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

LIAM NAPIER

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. 

-Stuff


Parker vs Pettaway Round by Round

By Eugene Carnachan

Joseph Parker (12-0) takes on once beaten American Anthony Pettaway (17-1).

A good crowd has stepped out to see the hometown hero, and in this case it’s quite literally that. Parker is fighting 10 minutes away from where he grew up before shifting to Las Vegas to pursue his boxing career under the guidance of Kevin Barry.

An ensemble of sporting celebs and local fans are in attendance, including a guy that’s found fame for all the wrong reasons. Joseph Parker has given a front row seat ticket to a chap named Teina Pora. Pora did over two decades of jail time for a heinous crime he has being judiciously absolved of. A long time to serve for a crime you didn’t commit. Not boxing news but a nice touch by Parker and his team. Good stuff.

Have to say Duco run a slick promotion, everything appears to be running seamlessly. Kevin Barry looks like his animated all-business self as he and Parker make their way to the ring. Parker looks as calm as a cucumber. Pettaway too looks calm, like he’s on a Sunday stroll to be fair.

Stare down – Parker looks all business, Pettway not engaging wholeheartedly in the stare down.

Round 1:

Parker comes out looking to establish the jab. Looking to assert himself early. Very quick hands for a big man. Parker trying to make the fight, full of beans, trying to impress himself physically on Pettaway. Pettaway not offering much, looks like he’s trying to work out a way to deal with Parker’s speed. Not sure if he has the tools to solve the quick hands riddle i.e. timing, head movement and a willingness to engage.

Pettway clipped, he tasted Parker’s power clean and didn’t like the taste one bit!!

Round 1 – end. Parker round definitively, 10-8.

Round 2:

Parker using his jab well. Touching up Pettaway with it in setting the range. Parker’s jab on its way to being a world class weapon. Parker dominating on every level! Pettaway affects a kind of bull rush at Parker head first, almost like a rugby tackle. Not classical boxing method and absolutely ineffective.

Parker landing heavy blows with both hands!! Pettway gets on his bike and he’s pedaling fast! Parker coming on looking to get Pettaway out.

Pettway is either going to have to work out a way to offset Parker’s jab as it’s causing him problems all over town, or keep getting set up for the right hand down the tube – dangerous.

Pettway not liking Parker’s power one bit and he doesn’t have a game plan to offset it – ominous.

Round 2 – end. Parker round definitively, 10-8.

Round 3:

Parker quite simply too strong. Pettway cautious, aided by the fact he is getting overpowered, out-hustled and can’t deal with the speed of Parker. Not looking good for him, a KO almost a matter of course. Parker showing a good shot selection off of the great groundwork from his jab. Parker lands with some huge body shots. Those shots will be draining the air out of the tires.

Pettway down! Ref counting, he makes it up! And gets on his bike again!!

Round 3 – end. More of the same. Parker just has too much for Pettaway. End is nigh. Don’t think this fight will get out of round 4. Running a scorecard is a pointless exercise.

Round 4:

More of the same, Parker clips Pettaway with a great right hand, follows up with both hands, unloading against Pettaway who is backed up against the ropes. Pettway down, Parker clips him while he’s down, Pettaway’s corner look to be complaining about that shot, not deliberate. Parker not a malicious fighter in any stretch.

Round 4 – fight over by KO at 2:11.

Pettway was simply overpowered by the younger, stronger and quicker Parker. Pettway looked disinterested once he tasted Parker’s power. Power is a handy way to dissuade an opponent. Parker admits to trying too hard to make the fight but that’s what makes the guy great to watch.

Parker moving on to bigger and better things.


Parker KOs Pettaway In 4

By Tony Nobbs

WBO Number 9 and WBA number 10 heavyweight Joseph Parker took care of American Jason Pettaway in four rounds at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau City, New Zealand on Thursday night.

Parker was the boss from the start pushing the visitor from West Virginian back with jarring jabs and right hands.

In the second round, Parker hurt Pettaway with a straight right to the body and was cracking him late in the round.

Pettaway came forward trying to make a fight of it in the third but was down from body shots with thirty seconds left in the round and was in trouble at the bell.

A four punch salvo punctuated by a right hand through the gloves had a cornered Pettaway down early in the fourth. He rose as referee John Conway reached the ten count.

Twenty three year old Parker moved to 13-0, 11 KOS. Pettaway, 34, dropped to 17-2, 10 KOS.

Parker is now due to go into camp with Wladamir Klitschko.

Heavyweight novelty “Brown Butterbean” David Letele scored a first round stoppage of Finau Maka. A short left hook inside dropped Maka and he was down a second time shortly after just 88 seconds.

A classy super middleweight six rounder was spoilt by a bad decision when Australian based Nigerian Friday Nwaiwu ( 3-5-1, 0 KO) had to settle for a split draw with former New Zealand Amateur Team Captain Joe Blackbourn (7-0-1, 7 Kos).

In his first bout since November 2012, Nwaiwu, picked Blackbourn apart for most of the contest, countering with quality punches in each round. A left hook knocked the NZ number one rated Blackbourn’s mouthguard out in the fourth. Blackbourn had a nice was never able to establish any momentum.

Scores 59-55 (Nwaiwu), 59-55 (Blackbourn) and 57-57. My score 59-55 Nwaiwu.

In an entertaining clash gun New Zealand amateur Bowyn Morgan (2-0, 1 KO) unanimously outscored a tough Ivana Seau (1-2, 1 KO) over six heats at middleweight.

Switch hitting Morgan, 33, won clearly, continually backing Seau up but made harder work of it than he needed, failing to cut the ring and neglecting to jab his way in, trying too hard to land big shots.

Parker training partner Izu Ugonoh (11-0, 9 Kos) scored a second round knockout of substitute Thomas Peato (2-3, 1 KO).

Polish number 6 heavyweight Ugonoh worked behind a stiff jab in the first round and landed solid right hands to the heart.

A perfectly placed left rip ended it.


Photos: Joseph Parker beats Pettaway by TKO

(GALLERY HERE) 

Photos from fight night in Auckland, including Joseph Parker beating Jason Pettaway by TKO.


Video: Joseph Parker post-fight interview

(Please click link above to watch video)


Joseph Parker powers past Pettaway

Joseph Parker continued to show he's a star on the rise.

American Jason Pettaway offered no contest for the Kiwi heavyweight who dominated his 13th fight from the opening bell in South Auckland tonight.

The 23-year-old found his rhythm early and landed plenty of powerful shots in the first two rounds, with his 34-year-old opponent unable to come up with a way to stop Parker.

The youngster's camp had talked all week about Parker coming into the fight and letting his hands go, and Parker obliged.

In the third round he knocked Pettaway down, the American was able to beat the count and resume the fight.

However this appeared only to fire up Parker more, and in the fourth he knocked Pettaway down again and referee John Conway decided enough was enough and called the fight off.

Pettaway's corner clearly not happy about the decision, but it was not going to change the outcome of the fight.

Parker proved too superior and notched up his 13th professional victory.

Parker's next assignment will be as a sparring partner with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.


Boxing: Parker too powerful for Pettaway

The bout was dubbed "the Road to the Title" and Jason Pettaway proved little more than a speedbump for New Zealand heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in Manukau tonight.

Parker won with a TKO 40 seconds into the fourth round. He completely outclassed the American known as the "Technician" from the outset, but there was a minor touch of controversy at the finish.

Pettaway's corner complained vociferously at the end following referee John Conway's decision to stop the fight as their man had gone down on one knee when Parker delivered a final punch, technically illegal, although the South Aucklander could argue that he was moving in and committed to the punch.

Either way, Parker deserved the victory for he was vastly superior.

Joseph Parker's top five fights

"I thought it was a good performance tonight, not a great performance," trainer Kevin Barry said. "We set pretty high standards, I thought he was a bit sluggish, but he came away with a nice knockout win."

In front of several sporting personalities at the Vodafone Events Centre, including Blues players Jerome Kaino, Steven Luatua and former All Black Stephen Donald, Parker went forward from the opening bell, hitting Pettaway with body shots left and right and doubling up on his jab. The mobile Pettaway did well to mostly stay out of trouble but there was plenty in store for the remainder of the fight.

Concern over Pora boxing claims

Parker connected with more powerful shots in the second round and in round three Pettaway was down with about 20 seconds remaining following a hard right hand to the head. He bravely got up, but Parker attacked again only for the bell to save his opponent.

It was all over early in the fourth, Pettaway taking a knee under the onslaught for a popular victory in front of his home supporters.

"It's always cool to come back home, especially here in South Auckland where I was brought up," he said afterwards.

"Getting the victory is always good, I'm happy with it. Maybe I was looking for the knockout too early, but I'll take it."

The road ahead will now increase with difficulty for Parker. His promoters Duco want him to fight for a title shot next year and are looking hard for an opponent who will not only challenge Parker, but potentially send him further up the rankings should he win. He is currently ranked ninth in the WBO and 10th in the WBA.

To increase his skill even further, he will now embark on a three-week sparring camp with undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Florida.

"Sparring with Wladimir, it's going to be a great experience for me," he said.

Earlier, Parker's training partner Izu Ugonoh recorded a second-round TKO victory with a shot to the ribs of his opponent Thomas Peato and Dave "The Brown Buttabean Letele" knocked out former Tonga Rugby World Cup captain Finau Maka in the first round of a corporate fight.

- NZ Herald


Boxing: Parker's next big challenge - sparring Klitschko

After easily dismantling a boxer known as "The Technician", Joseph Parker's next challenge is a big one - going into camp with Wladimir Klitschko, the undisputed heavyweight champion who goes by the slightly more formidable handle of "Dr Steelhammer".

Fresh from his fourth-round TKO of American Jason Pettaway last night, Parker will travel to Florida for a three-week stint with Klitschko as the Ukraine fighter prepares for his WBO, WBA and IBF titles defence against American Bryant Jennings at New York's Madison Square Garden on April 25.

In the meantime Parker's promoters Duco are close to signing a big name to face him in New Zealand in a little over two months' time.

