM!”, sending a palpable spark of energy around the room.

VIDEO:Joseph Parker pays visit to bigger,

badder NZ amateur heavyweight David Nyika

(Please click to watch)


Joseph Parker is clearly impressed with what he has seen from promising amateur heavyweight David Nyika. Ahead of his fight against big German Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam in Palmerston North on June 13, Parker paid a visit to Hamilton's boxing prodigy Nyika. Nyika was coming off a stunning TKO victory over Commonwealth Games silver medallist David Light at the North Island Golden Gloves, in only his third fight as a heavyweight.When Parker last visited Nyika at Ringside Gym in Hamilton, Nyika was about 10kg lighter and coming off a thrilling victory in the light-heavyweight division at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Now Nyika is bigger, stronger, and just as fast. "He looks like he's focused and he's got a great team around him," Parker said of Nyika. "Now he's put on some weight he's looking a bit more buff."

Parker talked to Nyika about his own fighting weight and the challenges put on him by coach Kevin Barry, often getting the attention of his master coach with some cheeky remarks. "I'm sitting at about 108kg," Parker said with a raised voice, head turned in the direction of Barry. "Na, I'm sitting around 103kg. Kev's got me eating good healthy food." Nyika is hovering around 88kg, having added more than 7kg of muscle to his frame in the past six months. Crucially, Nyika has added the weight in the right way, keeping his speed and quickness while adding power and strength. Parker was impressed by his size, and by his performance against Light, saying he watched a video of Nyika's fight twice on Facebook. "He's a real good dude," Nyika said of Parker. "He's a real cool, easygoing guy and I like having him around the gym. "I think I'm catching up [with Parker]. The weight isn't quite there, but I think [I added] 10kg since I last saw him." After catching up with Nyika, Parker and training partner Izuagbe Ugonoh headed to Auckland for a training session, with their next fight night only a week away. Parker said he's expecting an aggressive opponent in Saglam, and said he plans to show his growing skillset in the fight. Saglam boasts a career spanning 37 fights, including 34 wins, 31 of which came by knockout.

"His record is great. It speaks for itself, so he's got power, and of the clips that we've seen on YouTube and studying him, he likes to throw big bombs and he lands them. That's something we'll have to look out for. "We've been working on a few things and I think everyone is going to see a big change with this fight. We've improved a lot, skills, technique and also fitness, so I'm definitely looking forward to putting in the work on Saturday." Parker fights Saglam at Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North on Saturday, June 13.

 - Stuff

Joseph Parker's work in the pool has him fighting fit


Joseph Parker has been lapping it up in the pool and is feeling as fit as a trout. The New Zealand heavyweight boxer was in Palmerston North on Thursday ahead of his fight against German Yakup Saglam next week and a new training regime has worked for Parker. Parker, 23, and his trainer Kevin Barry went to a training camp in the United States with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and the Ukrainian told Parker to hit the pool. "From that camp with Klitschko we found out that he doesn't do any running, he just swims," Parker said. "So we implemented swimming into our training camp and Kevin was happy with it. "We were happy with it, we saw the results and we can feel the results as well. I think it's the best shape that we've been in ever since I started boxing." Parker has been swimming twice a week and wants to show everyone how fit he is. "The body's healthy and the body's strong. The breathing is awesome. "I'm definitely looking forward to jumping in a ring because it's been a long time, but also to show everyone what we've been working so hard for.

"It's going to be a good challenge, but I'm damn ready." Parker will be putting his record of 13-0 on the line against the Saglam and the Parker camp has been studying the German since he was announced as the opponent two weeks ago. Parker said Saglam comes forward and uses "some dirty tactics". The hard-hitting German has a record of 37 fights for 34 wins and 31 knockouts, while Parker has 11 knockouts. There has been talk that Parker has been unable to get a recognised opponent, but Parker knew this was going to be a challenge. "We offered this fight to a few other people who were in the top 15 in the world, but they turned it down," Parker said. "I don't think [Saglam] would have taken it if he wasn't prepared and ready for it, so I'm definitely looking forward to see what he brings. "But I've trained too hard and I'm definitely more ready, more ready than anyone else." Parker said they are always trying to find ways to step up so people can see the improvement.