Revealed in the Herald yesterday, the Klitschko camp will impinge slightly on Parker's preparation for that fight, but trainer Kevin Barry believes the benefits for the 23-year-old's development will be enormous.

"When you're sparring the very best fighter in the world it's all upside," he said. "It's going to be a great learning experience for a young man. We've all seen the progress that he's shown in the last two years. I would like to think by the end of this year we're going to see a lot more progress. Working with someone the calibre of Klitschko can only be beneficial for us."

Parker said: "I'm looking forward to it. Sparring against the champ, there's only one thing that's going to happen and that is you're going to learn."

Duco and Barry believe Parker is ready for his next step up after easily overcoming Pettaway, who had been beaten only once in 18 fights, with a fourth round knockout in Manukau. Parker's record has gone to 13 victories, with 11 knockouts. He has yet to taste defeat as a professional.

"A bigger challenge is going to bring out the best in Joe," Barry said. "The [Francois] Botha fight was a big challenge at that stage. The [Brian] Minto fight for him was a big challenge, and then the fight at the end of the year [against Irineu Beato Costa Junior]. When he has really had to dig deep against quality opponents, that's when we've seen Joseph's best work."

Barry said Parker's next opponent was not likely to be a tall man.

"There's a lot of tall guys in the heavyweight division and those who aren't tall are very strong, powerful guys who come forward and are in your face the whole time. For us it's a no-brainer, either we go after one of the big tall guys which is not practical for me at the moment because we haven't worked with them in the training camps, or we go after someone who will put a lot of pressure on Joe and chase him down and try to beat him down."

Barry and Parker were slightly downcast following the victory over Pettaway at the Vodafone Events Centre, with the trainer saying it was a good, rather than great, performance.

Parker said he may have been trying to finish the fight, his first of the year, too early.

- NZ Herald


Kiwi fighter Joseph Parker beats Jason Pettaway with fourth-round TKO

LIAM NAPIER


Time for a genuine challenge.

Joseph Parker barely got out of second gear in his fourth-round TKO win over Jason Pettaway in Manukau last night.

The Kiwi heavyweight knew his power and hand speed were too much for the outclassed American well before he dropped him for the first time in round three.  [KNOCKOUT: Joseph Parker, right, knocks down Jason Pettaway to win the fight.]
Getty Images

KNOCKOUT: Joseph Parker, right, knocks down Jason Pettaway to win the fight.

Spurred on by a vocal crowd on his home patch in South Auckland, Parker went for the kill from the opening bell.

"I did go and headhunt and try to get him out of there, but it's a learning process for me," Parker said.

What transpired was a glorified sparring match, certainly not fitting for a $40 pay-per-view event.

As Parker chased the defensively spooked Pettaway around the ring, using footwork to cut down his space, frustration was evident.

In the first of five scheduled fights this year, he was eager to impress.

There was not the same control, patience or dominance from his clean fourth-round knockout of Brazilian Irineu Costa Junior last December.

"It wasn't his greatest performance," Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, said.

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"There were a lot of things he did wrong. He tried a little too hard.

"He was looking for the knockout and went headhunting early when he should have been breaking him down with body shots.

"When he settled down, it was a very easy fight for him."

Pettaway was nothing more than another stepping stone.

After 13 wins, 11 KOs and no losses, the Parker camp realises the time has come to step up the level of his opponents.

Parker's popularity is soaring, but the paying public will grow tired of these mismatches. They want to see him tested, and it is clear he will take little satisfaction or growth from this victory. 

"That's what we all want," Parker said when asked if he wanted a challenge.

To continue charting the rankings from 10th in the WBA and ninth in the WBO, Barry knows his protege must land a credible opponent in his next fight. Pettaway came in well short of those expectations.

The difficulty is eight ranked boxers, including Fres Oquendo, Tony Thompson, Australian Lucas Browne, Christian Hammer and Chris Arreola, have already knocked back offers to fight Parker, and a standoff over purse size seems to leave Kali Meehan out of the picture for now.

"We're very confident of signing a big name and we'll be fighting [again] in a little over two months," Barry said.

"A bigger challenge is going to bring out the best in Joe. We've seen when we've put real challenges in front of him he's been able to produce his best fights.

"The [Frans] Botha fight was a big challenge for him at that stage. The [Brian] Minto fight was another big challenge.

"When he's had to dig deep against quality opponents, we've seen his best work. This next opponent we're looking to sign will bring the best of Joe."

Before securing his next opponent, Parker will spend three weeks sparring heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Florida. The towering Ukrainian (63-3) is set to put his four titles on the line against American Bryant Jennings (19-0) at Madison Square Garden in late April.

"I'm definitely looking forward to sparring against the champ," Parker said. "When you spar guy's better than you, you're always going to learn."

Barry downplayed a technically illegal incident that saw Parker tag Pettaway with the final punch when Pettaway was down on one knee. Pettaway's trainer was seen complaining after the fight was stopped.

"He completely dominated and outclassed him the whole fight," Barry said.

"The guy was down. Joe had him in a position where he didn't want to fight any more.

"It was as simple as that. Of course they were going to say something like that."

British heavyweights Dereck Chisora (20-5) and David Price (19-2) will also be worth approaching


Boxing: Joseph Parker closing in on world title shot

Joseph Parker's promoters believe their man is only six fights from a world title shot which could happen as early as March next year.

Parker's fight against American Jason Pettaway in Manukau tonight has been called "The Road to the Title", and Duco's Dean Lonergan was at pains to stress yesterday that it wasn't an empty promise.

The fact that the 23-year-old Parker, who tipped the scales at a powerful 106.7kg, will soon spar with Wladimir Klitschko suggests he really is about to go up in the world.

Klitschko, the champion of four of the five recognised organisations, has been hoping to spar with Parker for some time and, after the Parker camp has had to decline twice due to a clash of schedules, it seems the Ukrainian is finally about to get his wish.

Parker is ranked 9th in the WBA and 10th in the WBO, but the former organisation is in a state of flux, with Klitschko the "super champion" and Ruslan Chagaev the champion.

Currently, there is no mandatory challenger to Chagaev's title, with Bryant Jennings, Alexander Povetkin, Lucas Browne, Tyson Fury, Shannon Briggs, Mark De Mori, Fres Oquendo and Antonio Tarver all ahead of Parker on the rankings, but many - apart from the inactive Tarver - have busy schedules coming up which will affect their positions.

An example is the fact that Australian Browne has been "mandated" to fight Chagaev which means he has one month to cut a deal. Jennings, Povetkin and Fury also have designs on moving up and will be fighting higher or similar-ranked fighters. Losses will affect their standings, with Duco poised to capitalise.

The WBA appears the most realistic in terms of a title shot for Parker, with Chagaev a much less formidable presence than Klitschko.

Lonergan is also interested in making waves in the IBF organisation, in which Parker is not yet rated. Klitschko heads that one too, but there is no mandatory challenger. The second-ranked fighter is Vyacheslav Glazkov, a relatively small heavyweight whom Parker knows from fighting on his undercard in Pennsylvania last August. On that night at the Sands Casino, Glazkov struggled to put away journeyman Derric Rossy, so he would hold few fears for the rapidly improving Parker.

"What we're doing over the next six to 12 months is that we're selecting guys on this list," Lonergan said. "I'm in negotiations with two of those guys now, and I don't want to say who, for our next fight.

"If we get the right guys we will go straight to the top."

Parker's stunning knockout of Irineu Beato Costa Junior, who had never previously been stopped, has helped with not only his ranking but also his upward trajectory in the eyes of Duco. While it costs big money to challenge higher ranked fighters, Duco believe they are in a sound position to do so with a solid sponsorship base.

Lonergan is also in negotiations for a Parker fight in Samoa this year.

Tale of the tape

Joseph Parker
Age: 23.
Height: 1.93m.
Weight: 106.7kg.
Pro record: 12 wins (10 KOs), 0 losses.

Jason Pettaway
Age: 34.
Height: 1.90m.
Weight: 100.1kg.
Pro record: 17 wins (10 KOs), 1 loss.

- NZ Herald


Interview: Joseph Parker on his upcoming fight with Jason Pettaway

By Bryce Wilson

….his relationship with trainer Kevin Barry and his upcoming sparring with Wladimir Klitschko in April

The lobby of the Pullman Hotel, Joseph Parker’s home away from home when he is in Auckland preparing for a fight, is a lot busier than usual. Cricket World Cup fever has hit the country and New Zealand’s national team are also staying at the inner city hotel as they prepare for their upcoming grudge match against fierce rivals Australia. Only the day before Joseph and Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum have done a TV news piece, Parker and Coach Kevin Barry putting the cricketer through his paces in the boxing gym.

When we meet Joseph is downstairs hitting the mitts with Kevin, during which McCullum and several other teammates drift in to take a look at the action, emitting low whistles at the power and precision with which Joseph hits his heavily padded trainer.

Parker looks in prime shape and if there are any suspicions that he has taken the Pettaway fight easily then it certainly hasn’t transmitted into the telltale sign of a softer physique or expanding waistline. If anything with each camp he has now undertaken with Barry, Joseph continues to develop more definition and bulk as he fills out into his still growing frame. It is salient to remember that Parker is only 23, very young in heavyweight terms.

Before getting down to the business of training we sit down and catch up with Joseph to collect his thoughts on his fight with Pettaway as well as his upcoming sparring with session with Wladimir Klitschko in April.

ESB: How long have you been in camp for this fight?

JP: We’ve been in camp 7 weeks preparing for Pettaway.

ESB: As an opponent Pettaway is not really known or anywhere near as highly ranked as you. What are the dangers in taking this kind of fight?

JP: He has nothing to lose. If he beats me it will provide a big boost in his rankings. Kevin is always telling me it is this type of opponent that we must be careful not overlook.

ESB: Have you been able to look at any tape on him?

JP: Yes we’ve seen a few of his fights and put together a plan.

ESB: It would seem unlikely that he will look stand toe-to-toe with you, he will most probably give you a lot of movement, I assume you have run a lot of drills in sparring to counter this?

JP: Yeah definitely. In certain sessions we’ve had Izu (Joseph’s stable mate) moving around a lot in order for me to improve My skills and footwork in cutting off the ring and closing the distance better.

ESB: It’s now been 2 years training with Kevin (Barry.) How has the relationship changed or developed?

JP: The chemistry was always good from the beginning and has just improved. Kevin always said to me ‘give me 2 years with me and you’ll see the changes.’ Well it’s been 2 years and I’ve certainly noticed the changes. I’ve become a lot stronger and my power has really improved.

ESB: How have you coped living in Las Vegas being so far away from friends and family?

JP: It was certainly difficult at the beginning but now I have a second family in Vegas with Kevin and Tania and I actually look forward to going back as it is a lot quieter which allows me to concentrate on work.

ESB: Congratulations on recently entering the WBO’s top 10. I know you also have a big assignment after the Pettaway fight which is to go to Florida to spar with the king of the division Wladimir Klitschko. How long will you be in camp with him?

JP: Three weeks I believe.

ESB: You know Wlad has kind of a reputation for going pretty hard at his sparring partners, how are you approaching the sparring with him?

JP: Well of course you have to show him respect because he is the champion, but you also have to be careful not to give him too much respect or else he is going to walk straight over you. It will be interesting for us to get an indication of where we are at and to test ourselves against the very best. I’m looking forward to it.

At this point it is time for Joe and Kevin to get back to going through their drills and hitting the mitts as they put the finishing touches on a camp that they have both expressed as their best to date.

On an interesting side note what of Brendon McCullum, the Kiwi cricket captain who stood there watching in awe as the big men cracked the pads? Only hours later he marched out onto Eden Park, New Zealand’s biggest stadium, to face an array of Australian bowlers firing 100 mile per hour five ounce bullets dressed up as a cricket ball at him before promptly getting smashed just under the elbow, his forearm immediately blowing with a gargantuan haematoma. He shook it off offering the opposition only a smile reminding me of the instincts of a fighter knocked down by a punch only to quickly arise from the canvas ready to engage and showing no pain. That’s what separates top sportsmen from the rest, the ability to sustain punishment and quickly retaliate.

Parker has already encountered a few of those moments in his young career, a nasty cut from a head butt fighting King Afa Tatupu and an equilibrium altering burst eardrum against Marcelo Nascimento, where he chartered those rocky waters to score knockout victories. Although you sense looking at the way Parker has prepared for this fight he is no such mood to face a similar predicament come Thursday night.

Look for Parker to put away Pettaway, clinically and ruthlessly, as the young apprentice prepares to go and sit what I’m sure will be an interesting and taxing exam at the hands of Doctor Klitschko this coming April.

Joseph Parker (12-0, 10 KO’s) fights Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KO’s) on Thursday March 5th at Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand .


Video: Joseph Parker focused on Pettaway - full interview
Joseph Parker has rubbish talk from his opponent Jason Pettaway that he is overlooking their fight and focusing on the future.

Parker is scheduled to spar with world champion Wladimir Klitschko next month and has hopes of fighting Kali Meehan, but the 23-year-old insists he isn't looking past tomorrow night's bout.

"I'm definitely talking Jason seriously," said Parker.

"With every fight that I have I treat it like fighting a world champ, the fighter you look past is going to be the one that gets you.

"There is the Klitschko thing and other fights out there, but I'm just focused on tomorrow night's fight."

Pettaway says he is determined to be more than just a marker stone in Parker's journey.

"They're looking kind of past me I think, about sparring [Wladimir] Klitschko and whatnot," he said.

"I'm coming here to fight. They're going to see that on Thursday, it's not going to be that easy."

Watch the full video interview with Joseph Parker

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Parker To Continue To Rise Up The HeavyweightRanks

By Eugene Carnachan

March 5th, Auckland, New Zealand rising heavyweight Joseph Parker goes head to head with once beaten American Jason Pettaway.

Pettaway 17-1-0 sports a handy resume, however on closer inspection only five of the opponents he’s faced to date have positive win-loss records.

In 2012 Pettaway took a big step up in fighting than undefeated Russian Magomed Abdusalamov. Early on Pettaway had moments, using his right hand to counter the aggressive southpaw. Unfortunately for Pettaway he didn’t have the power to win the respect of Abdusalamov, the Russian walking him down before stopping him by way of TKO in the 4th round.

Pettaway isn’t recognized by any of the four major sanctioning bodies – WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF – conversely Parker is ranked 10th in the WBA, and 9th in the WBO.

Pettaway today pronounced himself so confident of a win against Parker he was planning to bet $1000 on himself to win.

Parker at 1.92 cm is a smidgeon taller than the 190 cm Pettway, Pettaway at 34 years of age is 11 years older than his South Auckland raised opponent. Parker appears to possess the naturally bigger frame of the two men, and as per usual is in great shape.
Pettaway describes himself as ‘boxer, mover’, and this provides the opportunity for further development in Parkers all round skill set in learning how to deal with defensively minded fighters.

Parker as a boxer has outstanding base tools, a naturally powerful athlete with good hand- eye, a voracious work ethic and fast hands (perhaps some of the fastest in the heavyweight division). Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry is working hard with his fighter to frame both his character traits and physical tools into a complete boxing package.

Parker’s development under Barry’s tutelage was evidenced in his last fight against Irineu Beato Costa Junior. Parker displayed a growing shot selection and sharp accuracy in working Costa Juniors body with some hellacious shots before going upstairs. In the 4th round Parker stopped Costa Junior for the first time in the Brazilians career, knocking him out with a highlight reel right hand in serving up one of the most explosive stoppages of 2014.

Against Pettaway expect to see Parker cut off the ring to nullify Pettaway’s movement, using his jab to soften him up in finding the range for his right hand. When he starts catching Pettaway consistently that will be an ominous harbinger for the American.

Parker has far too much artillery at his disposal for Pettaway to be able to keep him off for sustained periods of time, and even the added incentive of betting $1000 on himself that would reap a healthy return that will not be enough to offset the size, power and speed advantage Parker will bring into the bout.

Expect a Parker stoppage before the 6th round, and for him to continue his development, and ascendancy to the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.


Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker willing to fight Kali Meehan - if the price is right

LIAM NAPIER


If the price is right, Kevin Barry is keen for Joseph Parker to fight Kali Meehan this year. Trouble is the Parker and Meehan camps appear poles apart about a fair and reasonable purse. In far more respectful tones than adopted earlier by Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan, Barry suggested a Meehan fight made sense for Parker, but only if a reasonable payday could be agreed. "Kali Meehan has been a great fighter over the years and I don't think he's had the respect he deserves," Barry said. "Kali is a big, strong, durable fighter. It would be fair to say his best fights are behind him.

"After his last performance, beating Shane Cameron, I think it's a good fight for Joe.

"Kali is a good puncher. He has a sneaky right hand, but I don't think he can match Joe for hand speed."

The convoluted boxing world is no more evident than in this instance.

The Parker camp say Meehan requested a $400,000 purse for what would probably be the 44-year-old's final chapter. Meehan's manager, Adam Watt, says they wouldn't consider any offer under $100,000 - unless Duco were prepared to provide an even split of pay-per-view revenue. And it's understood Duco made an initial approach for around $65,000.

"The upside is all for Kali. It's a fight that can only be made if he's going to be realistic as far as purse is concerned," Barry said. "I've been told all sorts of ridiculous numbers - that he wanted $400,000 to fight Joe.

"As long as his team keep asking for those sorts of numbers the fight will never happen, but it's a fight we would take in a heartbeat. It could be our next fight.

"If they want to come in with a sensible number we can make the fight. These are fights Joe develops, grows and learns a lot from. That's why I'd seriously look at Kali." As usual, Parker is the man in the middle. For now his focus is knocking out Jason Pettaway tomorrow night in Auckland. "I have a lot of respect for Kali and what he's done for the sport," Parker said. "He beat Shane Cameron and if Duco decide, with myself and Kevin, that it's the right fight, we'll definitely sit down and work it out." Watt said yesterday that Meehan was happy to fight an exhibition bout and allow Parker to retain his ranking, no matter what the result. "Kali is saying I'm ready to pass it on but you've got to be good enough to take it from me. It's a great fight for everyone," Watt said.
"Joseph owes it to himself to fight Kali.

"If he doesn't want to take the gift of respect we're giving him, so be it. If he wants to duck and weave and build a ranking, go for gold. You can bring out all the Jason Pettaways you want. It doesn't help you when you're in against a serious guy. "We definitely want the fight, but anything under $100,000 we won't even look at."

Watt was left fuming after Lonergan claimed last week Meehan offered Parker "nothing". He subsequently sent Lonergan a fiery email which challenged him to "put his money where his mouth is".

"When referencing Kali Meehan you must understand that you are not promoting a celebrity contest. Nor are you dealing with the kind of slobs which have recently been promoted as contenders, under the banner of boxing," Watt said in his email.

"Provide your fighter, if you dare, an opportunity to gain what no ranking will ever offer - respect."

 - Stuff.co.nz


Parker, Pettaway ready for March 5th clash

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photos: Dave Cameron


WBA#10, WBO#12 heavyweight Joseph Parker (12-0, 10KOs) will clash with Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10KOs) on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry was confident this bout will be a learning fight for his charge and does not underestimate the importation.

“As we continue to step up there’s going to be much tougher fights out there for us,” Barry admitted. “This sort of opponent (Pettaway). I want to try and keep the momentum going from his performance in December. I don’t want to lose that momentum and if that means Joe has to throw 75 punches in the first round then that’s what he’ll do. If Joe can go out there and put his combinations together there’s not too many fighters that are going to stand up for the full distance with him. I’m confident in his skill and his power.

It’s taken us two years but he’s showing me things at the moment that make me very optimistic as a trainer that we’ve got some much bigger and better things to look forward to in the future.”

Parker was ready to fight to a plan devised by Barry

“We were comfortable executing that fight plan against Costa. The amount of punches I threw, I was still fit and strong and ready to go more rounds,” Parker said. I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t come out fit and strong when I’m feeling the same. We see a chance to be dominant with this fight. You can’t follow the same plan with every fight but what we’ve seen from Jason we know we can dominant from the beginning. That’s the plan Kevin has given me.”