Parker has a short turnaround to his next fight in Invercargill on August 1, against a yet-to-be-named opponent, and Team Parker will head back to Las Vegas for three and a half weeks in between the two bouts. Parker said their full focus is on the Saglam fight and getting it out of the road in a good way, then prepare for Invercargill.
Parker has a light week of training at Palmerston North's Billy Meehan's gym next week and Parker will have to lay off sponsor Burger King's products for now.
 "Sometimes unhealthy food gets tempting, but you've got to push it aside and wait until after the fight." Parker was at Palmerston North Boys' High School on Thursday offering tips to the schoolboy boxers. Boys' High is the only school in the country to run a boxing competition, so Parker had been keen to take a look.

 - Stuff

VIDEO: Parker 'a six' compared to Klitschko

(Please click to watch)

With Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker in New Zealand in little over a week for what will be his 14th pro fight, his camp have spoken about the future for their star fighter.
And they have given a frank assessment on where he is at, compared to the world's best. Back home after his latest stint in the United States, right now Parker and trainer Kevin Barry are all about fine-tuning ahead of his fight in Palmerston North. While in the US, he sparred with world heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko.
"We did not speak much, but what I saw from him is the small details," says Parker. "He does everything to perfection." Certainly the giant Ukrainian is a world away from the talent Parker has beaten in his 13 pro wins so far.   "Joe is work in progress," says Barry. "A lot of people would like me to say he is an eight [if Klitschko is a 10], but I would say he is a six." "I know [Klitschko is] a role model and I want to be in his position one day," says Parker. "It all takes time." Every fight Parker has now is billed as being on the "road to the title". Some reports have claimed that could be five fights away, and potentially as early as March next year. But Barry says there's no rush, and his charge will not go into a title shot undercooked. "I believe in two more years he will be an outstanding fighter," Barry says. At 23, Parker knows he has to be patient, both inside and outside the ring.

3 News


New Zealand heavyweight boxing sensation Joseph Parker is facing his toughest opponent to date on June 13, stepping up to fight 12 rounds in Palmerston North against a man ominously known across Europe as ‘The Scorpion’. German Heavyweight Champion Yakup Saglam arrives in New Zealand next month leaving a trail of

destruction in his wake. The 6’4” Turkish born pugilist has 34 wins in 37 fights with 31 coming by way of knockout.  In percentage terms, he wins 92 percent of all his fights at a KO ratio of 84 percent.  International matchmaker Stu Duncan knows there will be plenty of debate about the Scorpion just like there has been about Parker’s previous 13 opponents but he has been instructed ‘no easy fights’ (see graph 1). In the case of the ‘The Scorpion’, Mr Duncan has found Parker an opponent who is statistically the toughest ever faced by a heavyweight prospect in just his 14th fight (see graph 2). “Wladimir Klitschko’s 14th pro fight was against a guy with 18 losses,” says Mr Duncan.  “No one disputes Klitschko’s gone on to be the most dominant heavyweight of the last decade.
“Turn the clock back slightly further, Lennox Lewis’ 14th opponent had lost 10 times while Mike Tyson fought Sammy Scaff who was 13-6.”  Promoter Dean Lonergan remains convinced Parker will earn a world title shot soon, as long as he can keep winning decisively and with style. “The two current heavyweight champions (Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder) each fought more than 30 times before they got their world title shot” (see graph 3). “Joseph’s Road to the Title is far steeper but it is paying off in the world rankings.” Parker is currently ranked 8th by the World Boxing Organisation and 10th by the World Boxing Association.

A good win against ‘The Scorpion’ on June 13 should improve those rankings further because the 23 year old will be putting his regional WBA PABA and WBO Oriental titles on the line. The bout will also be the first opportunity for Parker to showcase the new skills he picked up at Wladimir Klitschko training camp last month.  Only a limited amount of general admission tickets remain for the Arena Manawatu event with corporate tables selling out very quickly. Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry will return to New Zealand from their Las Vegas base on May 30.

Joseph Parker 'blown away' by chance meeting with Mike Tyson

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker ran into a legend of the sport Mike Tyson at the cafeteria of his local pool.

Parker has been sparring with current world heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko ahead of his fight with German Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam and the Ukrainian suggested the 23-year-old Kiwi take up swimming as part of his training.

Parker, who hadn't been born when Tyson was taking the boxing world by storm in the 1980's, told Fairfax Media he was "blown away" Tyson took time to take a photo and chat with him at the pool.

"Mike used to pass time watching historical fights of the all the great fighters," Parker said. "I've started logging onto YouTube and I'm now doing the same thing too."