This, the first of five scheduled fights for Parker in 2015, will also be his last over 10 rounds. It will probably be my last 10-round fight then we will move up to 12 rounds. There is a bit of a difference but I’m confident of making the step up.”


VIDEO:Joseph Parker won't get an 'easy' fight – Jason Pettaway

(Please click link above to watch video)

Joseph Parker's set to come out swinging in Thursday night's heavyweight clash with Jason Pettaway. Pettaway says he is determined to be more than just a marker stone in Parker's journey. "They're looking kind of past me I think, about sparring [Wladimir] Klitschko and whatnot," he says. "I'm coming here to fight. They're going to see that on Thursday, it's not going to be that easy." The 34-year-old American has been sparring cruiserweights to get used to Parker's hand speed. He wouldn't give away his fight plan, though Parker was more forthcoming. "He definitely loves to keep his hands up high and the plan is to come down to the body wear him down, and then look for the shot that counts," says Parker. Parker easily dispatched Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior in December, and trainer Kevin Barry wants him to be just as aggressive. "I'm going to put the foot down on [Parker] on this fight," he says. "[He is] going to come out letting his hands go from the first bell."

But Barry refused to predict an early knockout, saying Pettaway won't be such an easy target. "We've done a series of things in training to counteract the movement that I believe Pettaway will give us as soon as [Parker] hits him." Pettaway has a 17-1 record with 10 knockouts.

3 News


VIDEO:Joseph Parker changing tactics for latest bout

(Please click link above to watch video)


New Zealand's top boxing prospect Joseph Parker is bracing himself for a different challenge in his next bout in Auckland on Thursday night. The Kiwi goes up against an American heavyweight who describes it as the most important bout of his career. Jason Pettaway is a counter puncher who uses the ring and he reckons he knows Parker's weaknesses and intends to exploit them. "Career-wise it's the most important. It's actually the biggest opportunity as well cos a win like this could really catapult me up the ranking and do a lot for me," said Pettaway. Parker needs no reminding that Pettaway has come to Auckland to fight. "He's motivated. You can tell he's been training hard. "He's lost a bit of weight so of course he's motivated, a lot of people are trying to get our rankings and it's what is motivating me as well." The 22-year-old has been working on ways to counter the American's particular style, which means attacking from the bell.


VIDEO:Full interview: Parker previews Pettaway fight

(Please click link above to watch video)

Joseph Parker says he can't wait to get back in the ring for his first fight of 2015 against Jason Pettaway at the Manukau Events Centre. The March 5 bout will give Parker a challenge he has never faced before in his professional boxing career. "I haven't fought someone with the same hand speed, or of similar hand speed," Parker said of Pettaway. "That's why we picked him as an opponent for the new challenges he brings to the ring." The 22-year-old will also be tested by the Pettaway's movement around the ring and says he'll have to be wary when chasing his opponent. "I think with [Pettaway] and the combinations of punches he throws out, I'll have to be able to move around more, head movement, being able to duck, and just being more elusive."

"With the other fighters I was doing a lot of the movement."Parker is planning to have five fights this year and will also spar with world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Austria in April as the Ukrainian prepares for his next title bout.

3 News



Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker targets early stoppage against American Jason Pettaway

LIAM NAPIER


Expect another early stoppage from Joseph Parker on Thursday night. There was no thought given to concealing Parker's fight plan for Jason Pettaway. Kevin Barry made intentions clear today by stating Parker would again "let his hands go" from the opening bell – just as he did in devastating fashion against Irineu Costa Junior last December. That emphatic fourth round knockout sent waves around the world and Barry is keen to continue grabbing international attention. Before turning pro, Pettaway had 136 amateur fights and, with a respectable 17-1 record, should harness better defensive tactics than the lumbering Costa Junior, but few are predicting the American will last the distance with Parker.

"As we continue to step up there's going to be much tougher fights out there for us," Barry admitted. "This sort of opponent I want to try and keep the momentum going from his performance in December. "I don't want to lose that momentum and if that means Joe has to throw 75 punches in the first round then that's what he'll do. "If Joe can go out there and put his combinations together there's not too many fighters that are going to stand up for the full distance with him. "I'm confident in his skill and his power. "It's taken us two years but he's showing me things at the moment that make me very optimistic as a trainer that we've got some much bigger and better things to look forward to in the future."

Read between the lines and Pettaway is, clearly, another stepping stone on the long road to heavyweight glory. After another solid six week camp, which included 58 rounds sparring in Las Vegas alongside Polish training partner Izuagbe Ugonoh, Parker is also supremely confident of stopping Pettaway.
Letting the hands and combinations flow from the outset won't always be attainable. More testing opponents will require Parker to sit behind his jab and devise different attacking strategies. Not this time, though. "We were comfortable executing that fight plan against Costa. The amount of punches I threw, I was still fit and strong and ready to go more rounds," Parker said. "I don't see any reason why I shouldn't come out fit and strong when I'm feeling the same. "We see a chance to be dominant with this fight. You can't follow the same plan with every fight but what we've seen from Jason we know we can dominant from the beginning. That's the plan Kevin has given me." This, the first of five scheduled fights for Parker in 2015, will also be his last over 10 rounds. "It will probably be my last 10-round fight then we will move up to 12 rounds. There is a bit of a difference but I'm confident of making the step up."

 - Stuff


Video: McCullum, Parker jump in boxing ring - full interviews
(Please click link above to watch video)


Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum took his mind off tomorrow's highly-anticipated clash with Australia by jumping in the ring with a boxer who has never lost a professional fight. McCullum held a sparring session with Kiwi fighter Joseph Parker, who was more worried about himself than injuring the Black Caps opening batsman.  "I was nervous cause he might have knocked me out, I would have looked bad," said Parker, who has a professional record of 12-0. "We just took it easy and were having a bit of fun." Parker's coach Kevin Barry rated McCullum's technique in the ring.

"He has very good coordination and I think he has nice little selection of punches," said Barry."I made a few small minor adjustments with him and being the athlete that he is he picked it up immediately."
3 News



VIDEO:Black Caps captain switched his batting gloves for Boxing ones (1:58)
Brendon McCullum got in the ring with Kiwi boxing star Joseph Parker ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup showdown.

(Please click link above to watch video)


Joseph Parker talks upcoming fight, Lucas Browne and Klitschko v Jennings

NewZealander Joseph Parker is hoping to continue his rapid progress on March 5th as the up and coming heavyweight tackles American Jason Pettaway at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau City.



Fighting in his home country for the third time in a row following a successful trip to the US last August, Parker will be aiming to notch his 13 straight win since turning professional in July 2012 on the back of success as an amateur.

Opponent Pettaway has lost just once in 17 bouts against Russian brute Magomed Abdusalamov almost three years ago and Parker is weary of the challenge that the veteran New Yorker will bring to the table when they clash next month.

"Pettaway is a good boxer and was a good amateur. He is very experienced and likes to move a lot to get his counter punches off," Parker told World Boxing News.

"It's another fight for me as I still have a lot to learn and Kevin (Barry, trainer) is improving my skills all the time. I need to focus on each and every opponent and keep winning and in doing so I will be fighting better guys that I hope one day will lead me to a world title fight.

Asked when he believes he may be ready for that title shot, Parker added: "I don't set a time for that. I will follow the path that my promotional team and trainer Kevin Barry set for me. I am ranked in the top 10 with the WBA and the WBO, so I'm hoping to be ranked soon by the WBC and IBF also."

A lucrative bout with unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko is what most of the top rated heavyweights clamour for and Parker is no different, although the 23 year-old is aware that there are plenty more steps to take in order to earn his spot as the number one contender.

"Wladimir is at the top of his game and is the best heavyweight of the last decade," he said. "Klitschko is a big man who uses his height and reach to his advantage. He knows his strengths and knows how to use them.

"Next he faces Bryant Jennings who is a tough, very well-conditioned fighter, but he has never seen competition like Klitschko and I feel that the size factor will be too much for him. At the moment, I don't think anybody beats Klitschko, but as we know it only takes one punch to dethrone a champion as it's hard to fight a perfect disciplined fight every time."

Parker's record is an impressive one, boasting 10 stoppages in his 12 outings, eight of which came in the first four rounds. Having enjoyed plenty of activity over the past twelve months, the promising star is hoping to replicated that again in 2015 and potentially move towards a massive fight with Aussie rival Lucas Browne.

Unbeaten Browne, who has stopped 19 of 22 under the tutelage of UK star Ricky Hatton, has just been made the WBA mandatory challenger and Parker would be open to a massive New Zealand v Australia battle in the future.

"I would love to fight Lucas at some stage," confirmed Parker. "We are both flying the Australasian flag. Lucas and his team have done a great job moving him through the rankings and all credit to them.

"A fight against Lucas would have great Trans-Tasman appeal for the people of New Zealand and Australia, especially if we both keep winning and remain undefeated.

"I just want to stay active again as I fought five times in 2014 and I'm hoping to do the same this year as I need the experience under my belt.

"Before I go, I would like to thank all my supporters who motivate and inspire me to be the best that I can be. I have had a great training camp and one of my personal goals is to show more and be better every time that I fight," he added.


PHOTO GALLERY(VIEW)

Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum put down the bat and picked up his boxing gloves to spar at a gym in East Tamaki with heavyweight champ Joseph Parker.


Boxing: Parker finds added motivation before coming home

Las Vegas-based New Zealander Joseph Parker has found inspiration at the grave of former undisputed heavyweight champion Sonny Liston on the eve of flying home to face Jason Pettaway in Auckland next week. Even today, 44 years after his death, Liston remains one of the biggest names in heavyweight boxing through his two bouts with Muhammad Ali. The gloves they wore in their controversial 1965 rematch sold in a New York auction during the weekend for more than $1million dollars. The iconic photo by Sports Illustrated's Neil Leifer from that fight is still widely considered the greatest sports image of the 20th Century.

Today, Liston's final resting place is directly under the flight path of Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport. "His grave is real simple," Parker said. "It gives me inspiration and it's very humbling to see the type of area he's buried in." Liston ruled the world in the early 1960s with a fearsome reputation and 44 years after his death is still ranked the seventh greatest heavyweight by boxing bible, Ring Magazine. "Everyone was afraid to fight him. They all thought that no one could beat him," Parker said. "That was until a young Cassius Clay came along.

"No one gave Cassius Clay a chance... everyone thought he (Liston) was unbeatable and he was 7/1 favourite and Cassius Clay came and beat him which shocked everyone." Jason Pettaway, a rank outsider, is paying $6 to beat Joseph Parker ($1.10) on Thursday, March 5. The grave visit was a reminder to Parker that favourites can slip up and one mistake against the man dubbed 'The Technician' could dramatically set his career back. Pettaway will enter the ring in Manukau with the best professional record of any of Parker's previous 12 opponents. The Technician has a 17-1 pro record and, as an amateur, was a two-time American Golden Gloves champion, fighting 136 times. By contrast, Parker, 23, had just 66 amateur fights before turning professional in 2012 where his record stands at 12-0.
NZME.

- NZ Herald



Boxing: Joseph Parker comes to terms with 'weird'

Joseph Parker says he’s heading in the right direction for his dream — but it’s often a bit strange


These are exciting times for Joseph Parker. He has high-profile friends — All Blacks and Warriors are among his 17,600 Twitter followers and he regularly receives welcome messages of support from the likes of Jerome Kaino, Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam and Manu Vatuvei.

He travels easily between Las Vegas and Auckland, both home to him now. The 23-year-old is as comfortable in the world of sponsorship and self promotion as he is in the ring.

And he also treats the increasing numbers of hangers-on, a disparate group attracted to the brutality and glamour of boxing like no other sport, with politeness and respect. For him it is the way he was brought up.

If he is in any danger of getting ahead of himself his core group of five mates can easily take him down a peg or two — them or mum Sala or dad Dempsey, his parents living in the same Mangere East home he grew up in, where they've lived in for 28 years.

"It feels weird," Parker says of the attention he gets in the street or after his fights. He has won all 12 of his professional bouts and gets in the ring again on home territory next Thursday when he takes on American Jason Pettaway in a fight in Manukau sponsored by Burger King.

"Fame, I guess you could call it that, or being popular, that never crosses my mind. People ask for autographs and I wonder why before realising, 'oh that's right, I'm doing well in boxing'.[Parker knocked out Irineu Beato Costa Junior during the Fight for Life at Claudelands Event Centre on Dec 6 last year in Hamilton. Photo / Getty Images]
Parker knocked out Irineu Beato Costa Junior during the Fight for Life at Claudelands Event Centre on Dec 6 last year in Hamilton. Photo / Getty Images

"I have the same boys now that I had in the beginning when I wasn't doing well, when I wasn't famous.

"We know who is trying to hang on and trying to get into the picture now. I know and my team know the people who were there in the beginning. Knowing that is important."

Parker's younger brother, John, is one of the five. The others are Jarom Fitisemanu, Ravi Kumar, George Taukolo and Pieter T, all young men he has known from his days growing up in South Auckland, and all, he says, doing well in their own way.

Parker is clearly doing well. He has fulfilled his dream of wanting to provide for himself, as well as his parents. They still work but Parker is helping with their mortgage. Financially, he considers himself "doing well. I'm happy with where I'm at".

He is satisfied, yet driven to succeed. He is relaxed outside the ring but an intense and precise figure inside it — for proof look up his last fight in Hamilton in December, a brutal fourth-round knockout of Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior.

A physically powerful but genial figure who smiles easily, Parker is rarely flustered.

"Things that usually piss people off don't really piss me off," he says. "Things happen. You just have to accept it and move on. I get that from my dad. He's a real chilled character."

Cool all the time, it seems, apart from when the red mist descended in his fight against Samoan Afa Tatupu two years ago. "That was a fight when I got a little ticked off. Everyone said I couldn't take a punch and all that, so when he hit me I was like, 'I'm going to come back and give it to you'.

"I got a big lesson from that ... I just learned that you can't lose it in the ring. I felt more tired in that fight than in other fights because I just lost the plot."[American boxer Jason Pettaway. Photo / Andrew Warner]
American boxer Jason Pettaway. Photo / Andrew Warner

That's why his regime before each fight is the same, why he wants his dressing room to be a fun place.

"When you're in the ring you're ready to do your thing, but in a relaxed state."

Parker adds of his dream: "When I was growing up I always wanted to do well in boxing, I wanted to look after my parents and I wanted to look after myself. My goal always was 'Man, one day I want to fight for the world title'.

"Living in Vegas, I never thought that would happen. I never thought I would be ranked in the world.

"But my goal was always to fight for the heavyweight title, to make New Zealand and Samoa proud.

"Even though I'm ranked 9 and 10 in the WBO and WBA, it's still a long way off, but I'm heading in the right direction."





Kiwi heavyweight Kali Meehan keen on fight with domestic rival Joseph Parker

LIAM NAPIER


Rejuvenated heavyweight Kali Meehan wants to fight Joseph Parker this year but an agreement over the purse size could prove difficult. As manoeuvres begin behind the scenes to make the fight, Parker's handlers are publicly taking a lukewarm attitude. But the Stuff.co.nz understands Parker's Australian-based matchmaker, Stuart Duncan, approached Meehan last week, and discussions are on-going. A Fight between the two biggest active names in the New Zealand heavyweight ranks would generate significant local interest, much more so than Parker's opponent on Thursday, American Jason Pettaway.

Meehan, who many believe was dudded in a split decision loss against Lamon Brewster for the WBO crown in 2004, re-established his standing after claiming the inaugural Super8 and ending Shane Cameron's career. At 44, he is past his prime but his experience and power would challenge Parker.
Meehan's value is his height – three centimetres taller than Parker at 1.96m – and WBA Pan African belt, formerly held by Cameron, David Tua and Alexander Ustinov. "It makes sense that we fight," Meehan said of a fight with Parker. "That's the fight the New Zealand public want and deserves to see. They deserve to see the best fights. We've got a paying public to look after.

"He's young, strong and he hasn't lost yet. A fighter who hasn't lost hasn't learnt how to lose. He knows how to box and has good people guiding him so it will be a hard fight.

"When my fighting career is all over I'd like to say I fought everyone in my time that was the best. I've been round the top of the Pacific area for the past 10 years. Now Joe is coming up – the fans like those sort of fights. In a way I owe it to the boxing public. I've never dodged anybody." After 12 undefeated fights, Parker is ranked ninth with the WBO and 10th in the WBA. His focus is clear – to continue charting the respective organisations with a view to an eventual title shot.  Attracting opponents will only become more difficult, though, with eight ranked fighters, including Fres Oquendo, Tony Thompson, Lucas Browne, Christian Hammer and Chris Arreola, understood to have rejected offers recently. Meehan seems a ready-made headline opponent, offering the chance to increase Parker's credibility and appeal.  

"Kali offers us nothing," Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan claimed. "If we knock out Kai Meehan we're not going to move up any rankings as a result. Joe Parker will knock him out in round three rounds. "Our goal is to have Joe in the top two or three within in the next year. To do that we've got to fight ranked guys." Money is a sticking point. Meehan is thought to have banked between $100,000 and $150,000 for his fight with Cameron – a price tag Duco balk at. The fight would also need rival boxing companies, Sky Arena and Duco, to work together. It is understood Duco want Meehan to fight Parker for around $65,000. 

Despite Lonergan's denials, two independent sources confirmed Duco and Meehan were discussing a Parker fight, possibly for the end of the year.  

"Kali Meehan has massively distorted expectations on purse. Last time around he got paid an exorbitant amount of money to fight Shane Cameron," Lonergan said.

"If Kali Meehan wants to get knocked out in three rounds and he does it for a reasonable price we'll have a serious think about it. You never say never but when Kai Meehan brings something to the table we'll say yes. At the moment I'm not seeing anything."

Meehan's manager, Adam Watt, indicated his charge could fight Parker and then Tua, provided he gets in shape, this year.

"We have a contract to fight David Tua at the end of the year," Watt revealed. "That's the ultimate goal but we've been reached out to by Duco to fight Parker. They are calling us for the fight and we are interested." 

 - Sunday Star Times


World rated Parker departs Las Vegas for Auckland
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photos: Team Parker

WBO #9, WBA #10 heavyweight Joseph Parker (12-0, 10 KOs) will clash with American Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KOs) over twelve rounds at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand on March 5. Parker has been training with former 1984 Olympic silver medalist Kevin Barry at his Las Vegas gym. “We break camp tomorrow (February 23) and head to New Zealand,” Barry told Fightnews.com. “Joseph has trained for the past six weeks here in Las Vegas. We will do our finishing work and tapering off over the next 8 days in Auckland. It’s been an excellent camp. Joe is looking Very powerful in sparring and has worked on his explosiveness in training and on developing new options for his second phase of attack.

“Pettaway is an experienced fighter with a good amateur pedigree and has solid fundamental skills. His footwork and movement is why we chose him as an opponent for Joe. "I want different styles in front of Joe every time we fight. This I believe will make him a more complete fighter.” The 23-year-old Parker stands 6’4 and was born and resides in Auckland, New Zealand. He is the youngest rated top ten heavyweight. Parker coming off a four round knockout over Irineu Beato Costa Junior in December 2014. The 34-year-old Pettaway also stands 6’4 and was born and resides in Huntington, West Virginia. He is coming off a TKO win in round one over Brandon Winner in August 2014. Pettaway suffered his only loss to Magomed Abdusalamov in 2012 being stopped in four rounds.


New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker up to No 9 in WBO rankings

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE


Top New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker has been given a timely boost in the world rankings ahead of his next bout, breaking inside the top 10 with the respected WBO organisation. Parker has jumped three places to No 9 on the WBO's latest rankings, a significant move to start a year where his handlers hope to manoeuvre him towards a world title shot. Parker's No 10 ranking with the WBA has remained stable in the February adjustments. The challenge for Parker's management is to get him into the frames of the WBC and IBF where he doesn't feature in either organisation's top 15.