Parker also saw the similarities in the relationship between Tyson and his trainer, Cus D'Amato, and his own trainer Kevin Barry after watching Tyson's boxing documentaty Champs.

"What struck me is how Mike's relationship with [trainer] Cus D'Amato was very similar to my relationship with Kevin Barry," Parker said.

"I had no idea Cus D'Amato made Mike move in with him to make him and it made me realise why Kev made me move in with him."

Parker is set to return to New Zealand at the end of the week to complete his training for his fight against Saglam.

3 News

Parker bumps into Tyson

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker has had a chance meeting with Mike Tyson.

Parker is including swimming in his routine after hearing champion Wladimir Klitschko talk about its benefits at a training camp in Miami.

And the 23-year-old Kiwi ran into Tyson, the self-styled former Baddest Man on the Planet, in the cafe of his local Las Vegas pool.

Parker is training for his bout with German champion Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North on June 13.

"I had seen Mike in the lead-up to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight [earlier this month] on the Vegas Strip and he was charging people US$250 to take a picture with him," said Parker. "I was blown away he took the time to spend a few minutes with me."

Tyson's journey from a tough childhood in New York's Brooklyn neighbourhood to heavyweight champion was well documented in his biography Undisputed Truth, released in 2013. In it he also detailed his addiction problems and the way he squandered millions of dollars - which is probably why he has taken to charging fans for pictures.

Tyson has followed up Undisputed Truth with a boxing documentary - which also features Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins - called Champs, which Parker saw at the weekend. Parker will return to New Zealand from his Las Vegas base on Saturday.

- NZ Herald

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker gets some advice from Mike Tyson  

Kiwi boxing sensation Joseph Parker has been rubbing shoulders with another of the sport's royalty in Las Vegas in the form of ex-world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.

Parker is preparing with trainer Kevin Barry for his fight with hard-hitting German Yakup 'The Scorpion' Saglam in Palmerston North on June 13, but had a chance meeting with the colourful Tyson, who gave the New Zealander a few training tips.

Parker had his new friend Wladimir Klitschko to thank for the opportunity to meet "Iron Mike". The Kiwi was attending a training camp with Klitschko, the current world heavyweight champion, in Miami last month when the Ukrainian advised him to take up swimming. Not even the Ukrainian could have predicted it would lead to Parker running into Tyson in the cafeteria of his local pool.

"I had seen Mike in the lead up to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on the Vegas Strip and he was charging people US$250 to take a picture with him," Parker said.

"I was blown away he took the time to spend a few minutes with me"

Nearly 30 years since first claiming the heavyweight championship, Tyson remains one of the most famous faces on the planet. His tarnished public image underwent further renaissance in America this month following the release of his acclaimed boxing documentary Champs, which Parker watched.

"What struck me is how Mike's relationship with [trainer] Cus D'Amato was very similar to my relationship with Kevin Barry," Parker said.

"I had no idea Cus D'Amato made Mike move in with him to make him and it made me realise why Kev made me move in with him."

Parker, 23, wasn't born when Tyson was terrorising the heavyweight division in the late 1980s, but he has picked up a valuable training tip from watching the documentary.

"Mike used to pass time watching historical fights of the all the great fighters," Parker said.

"I've started logging onto YouTube and I'm now doing the same thing too."

Parker hopes he can show what he's learned in front of a record crowd in Palmerston North. Parker will return to New Zealand to complete his training at the end of the week.

 - Stuff

Parker returns June 13 against Saglam
By Karl Freitag

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker (13-0, 11 KOs) will return to action on June 13 against Yakup Saglam (34-3, 31 KOs) on June 13 at the Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North, New Zealand. The bout will be a twelve rounder for Parker’s WBO Oriental and PABA belts. Parker was one of world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s primary sparring partners for his recent defense against Bryant Jennings.

Joseph Parker Interview: How to win friends and influence people

By Bryce Wilson: Undefeated heavyweight Joseph Parker is running 15 minutes late for our scheduled chat on Skype to discuss his recent training camp with Wladimir Klitschko and upcoming fight on June 13th with Yakup Saglam. An apologetic Joseph explains that he was so engrossed in reading Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, that he had lost track of time.

It turns out this isn’t the only cerebral tome that has taken his interest as he mentions an autobiography on billionaire investor Warren Buffet as well as Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad as other recent reads. Having seen Joseph brutalize opponents in the ring it is a strange dichotomy to discover his interest in self-improvement books but also encouraging to see an athlete who fully understands and embraces the importance of mental preparation.