They need to start targeting fighters in those organisations to spread Parker's value and make him irresistible among the leading title contenders in a division that still sees Wladimir Klitschko holding three of the belts and American Deontay Wilder in charge at the WBC after beating Haitian-born Canadian Bermane Stiverne by unanimous decision last month. Parker's next fight is against unheralded American Jason Pettaway in Manukau on March 5. The 23-year-old is coming off the best knockout of his career, a fourth-round demolition of Brazil's Irineu Beato Costa Jnr in Hamilton last December. American Pettaway brings a 17-win, one-loss record to New Zealand.

Getting a line on Pettaway's ranking is difficult. The best indicator comes via the BoxRec website that publishes independent rankings. They have Parker handily placed at No 24 with Pettaway a long way down the order at No 152 on the back of four wins last year. Other heavyweights with Kiwi connections inside the top 100 of the BoxRec rankings are Kali Meehan at No 30 and Sonny Bill Williams, who has lifted to No 99 after beating American Chauncy Welliver last month.

 - Stuff.co.nz


Video: Barry backs Parker to last 12 rounds

(Please click link above to watch video)


New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker will fight his last 10-round bout when he takes on American Jason Pettaway in Las Vegas next month. A gruelling regime has Parker's trainer Kevin Barry convinced the 23-year-old can now last the full 12 rounds of a true heavyweight bout.
"[Parker] is starting to be at the top of his game, he's improving every fight and I think this fight coming up, Joseph will take his boxing up to another level," Barry said. Pettaway has a record of 18 fights with 17 wins, 10 by knockout, and one loss, although the 34-year-old has never fought outside the United States.

3 News


Joseph Parker Q & A
By Eugene Carnachan


WBA (10) and WBO (11) ranked heavyweight Joseph Parker (12-0-0) is training for his next fight with American heavyweight Jason Pettaway (17-1-0). Parker takes time out of his training schedule to talk to us about his career to date, while also offering his thoughts on joining the Wladimir Klitschko camp later this year as a sparring partner for the man regarded as the best heavyweight on the planet.

Joe what’s the plan for you in 2015?

Looking forward to getting back in the ring after a good year last year and fighting someone with a different style.

What do you think Pettaway will bring on fight night?

He’s a mover, not a brawler, not a come at you guy. I had a bit of trouble fighting Nascimento (Marcelo Luiz Nascimento) in Germany last year because I wasn’t used to fighting anyone that moves around the ring as much as he did. I’ll be working with Kev on how to deal with his movement, cutting of the ring, stuff like that.

You’ve had two years with your coach (Kevin Barry), how do you see your evolution as a fighter?

I see myself as a fighter that’s improving all the time, I put that down to hard work. Kev is big on teaching the fundamentals. Kev said in our first training camp give me two years with you and you’ll see the development, and I have.

From your first fight to now?

When I compare myself to my first professional fight there’s a big difference, when I look at my first fight I say man is that me! I’m doing the basics a lot better now, sitting on my punches, learning to control and set things up with my jab.

How is life in Las Vegas for you?

Life is good, I live with Kevin and his family, Kev’s wife Tanya cooks for us and all our team does is eat, sleep and train, everything we’re doing is focused around preparing ourselves to be the best we can. I’m always happy to return back to New Zealand knowing that I’ve prepared well, sparred well, eaten right, my mentality is right.

How do you deal with the rigours of training?

Sleep (he laughs), it’s a bit of a hard life sometimes, you miss home, you miss your friends, but if you have goals and you want to achieve your goals this is the place to be and these are the sacrifices you have to make if you want to pursue your dream.

Worth it?

For sure, I’m blessed.

In your wildest dreams did you see yourself here in Vegas fighting professionally?

Very lucky to have been introduced to the right people, Duco (his promoters), Kev and his family, they treat me like one of their own. I like to work hard to repay the faith they have in me.

I hear you’ve been sparring Bermane Stiverne here in Vegas?

Yeah that’s right, Bermane is a very gifted fighter, big, strong and smart, he makes his punches count, a great experience sparring someone like him, a guy that was heavyweight champion of the world, really good learning experience sparring Bermane.

You’re going into Wladimir Klitschko‘s training camp as a sparring partner for his next fight with Bryant Jennings, how does that make you feel?  

Exciting, a young boy like me, 23 years old, I watched these guys when I was growing up. I met Wladimir Klitschko last year and I was sort of star struck, I said hey Klitschko nice to meet you, thank you for giving me the invitation to come into your camp. Seeing how the champ prepares is going to be a very good experience for me.

What mentality do you take into that camp?

I won’t be considering myself as just a sparring partner for the champ, for me I feel I have the potential to keep getting better and being able to mix it with the top guys, so going into his training camp my mentality is to give the champ the best I have, and show him I’m not just a sparring partner, that I do have good skills, good technique and I want to be able to provide good quality work for the Champ.

What have you heard about being in camp with the champ?

I heard that Wladimir challenges and goes hard on his sparring partner‘s but I’m going to be prepared the best I can be and in good shape when I am there, so that I can help Wlad prepare for his next challenge and in doing so help myself improve my skill set in working with the best heavyweight in boxing.

Joe there is a lot of talk on boxing forums, articles by journalists framing you and Anthony Joshua as the future of the heavyweight division. Your thoughts on that?

Yeah, there’s all this hype around me and Anthony Joshua, but there’s other guys out there, Andy (Andy Ruiz), he’s a really good fighter. Me and Anthony we’re developing, at the early stages of trying to build our careers up and while everyone’s trying to hype it up we are both building our own paths, but somewhere down the track if our careers cross I’d love to fight him. We both need to continue developing and continue winning.

After each fight who is the first person you look for?

My dad, he loves the sport and as a young kid he’d help me with my training, every time I’m in the ring I’m fighting for me and him. Every time I finish a fight I’m looking for my dad in the crowd so we can celebrate together.

The dream fight for you?

Kevin Barry (tongue in cheek). I’ll fight anyone my promoters (Duco) and trainer Kevin Barry put in front of me.

A message for boxing fans?

I am really thankful for the love and support messages that everyone sends me. Sometimes when you’re in camp and you’re feeling a bit tired and you get the messages of support it gives me that drive and inspiration to just keep pushing on. It makes me work harder to be the very best I can be.


Q&A: Trainer Kevin Barry
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing


Respected Las Vegas boxing trainer Kevin Barry talks to Fightnews about WBA #10, WBO #11 heavyweight Joseph Parker, who he has trained to world class level. Barry also trained David Tua when he scored his greatest victories and makes a comparison between the two outstanding heavyweights from Samoan parents. Barry also talks on Parker’s victories over Frans Botha, Brian Minto, Sherman Williams and Inneu Beato Costa Jr.

You are the trainer of WBA #10 Joseph Parker. When did you become his trainer?

I began training Joe Parker in April of 2013. We have now had eight fights together

Parker has had impressive victories over Frans Botha, Brian Minto, Sherman Williams and Inneu Beato Costa Junior Can you tell me which was his best performance?

Each of the named opponents provided quality tests for the young Joe Parker. Fighting the experienced Botha in only his sixth fight and only the first time past six rounds was a huge achievement both physically and mentally. Then making the step up in power and performance and ko’ing Botha in 2 rounds was a performance that set the stage for the things that were to come. Also showing his ability to handle the pressure on a big stage was huge. The Minto fight was significant in that Minto had destroyed Shane Cameron and had based himself in NZ for over 5 weeks preparing to fight Joe. Joe needed to show that he could be disciplined and follow a game plan to completely cancel out the weapons that Minto brought to this challenge. This performance was his best to that date as he broke Minto down in mature and disciplined fashion, completely shutting him out before over powering him in seven rounds. Williams brought durability and the occasional dangerous overhand right. Joe put on a clinic in this fight. Staying focused and relaxed and winning every round. The Beato Costa Jr fight was a showcase of how far Joe’s skills and power have developed over the past 2 years. This was his last fight and his best overall performance. Displaying a tremendous body attack, a big work rate and real heavyweight power. Joe showed all his skills and knocked cold the previously very tough and durable Brazilian with a single right hand.

Parker will be in action against American Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KOs) on March 5th in New Zealand. Pettaway has a good record. Are you expecting a tough fight?

In Jason Pettaway, I’m expecting a different style of opponent than what Joseph has been fighting. Pettaway has an accomplished amateur pedigree and will bring a lot of movement into his fight against Joe. It has been very important for me in the development of Joe that we challenge him with different styles and work on different game plan strategies in the gym to make him a more complete and better rounded fighter.

Parker will be working with WBA, WBO, IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko soon. Has he worked as a sparring partner previously. Have you found the sparring sessions beneficial in the development of Joseph who is one of the youngest rated heavyweight contenders at 23 years of age?

Joe has been invited two previous times to join Wladimir’s training camp. Unfortunately the first 2 times we were preparing ourselves for defenses of Joe’s two regional belts, so we could not accept the invitation. This time however we fight on March 5and the training camp is around the end of March so we were pleased to be able to participate. Wladimir is the best heavyweight of this era and being able to measure Joe’s skills and development against the sports premiere heavyweight is an opportunity for us as a team to see where we are at and what we need to develop and work on moving forward to compete at this top level. We greatly appreciate the opportunity that has been offered to us by the Klitschko camp.

Parker is rated WBA #10. Is WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev on your radar? Is Parker ready for that challenge after 12 fights?

Obviously as Joe continues to improve, mature and develop into a more complete heavyweight, it is every fighter’s goal to one day be able to challenge and hopefully to win, the world title. We however have a lot of work to do to get to that level and are very careful not to get too far ahead of ourselves. We must continue winning and developing as the caliber of opponents becomes more challenging, so that when the opportunity does present itself Joe will give himself a far greater chance of being successful.

Is WBA #4, IBF #5,WBC #7 Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne on your radar?

I think Lucas and his team have done a terrific job in moving him into a very solid position. Lucas is definitely one of the bigger punchers in the heavyweight division .If both guys continue to remain undefeated and continue to rise in the rankings, it is inevitable that Joe and Lucas are destined to meet in the ring. This will be a huge trans-tasman fight with worldly interest. The winner will be in a very good position.

Parker trains in Las Vegas where you are based. Who will be his sparring partners for the Jason Pettaway bout?

Joe has trained in Las Vegas and lived with my family and I since we became a team 2 years ago. Joe has become part of my family and it is because of this strong bond and family environment that has enabled Joe to be away from his own close family unit for long periods of time and to be able to focus and commit to the training schedule that he has. For the Pettaway fight Joseph will get most of his sparring work with his team mate and fellow undefeated heavyweight Izu Ugonoh 10-0 8 KOs. Izu and Joe train together and both live in my house. Joe also spars his longtime sparring partner and friend Brice Ritani and a few other local fighters from Las Vegas

You trained former world heavyweight challenger David Tua who scored a KO over future world champion John Ruiz in his 23rd fight in 1996 at the age of 23. Tua only boxed one ten round bout in first 12 fights..How do Parker and Tua compare in your opinion?

There is not a lot of similarities between David Tua and Joe, other than the fact that they both have Samoan parents and they both had a lot of early talent. I believe that Joseph Parker is the most talented fighter to come out of New Zealand in the last 20 years since David Tua turned pro in 1992 as a 19 year old. David Tua was an incredibly powerful fighter who did the hard yards in hotels and training camps in America paving a way for others to follow. David was brought along very patiently waiting 8 years for his chance of fighting for a world title. Joseph from his sixth fight has been on an accelerated path fighting many experienced challenges in his early career path.

Is there anything you would like to say to Joseph Parker fans on Fightnews?

Joe is an exceptional young man who has a terrific drive and focus. This disciplined young man understands that good things come to those that work hard and that there is no substitute for hard work. Joe loves his fans and supporters and is doing everything in his power to be the very best that he can be.


Q & A: Kevin Barry

By Eugene Carnachan


KEVIN BARRY TALKS ABOUT TRAINING WORLD CLASS HEAVYWEIGHT JOSEPH PARKER: Kevin Barry is training rising heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker (12-0-0) at a privately owned boxing gym in the suburbs of Las Vegas. I spent the morning with Barry at this facility discussing how Parker is tracking for his next fight with Jason Pettaway, and his future plans for the young heavyweight.

Q; Explain the set-up of this training facility?

This is a privately owned gym facility that I use to train Joseph and another heavyweight Izu Ugonoh .It’s great having a facility where it’s only Joe and I. He’s also living with me and has become every bit a part of my family.

“I’m overseeing everything he does 24/7. When people look at what I’ve done with Joseph Parker in the last two years this is a big part of it, having a facility where it’s only him and I, I am able to accelerate his learning process. I am able to, especially with a young guy, I am able to mentally get inside his head. And I think that has being a major plus for us in the last two years.

Q: Get inside his head?

When I say mentally I mean making him believe in what I am telling him, making him believe that he can do it. You can get the same results in a bigger facility but it’s so much harder. It’s so much easier when it’s only you one on one. Some boxing gyms here in Vegas are like a sideshow, where there’s more people in the gym, watching and hanging out and trying to impose themselves on the fighters, pick up desperate fighters, than there are fighters training. I pick my times that we go to the bigger gyms. We have a great gym in Las Vegas that we go to for sparring in a full size ring. It’s like a second home for us.

What’s important in Joe Parkers evolution as a fighter?

A lot of the things I learned about boxing I learned from my dad (Kevin Barry Senior was a renowned New Zealand Olympic boxing coach), a lot of the fundamentals, my dad was big on the fundamentals, do the little things right and the rest will follow. Even today boxing always comes back to doing the basics well, your foot placement, your hand placement and obviously the jab is still the greatest punch is boxing, that’s what my father taught me. You can see Joe Parkers got a tremendous jab and where only two years in, and my plan is to work with Joe in developing his jab into a thing of beauty…a destructive thing of beauty. A lot of people watch the likes of Floyd Mayweather and his father and his uncles, they watch this flamboyant flashy training style, sure, you cannot argue it definitely works for Floyd Mayweather, his record attests to that, but it doesn’t work for too many other fighters and I’ll say it again, if you get the basic building blocks of boxing right a fighter is in a good place. And has a far greater chance of being successful.

Q: As you spent more time in the American boxing scene how has your coaching skill set developed?

I think the word is ongoing, any fighter who has the skill and is serious about their skill, they are developing it on a day to day basis, they’re learning new things all the time, they’re improving their skills and their knowledge. Same applies to me as a coach, learned from my dad (Kevin Barry was an Olympic Silver medallist), then had the privilege of being able to learn from the great George Benton through my association with Main Events when I was managing David (Tua) and I am continuing to learn. For me Joe wanting to learn on a daily basis and growing with it, is what I love about Joseph Parker, the kid is committed to developing his skill base. You don’t have to harass and push him to get the work done, he knows it has to be done so he does it, and that plus his natural physical gifts and you are talking world class potential, a kid that has the application and physical gifts to fight for a world title and it’s important to mention neither exist without the other, application polishes a fighters physical gifts and Joe certainly knows how to apply himself.


Joseph Parker pulls a crowd in Nelson

PHILLIP ROLLO


Joseph Parker feels the love every time he comes to Nelson. The New Zealand heavyweight boxer was in town yesterday to promote his next fight, against American Jason Pettaway in South Auckland on March 5, and was swamped by excited kids at the Victory Boxing Gym. The humble 22 year-old said Nelson always showed him love and support, and that was clear to see with a crowd of fans, young and old, posing for photos and getting Parker's autograph. "It's a humbling feeling, you know? I never thought I'd be in this position, to inspire kids and motivate them, but it's great to see young kids looking up to me and I want to try my best to set a good example," Parker said during the brief visit. "It's always great to come back down and see everyone and it's great to see the growth in the gym since I was back last time." Parker was being lined up to fight at the Trafalgar Centre last year but with the venue closed because of its safety risk in the event of an earthquake it never eventuated, disappointing the fighter who possesses a 12-0 record.


"I've been down four or five times now and the support I get has been great. The reason why I wanted to fight down here, or around New Zealand, is to give back to everyone who has been watching and supporting us." Parker had a brief break away from training over Christmas, taking his family to Samoa. He ate a lot of mangos and raw fish and drunk from plenty of coconuts, but wouldn't let on how much weight he had put on during that period. "I think I have but I'm not going to mention how much, I haven't jumped on the scales so hopefully not too much." The holiday period is over now, and Parker - ranked No 10 with the WBA and No 12 with the WBO - said he was "firing" and "fiending" to get back in the gym leading up to his next fight against American journeyman Pettaway. The 34-year-old has a solid pro record of 17 wins and one loss after an extensive amateur background. He's noted for his movement, producing a hit and run style that can frustrate opponents, and Parker believed he would be a step up from the other 12 fighters he faced in his young career. After establishing himself on the world stage last year, Parker said the focus for 2015 was to continue to build ahead of a potential world title bout. "I know it takes hard work. With every fight we want to improve and by the end of the year I want to be number two or three in the world. "Then next year I want to fight for the world title."


- The Nelson Mail


Clash of young titans Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua looms large

LIAM NAPIER


Joseph Parker is on a collision course with Britain's best prospect since Lennox Lewis. Although Jason Pettaway is the next stepping stone in Parker's budding career, it's pretty clear that all paths lead to Anthony Joshua. Pettaway - an agile, counterpunching American - was hand-picked to provide a new test for Parker, but the Kiwi is expected to navigate past him with ease in March. RISING STAR: Britain's Anthony Joshua was a gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympic Games and helped Wladimir Klitschko prepare for his latest world title defence. Then, you can be sure that chatter about a potential clash between Parker and Joshua will grow over the next two years. Fight by fight in opposing hemispheres, Parker (12-0) and Joshua (10-0) are building their profiles. Both are improving their skill sets, learning to cope with hype, pressure and expectations, grafting in the gym and knocking over opponents to craft the now-customary paper record that enhances credentials for a title shot and a life-changing payday. Provided both keep winning, when the price and prize are eventually right, they are destined to meet. And by that point, the rewards could be sizeable. Parker and Joshua, a strong, aggressive fighter born to Nigerian parents who has won all 10 fights inside three rounds, first met outside the ring at the amateur world games. And they're likely to run into each other again when they're scheduled to attend world champion Wladimir Klitschko's next training camp in late March. Joshua, a gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympic Games, helped Klitschko prepare for his latest defence against Kubrat Pulev in November and the 25-year-old is expected to accept a second invitation.


Parker, on the other hand, will make his first appearance in the Klitschko camp after taking on Pettaway. While being one of Klitschko's six sparring partners is valuable experience, so too is the chance for both fighters to assess each other in the flesh. "We won't be working with Joshua, but both of us being there at the same time will definitely make things interesting," Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, said. "If both guys continue along the same developmental path, then it's inevitable that it's going to be a huge fight in the years to come. We're watching Joshua, and he's watching Joe. "He's the most exciting fighter to come out of the UK since Lennox Lewis, and we all know how good he was. He went undefeated for seven years. "It's exciting that people have us on a crash course. It'll bring a lot of interest and dialogue over this year. The more they progress and win, the more there will be talk about Parker and Joshua." With five fights again pencilled in this year, 2015 has been dubbed "moving season" for Parker. The plan for the 22-year-old South Auckland fighter includes a potential bout against a "genuine giant" and to gain inroads in the WBC - the only belt of five sanctioning bodies that Klitschko doesn't hold. Both Parker and Joshua, who is already ranked eighth by the WBC, are chasing current Canadian champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1), who defends his title against undefeated American Deontay Wilder (32-0) in Las Vegas next week. "With the WBC, we're trying to get in there as well," Parker said. "Bermane Stiverne has that belt. With Klitschko dominating all the other sanctioning bodies right now, it's going to be hard to go that way. "We see the WBC as a better way, and [Joshua's camp] see it as a better way for them, too. We might meet up somewhere before trying to get the title."