Sitting inside the Top 10 with both the WBA and WBO this year is looking like a big one for Parker. He is fresh out of sparring with Wladimir Klitschko and now gets ready to face German heavyweight Yakup Saglam on June 13th with another bout against an as yet to be named opponent in August.

BN: Talking about that Klitschko camp did you find the sparring as intense as a proper fight?

JP: At the start I was nervous, thinking how am I gonna be with the champ? He went hard on us, he had a few tricks that he used on us. The way that he spars and the way he does everything in training camp is the way that he fights and that was cool to see.

BN: By the end of the camp were you relatively happy you could hold your own with him and you were doing OK?

JP: Yeah I was happy and coach Kevin (Barry) was happy with how I went. The rounds I sparred I showed what I had. He respected us which was cool.

BN: Do you think he held anything back thinking that one day he may end up meeting you in the ring proper?

JP: You can never know what he’s thinking or gonna do next. He’s not only a boxer but he’s very smart, he’s got a PHD, speaks 3 or 4 languages.

BN: How does Wlad conduct himself around camp? I saw some interesting footage of you going to ask him a question and he kinda walks up and puts his hand on your shoulder and very much acts like the alpha male, the dominate guy even in conversations.

JP: Yep in everything. When he walks into camp he comes and says ‘hi’ and looks you straight in the eye, intimidating sort of. But he was cool, at the end of the camp I invited him down to New Zealand and I gave him my e-mail and we keep on touch. He would love to make it down when his schedule permits.

BN: I know you were one of the lucky ones who got to go to Mayweather/Pacquiao. We all know how the fight went, but I want to ask you what was the atmosphere like as a young fighter acclimatizing yourself to that type of situation, thinking one day you might be fighting at the MGM Grand?

JP: It was not like any other Mayweather fight I have been to. It was the craziest I have ever seen it. Vegas was packed. I sat there and watched and it was extra motivation, your dream one day is to be known as a great fighter. I was looking and imagining that one day that could be me. It certainly gave me that extra motivation.

BN: I also saw Golovkin’s fight in the weekend and the commentators mentioned something that I know you have been doing whenever you are down in New Zealand and that is walking the arena before the fight. Is that something Kevin suggested to you or is it you just wanting to see your family and friends before the fight and is it something you intend to keep on doing?

JP: For me when I get to the arena I like to see my parents and uncle and aunties. I like to get a feel for the arena and it gives me a good buzz. I’ll continue to do it. It’s something that’s important for me.

BN: You get a lot of fans wanting to take a photo with you before the fight. Do you find that distracting or do you quite enjoy that?

JP: For me I feel like I’m really relaxed. If they want a selfie I just smile and give them the photo. It makes their day and they continue to support you.

BN: I think it’s pretty cool and I hope it’s a trend that continues to grow. As you say for that person that gets their photo with you that may be their only opportunity to ever meet you and get that memento to keep.

JP: Yes, you’ve got a supporter for life, you’ve made their day and they’ll tell their friends. It’s a little thing like that that can make a big difference to the fan. Just the simple things like that, you’ve got to appreciate it.

BN: When did you guys find out you were fighting Yakup Saglam?

JP: Maybe 4 or 5 days ago. It’s been hard locking in someone. If you talk to Kevin it’s been difficult, ‘yes we have someone’ and then ‘no’ and then ‘yes we have someone’ and then ‘no’ again.

BN: In some ways you’ve been a victim of your own success in as much as although you’ve only had 13 fights but because of the way you’ve won some of those fights it’s made some bigger names reluctant to fight you.

JP: That’s bang on. They see the record, only 13 fights, but then they see the fights and they say ‘is it right for me to take the risk?’

BN: I know Kevin likes to set specific goals for every fight. Has Kevin set some goals for this fight?

JP: Yes with every fight and depending on who the opponent is we work on set things, and we are working on a few things for this fight but I’m not sure if Kevin wants me to mention them.

BN: Ok, understood. Well let me ask a slightly different question, what dangers do you think Saglam presents?

JP: Looking at the tape, he likes to throw bombs and his record shows he’s heavy handed and in any weight division if you land a big punch you can get knocked out. So Kevin has me working on defence, my counters and making sure I get off first so he is not able to set up those big bombs.

BN: I tend to think of you as an offensive fighter and offensive fighters often have to sacrifice a little bit of defence to be so offensive, same with a defensive fighter they have to sacrifice some offence to be so good defensively.

JP: I see what you mean. I am a lot more offensive which in a way actually helps me with my defence, but I do have to give up a little bit of defence to do so. But then you have someone like Floyd Mayweather who gives up some offense to be more defensive, but when he counters with his offense it’s on point.

BN: So it’s fair to say defence is a work on for you this year. Anything else?

JP: Yes definitely defence but also more body attack. It’s something we’ve worked on in this camp, we’ve seen it in sparring and it’s beginning to flow better.

BN: After the Costa Junior fight with it being such an impressive knockout do you feel any pressure from the fans perspective that they don’t just want you to win but do so in a spectacular way?

JP: With every fight the fans would love to see a knockout but for me but it’s good to have someone like to Kevin to talk to me about not being pressured from what other people expect from you. Going into every fight I have to work on the plan that Kevin sets. If the knockout comes, it comes.

BN: How long have you been with Kevin Barry now?

JP: Around the end of March 2013.

BN: At the start it must have been a really steep learning curve, with diet, intensity of training, etcetera. How sharp is that learning curve now? Is it as steep or is it now more about steady incremental improvements?

JP: At the beginning when I first came I was chubby and didn’t know what to expect. I was comfortable with the training back home but I didn’t know anything else. It was like you said, very steep and now I see improvements all the time. Now I have a lot more skill, technique and confidence.

BN: Did you find this new environment difficult at that start or did you take to it straight away and realize that this was the piece of the puzzle you were missing?

JP: I was like a sponge at the beginning. I knew Kevin had had champions but I didn’t know what to expect. I was comfortable at home. But when I came to Las vegas and saw the difference with our first fight together against Brice Ritani-Coe and then the François Botha fight I knew that this is what I had to do. Train three times a day and listen to somebody who knows what they are doing.

This seems as good a place as any to wrap up our conversation, leaving Joseph to continue absorbing the wise words of Dale Carnegie. In a few short weeks Parker will find that he may have made few more friends and influenced a few more people himself should he be able to put away Yakup Saglam in impressive fashion.

Joseph Parker, 13(11)-0 will face Yakup Saglam 34(31)-3 at Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North on June 13th.

Notes: Ramirez, Valdez doubleheader in works

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Top Rank is planning its June 26 truTV-televised card to take place in Hidalgo, Texas, with super middleweight contender Gilberto Ramirez (31-0, 24 KOs) and blue chip featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez (15-0, 14 KOs) to fight opponents to be determined in the televised bouts. Ramirez is likely to face Derek Edwards (27-4-1, 14 KOs), Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told Boxing on Twitter

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• Heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker (13-0, 11 KOs), 23, of New Zealand, will face Yakup Saglam (34-3, 31 KOs), born in Turkey and living Germany, in a scheduled 12-rounder on June 13 in New Zealand. Parker is training in Las Vegas but will head home with trainer Kevin Barry for their final preparation on May 30. Parker sparred with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Klitschko’s training camp for his April 25 defense against Bryant Jennings.

• Former unified flyweight titlist Brian Viloria (35-4, 21 KOs), who has won three fights in a row since losing a decision and his belts to Juan Francisco Estrada by split decision in April 2013, is due back in action in July, manager Garry Gittelsohn told Gittelsohn said that Viloria will fight either on Top Rank’s card in Macau, China, on July 18 or on its UniMas-televised card on July 25 in Oxnard, California. Gittelsohn said the July 25 card is more likely.

• Junior lightweight titlist Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19 KOs), of Japan, will be sidelined for a few months because he is due to have surgery on his left elbow later this month. He is coming off a blistering second-round knockout of Thai challenger Jomthong Chuwatana on May 6 in Tokyo.

Joseph Parker to fight Yakup Saglam in Palmerston North

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker's next opponent has been revealed as German Yakup "The Scorpion" Saglam. The 23-year-old will get the chance to showcase some of the skills he picked up at the Vladimir Klitschko training camp last month in the 12-round fight in Palmerston North on June 13th. Saglam, 38, has built an impressive record of 31 knockouts in 34 wins over nine years of professional boxing. Trainer Kevin Barry thinks the Klitschko experience will benefit the unbeaten Parker (13-0) against the tough heavy-hitter.  Joe needs to fight in a very disciplined and controlled fashion and his hands need to be high," said Barry.

"I've worked very hard on increasing his head movement as I think that's something we're going to see a lot more in this fight." Barry described Parker's 1.96cm-tall opponent as a fighter with "very heavy hands". "It's going to be very very important for us in this fight that Joe's defense is really on point and it's something we have worked diligently on." Saglam doesn't feature on the rankings of any of the major organisations.

3 News/RadioLIVE

Joseph Parker set for toughest test against 'The Scorpion'

New Zealand heavyweight boxing prospect Joseph Parker is facing his toughest opponent to date on June 13, stepping up to fight 12 rounds in Palmerston North against a man ominously known across Europe as 'The Scorpion'.

German Heavyweight Champion Yakup Saglam arrives in New Zealand next month leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

The 6'4" Turkish born pugilist has 34 wins in 37 fights with 31 coming by way of knockout. In percentage terms, he wins 92% of all his fights at a KO ratio of 84 percent%.

International matchmaker Stu Duncan knows there will be plenty of debate about the Scorpion just like there has been about Parker's previous 13 opponents but he has been instructed 'no easy fights'

In the case of the 'The Scorpion', Mr Duncan has found Parker an opponent who is statistically the toughest ever faced by a heavyweight prospect in just his 14th fight.

"Wladimir Klitschko's 14th pro fight was against a guy with 18 losses," says Mr Duncan.

"No one disputes Klitschko's gone on to be the most dominant heavyweight of the last decade.

"Turn the clock back slightly further, Lennox Lewis' 14th opponent had lost 10 times while Mike Tyson fought Sammy Scaff who was 13-6."

Promoter Dean Lonergan remains convinced Parker will earn a world title shot soon, as long as he can keep winning decisively and with style.

"The two current heavyweight champions (Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder) each fought more than 30 times before they got their world title shot" (see graph 3).

"Joseph's Road to the Title is far steeper but it is paying off in the world rankings."

Parker is currently ranked 8th by the World Boxing Organisation and 10th by the World Boxing Association.

A good win against 'The Scorpion' on June 13 should improve those rankings further because the 23 year old will be putting his regional WBA PABA and WBO Oriental titles on the line.

The bout will also be the first opportunity for Parker to showcase the new skills he picked up at Wladimir Klitschko training camp last month.

Only a limited amount of general admission tickets remain for the Arena Manawatu event with corporate tables selling out very quickly.

Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry will return to New Zealand from their Las Vegas base on May 30.

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker earns high praise from Wladimir Klitschko

Rising young New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker has come in for high praise from world champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The 23-year-old Kiwi is in camp with Klitschko in Florida, helping him prepare for the 18th defence of his title against American Bryant Jennings at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 25.

Speaking to highly-respected boxing writer Dan Rafael after sparring over 12 rounds with Parker, Klitschko was full of compliments for the South Auckland product.

"He's extremely talented ... I see myself in Joseph in a certain way. I can't say anything negative.

"I don't know how the guy will develop but he has the potential."

Parker rose to No 8 in the world with the WBO and is rated at No 10 with the WBA following his dominant win over unheralded American Jason Pettaway early last month.

That result took his professional record to 13-0, including 11 knockouts. 

"Parker's size is perfect (193cm, 104kgs) and I like to have actual boxers competing in there when we spar, guys who want to become champions, guys who bring that attitude to the ring," Klitschko said.

"We've had some intense sparring. He has given me great work, exactly what I need."

Being part of the camp is also ideal preparation for Parker, who is due to fight next on June 13 in Palmerston North.

No opponent has been confirmed for the bout, but it is thought American Eric Molina is in the mix to be the next challenge for the talented young Kiwi.

Molina holds a 23-2 pro record and the No 12 ranking with the WBC, the one organisation not dominated by Klitschko and an organisation Parker is seeking to gain more recognition in.

Rafael also spoke glowingly of the softly-spoken young Kiwi, saying 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist Anthony Joshua was the "only heavyweight prospect in boxing more highly regarded than Parker."

Parker was a "big time prospect" and a hungry, young fighter with "enormous potential," said Rafael.

 - Stuff

Boxing: Joseph Parker 'extremely talented' says Klitschko

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has spoken of his admiration for New Zealander Joseph Parker.

Parker, 23, is currently in a training camp with Klitschko in Miami as the Ukranian prepares for his 18th title defence when he faces Bryant Jennings on April 25 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"He's extremely talented," Klitschko told of sparring partner Parker. "He's strong but he is very different from [Englishman] Anthony Joshua even though they are both very determined and very tough. I see myself in Joseph in a certain way. I can't say anything negative.

"I don't know how the guy will develop but he has the potential. [Former sparring partner] Deontay [Wilder] is a champion now. Anthony Joshua is getting better. They're all in the process of developing and they still have things they have to go through."

Klitschko said Parker's size - at 1.94m and 106kg he is of similar dimensions to Klitschko - made him an ideal sparring partner.

"Parker's size is perfect and I like to have actual boxers competing in there when we spar, guys who want to become champions, guys who bring that attitude to the ring," Klitschko said.

"We've had some intense sparring. He has given me great work, exactly what I need."
Parker will next fight on June 13 in Palmerston North against an opponent yet to be announced.

- NZ Herald

Klitschko heaps praise on Joseph Parker

New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker is garnering plenty of praise from sparring partner and world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Parker is in the US helping the Ukrainian prepare for his fight with Bryant Jennings on April 25, and his own bout with an unnamed fighter scheduled for June 13 in Palmerston North.The 1996 Olympic super heavyweight champion Klitschko told Parker was "extremely talented". "He's strong but he is very different from Anthony Joshua even though they are both very determined and very tough. I see myself in Joseph in a certain way. I can't say anything negative," Klitschko said. "I don't know how the guy will develop but he has the potential. Deontay is a champion now. Anthony Joshua is getting better. They're all in the process of developing and they still have things they have to go through. The 39-year-old Ukrainian fighter has enjoyed being putting in the ring against the similarly sized Parker at his camp in Florida ahead of his 18th title defence. 

"Parker's size is perfect and I like to have actual boxers competing in there when we spar, guys who want to become champions, guys who bring that attitude to the ring." "We've had some intense sparring. He has given me great work, exactly what I need."

Parker beat American Jason Pettaway in March, taking his professional record to 13-0 with 11 knockouts and is ranked No.8 heavyweight by the World Boxing Organisation and No.10 by the World Boxing Association.

3 News/NZN

Klitschko being pushed by Parker in camp

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who is getting ready to make his 18th title defense when he faces Bryant Jennings on April 25 (HBO) at New York’s Madison Square Garden, has yet another big-time prospect in camp with him in New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.

Klitschko likes to be pushed, which is why he has used recent training camps to bring in hungry, young fighters with enormous potential to spar with him.

It is why he has previously had Deontay Wilder in training camp, and Wilder went on to win the one major belt Klitschko does not have in January. And it is why he also has had 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua in his camp, and Joshua might be the only heavyweight prospect in boxing more highly regarded than Parker.

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For this camp, in Hollywood, Florida, Klitschko has Parker (13-0, 11 KOs), 23, as one of his sparring partners for the first time. Klitschko said they have sparred more than a dozen rounds and he has been impressed by Parker.

“He’s extremely talented,” Klitschko told “He’s strong but he is very different from Anthony Joshua even though they are both very determined and very tough. I see myself in Joseph in a certain way. I can’t say anything negative.

“I don’t know how the guy will develop but he has the potential. Deontay is a champion now. Anthony Joshua is getting better. They’re all in the process of developing and they still have things they have to go through.”

Klitschko, dominant as ever at age 39, said one of the reasons he wants top young fighters in camp with him is because it helps keep him hungry.

“Parker’s size is perfect (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and I like to have actual boxers competing in there when we spar, guys who want to become champions, guys who bring that attitude to the ring," Klitschko said. "We’ve had some intense sparring. He has given me great work, exactly what I need.”

Parker is using the camp to get ready for his own fight. His next fight is scheduled for June 13 in New Zealand, although he does not yet have an opponent.

Joesph Parker back where it all began

Joseph Parker is returning to the place where he first made his name as a boxer. The Kiwi heavyweight will fight in Palmerston North on June 13 against a yet to be determined opponent, his second fight in Manawatu. Parker, 23, said he was first recognised as an amateur at a show organised by Palmerston North's Billy Meehan in 2009. In that fight, a young Parker beat Yamiko Chinula, from Christchurch, who was nine years older than Parker. Six years later Parker is in Miami sparring with world champion Wladimir Klitschko in preparation for his next bout. Having spent a week training with Klitschko, Parker said he has improved in a short space of time and is almost feeling like he could take on anyone. "After this experience I just feel like I have more confidence in my ability," Parker said. "I feel more confident with myself just seeing him and how he works. "I've taken a lot on board. I know I still need to improve a lot more things. "When I get into the ring with someone a lot bigger than myself now, I've already been there with the best in the world, sparring."

At 1.98m and 112kg, the 39-year-old Klitschko has size on Parker, who is 1.93m and 103kg, so it has helped the Kiwi learn how to box someone bigger. Before matching up, Parker thought there would be a big size difference, but it wasn't the case. The Ukrainian is the WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion and working with him has been an eye-opener. "To be honest he's a beast," Parker said. "The fitness that he has, I've never heard of anyone else that does the same amount of sparring sessions in a week." Klitschko does 12 rounds of sparring, four times a week. Parker said Klitschko was professional in everything he did; how he speaks, how he trains and how he treats people. "I've been professional for two years now and Klitschko has for pretty much 19, 20 years. There's a big difference in experience." Parker was anxious about getting in the ring with him at first and didn't know what to expect, but he feels more confident now.

Parker's promoters, Duco, are yet to find someone for Parker to face in the bout, but want Parker to step it up. "I want to test  myself in the ring. We're looking at an opponent to give us a big test. "The fight is going to be in Palmerston North and I want to put on a good show." He said they are taking the right steps to eventually be at the same level as Klitschko, once he is the same age. Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry finish the camp next week, then have a six-week training camp in Las Vegas before returning to New Zealand. Parker said he had already received a lot of support from people in Manawatu.

 - Manawatu Standard

PHOTO GALLERY: Klitschko looks good in workout

(Please click link above to view photo's)
Report/Photos by Karl Freitag

IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko hosted a media workout at the Lucky Street Gym in Hollywood, Florida on Tuesday. Klitschko is preparing to defend his 10-year title reign against top rated challenger Bryant Jennings on April 25 at Madison Square Garden. The event will be televised live on HBO.

Klitschko patiently answered the same questions over and over for the various media outlets, went through some painful looking stretching exercises, then looked sharp in sparring six rounds. Also on hand was unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, who worked the pads with trainer Kevin Barry. Unfortunately for reporters, Parker didn’t spar against Klitschko on Tuesday.

Joseph Parker Update

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

WBO #8, WBA #10 heavyweight Joseph Parker (13-0, 11 KOs) has been sparring with IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in South Florida and has apparently held his own against the heavyweight champion who defends the championship on April 22 against Bryant Jennings in New York City. “It doesn’t get any better,” Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said. “There are lots of big men in the heavyweight division but Klitschko happens to be the very best of them. Joe’s still very much a work in progress. Klitschko and his team have been very complimentary. It’s a huge experience. It’s every bit as much of an experience as I thought it would have been for Joe. We’ve come a long way in the last two years and taken some pretty big steps.” Parker’s opponent for June in New Zealand is still TBA. He and Barry will head back to Las Vegas next week for six more weeks of training before heading home.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker 'excited' to fight in Palmerston North

As he continues to rise up the rankings, New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker has announced his next fight will take place in Palmerston North on June 13. Parker made the announcement via video from his second home in Las Vegas. "We're fighting in Palmerston North, Arena Manawatu, on June 13," Parker said on Monday. "I'm so excited to fight there. I always get great support so I'm looking forward to seeing you all there." While no opponent has yet been revealed, Stuff understands Parker's handlers, Duco Events, have been in discussions with American Eric Molina (23-2), who has a valuable No 12 ranking with the WBC and is promoted by Don King.

Importantly, that's the one organisation not dominated by world champion Wladimir Klitschko, with American Deontay Wilder holding the WBC belt. Victory over the respected Molina – should Duco lock in the aggressive 23-year-old – would certainly see Parker instantly recognised by the WBC. Parker continues to move in the right direction in the rankings, lifting to an impressive No 8 with on the WBO list and remaining stable at 10 with the WBA. The 23-year-old South Aucklander moves up one position in the March updates, his rise coming on the back of his ruthless knockout over underwhelming American Jason Pettaway earlier this month.

The challenge for Parker's handlers is to get him a presence on the rankings of the other two major organisations, the IBF and the WBC.

Parker, the New Zealand National Boxing Federation champion who also holds the Pan Asian and WBO Oriental belts, is preparing for a three-week sparring camp with Klitschko in Florida.