- Sunday News


WBA #10 Joseph Parker departs for Las Vegas Thursday

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing


WBA #10, WBO #12 heavyweight Joseph Parker (12-0, 10 KOs) who will clash with Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KOs) on March 5, departs for Las Vegas on Thursday to train with Kevin Barry and is excited to be working with the WBA, IBF, WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in April. “The Klitschko camp is definitely motivation for me,” Parker said. “Just getting the welcome to the camp is a great opportunity. But I know if I can’t beat Jason then I’ll definitely have trouble with Klitschko big time. So I’m just trying my best to get past this challenge and then looking at going over and sparring Klitschko who is the best in the world. You can’t get any better than that. “Having that in the background is going to help push my training even harder. I’ll be focused as soon as I get back to Vegas. I’ve got seven weeks to prepare. I’m really fired up to get back into my training now. I’m ready.” “Just getting the respect from the champ asking you to come and be one of his sparring partners is awesome,” Parker said. “Watching how he operates and trains, that’s going to be a whole different level for me. He has dominated for 10 years and in that time I’ve always looked up to him as ‘the man’. “It’s going to be an exciting time … putting yourself against the champ and seeing where you are at in the sport.” The 34-year-old American has a solid pro record of 17 wins and one loss after an extensive amateur background. He’s noted for his movement, producing a hit and run style that can frustrate opponents.


“From what I’ve seen of him, this a is a real good challenge,” Parker says of Pettaway who certainly has size and looked to be in good shape today. “He brings different challengers than my last opponents and I’m excited about that. I see him as a bit like Brazil’s Marcelo Nascimento who I beat in Germany. I had a bit of trouble cutting off the ring, I missed with a lot of shots I shouldn’t have missed with. “Jason is a very technical fighter, there are going to be a lot of different angles and movements.” Jason Pettaway said fighting Parker in New Zealand looms as a real challenge. All of his wins have come in his native West Virginia with his one loss to Russian Magomed Adbusalamov happening at Madison Square Garden in New York. “It’s an honour to be here,” said Pettaway. “But I’ve come to win and take those belts back with me. It’s a great opportunity for me, a great moment. I’m coming off a busy year … this is a good time for me.” He acknowledged Parker’s speed and skills but detected weaknesses, particularly the Kiwi’s habit of dropping his hands. “I’ve looked at a lot of Joseph’s fights and that’s given me things to work on. “I feel like I’ll be able to distribute my punches in a way he won’t be able to hit me.”


Joseph Parker tipped as a real knockout by ESPN expert Dan Rafael

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE


Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has been named one of the sport's rising stars and tagged as "the total package". The 22-year-old has got a real admirer in ESPN's Dan Rafael, widely acknowledged as one the world's best boxing writers. Rafael has listed Parker among his 20 rising stars and "one to watch" as well as nominating Parker's last win over Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Jr for the knockout of the year award. Parker won all five fights in a busy year where he took his unbeaten record to 12 victories and moved to No 10 with the WBA and No 12 with the WBO. "The heavyweight division is in desperate need of new blood and Parker is one of the guys seemingly ready to deliver it," Rafael wrote. "Already a popular attraction in his country, Parker (who has had two fights in the United States) looks like the total package so far with good size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), big power and a good team behind him, including noted trainer Kevin Barry. "In 2014, Parker was 5-0 with 4 KOs, including wins against veterans Brian Minto (TKO7) and Sherman Williams (W10). His fourth-round destruction of Irineu Beato Costa Jnr on December 6 was as brutal a knockout as you'll ever see." Barry said recognition from ESPN was "a great achievement after two years as a pro". Parker was one of only two heavyweights on the ESPN list. The other was unbeaten British 25-year-old Anthony Joshua, who won the 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal and has taken his professional career to 10 wins, all by knockout. Joshua and Parker appear to be on a collision course. Parker promoters Duco Events have another busy schedule planned for Parker in 2015, hoping for a world title shot within two years. Parker's next opponent will be named next week.


- Stuff



Boxing: Pettaway backing better build-up for Parker bout


American boxer Jason Pettaway believes improved sparring will help him as he looks to become the first man to defeat Kiwi prospect Joseph Parker. The heavyweights will square off in Manukau on Thursday, March 5 and Pettaway, who has a credible 17-1 record as a professional after amassing more than 130 amateur fights, will pose a different threat to the 12-0 Parker. The 34-year-old from West Virginia has worked with 2004 American Olympian Devin Vargas (18-4) and 7-0 cruiserweight Paul Parker for the past three months, which has been a step up from his previous sparring partners. "That's one thing I've lacked in the past but now I've got great sparring," Pettaway told the Herald. "It couldn't be a greater time. Timing is everything with this fight. I've been really active and staying busy and I've got a lot better sparring going on now." Pettaway, who suffered his only professional loss via TKO against Russian bruiser Magomed Adbusalamov in March, 2012, fought four times last year as he picked up wins over a string of mediocre opponents in the US. A meeting with the 1.92m Parker will be a step up in class given the 22-year-old from South Auckland is ranked 10th in the WBA and 12th in the WBO. Pettaway isn't ranked by any of the four major sanctioning bodies and is pegged at 158th in the world by respected website Boxrec, while Parker is billed at No 24. "I feel like I have everything to gain," Pettaway said. "He has everything to lose but I definitely feel like I can capitalise ... There are things I can capitalise on that I'm going to work on in camp."


Pettaway isn't a tall heavyweight at 1.85m, while he weighed in at 104kg when he lost to Adbusalamov, but he moves a lot in the ring and has a competent technique courtesy of his lengthy amateur career. Many of Parker's previous opponents have been come-forward fighters who don't have the same level of footwork as Pettaway. "Most of the time I'm a good mover and boxer," he said. Parker and Pettaway, who will fight over 10 rounds with Parker's regional titles at stake, fronted the media in Auckland today and Parker will head to Las Vegas on Thursday to tackle another training camp with coach Kevin Barry. After recently spending two-and-a-half weeks, including Christmas, in Samoa following his vicious fourth-round knockout of Brazil's Irineu Beato Costa Junior at last month's Fight for Life in Hamilton, Parker said he was keen to get back to work. "The first week in camp will be about getting in better shape and then the rest of training camp will be learning the skills and techniques I will need for this upcoming fight," he said. Meanwhile, Parker has inked a lucrative four-fight sponsorship deal with Burger King. Following the bout with Pettaway, which is the first fight under the agreement with the fast food outlet, Parker will travel to Austria in April to spar with heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko.


- NZME.


Boxing: 'Relaxed' Parker gears up for fast-moving Pettaway


Joseph Parker laid the foundation for success last year. The Kiwi heavyweight boxer racked up five wins from as many bouts in 2014 as he advanced his professional record to 12-0, while fighting on big stages and catching the attention of some of the sport's most influential people. The 22-year-old from South Auckland appeared on the undercard of world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's title fight in Germany in April and later produced a punch that was a contender for "knockout of the year" when he dropped Irineu Beato Costa jnr with a thunderous right hand at the Fight for Life in December. Parker was also named as one of boxing's 20 rising stars for 2014 by respected ESPN scribe Dan Rafael. But that's in the past and Parker is likely to fight five times again this year as he looks to build his career. He is pegged at No10 within the WBA and No12 in the WBO courtesy of the regional titles he holds. The first bout will be a 10-round affair against American Jason Pettaway in Manukau on March 5 in what shapes as a manageable trip to the ring but Parker said the fast-moving, counter-punching 34-year-old would provide another useful stepping stone on his path to success. "It's just about learning and gaining experience for further fights and the ultimate goal that we are looking at, which is to be the world champion one day," Parker said.


One of the notable aspects of Parker's later performances in 2014 was his patience and ability to follow the plans laid down for him by veteran trainer Kevin Barry. "I think with all the fights we've had and all the experience I've been able to gain in the ring it's helped with my ringcraft and it's helped relax me as a fighter," he said. Parker's busy 2015 will also include a stop in Austria in April where he will spar with Klitschko. "It will be a great opportunity but I can't really look past this dude," Parker said of the bout with Pettaway. "If I can't beat this dude then sparring against the champ, he'll probably annihilate me." Duco's David Higgins, who promotes Parker, said that while their prized asset fought on a Klitschko undercard last year, that was unlikely to be repeated when the Ukrainian giant makes a scheduled title defence, tipped to be against American Bryant Jennings, in New York on April 25. "The purpose of sparring Klitschko is to get a gauge of where Joe's at in terms of the world's best," Higgins said.


- NZME.


Parker to face Pettaway on March 5 By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing Photos: Dave Cameron

(Please click link to view photos)


WBA #10, WBO #12 heavyweight Joseph Parker (12-0, 10 KOs) of New Zealand will fight American Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KOs) over ten rounds on Thursday, March 5 at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, New Zealand as he begins a busy 2015. “He’s a big mover, he’s not going to be the sort of guy that’s going to stand in front of Joe and lets Joe tee off on him,” Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said of Pettaway. “We are going to have to corner this guy, we are going to have to set a fight plan in place of cutting the ring off and keeping the pressure on. What we’ve proven is activity has been helping us in the development of Joe. He’s showing great progress. He’s a very intelligent, very talented fighter with great boxing character and what he needs now is experience.” Parker, who holds stoppage victories over former world champion Frans Botha and Brian Minto, plans to head to heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s training camp for sparring following the fight.



VIDEO: Joseph Parker 'has everything to lose', his next opponent says

(Please click link above to watch video)


American Jason Pettaway will offer Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker a level of technical skill and movement that he has yet to face in his short career to date. Parker announced today that his next fight would be against Pettaway in Auckland in March, ahead of training with World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Pettaway, 34, has a 17 - 1 record, his only loss at the hands of Russian giant Magomed Adbusalamov, and will provide Parker a challenge quite different to the one he faced in his last bout against Brazil's Irineu Costa Junior last month. "He stood out to us because of the new challenges that he will bring - the technical side of things and the movement that he brings that I had a bit of trouble with fighting in Germany on the Klitschko undercard," Parker says, referring to his fight with Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento in April last year. Pettaway says he will do everything he can to ensure he is not just another punching bag for the rising Kiwi star. "I have everything to gain, he has everything to lose. Me being a stepping stone - that's the reason I'm going to train hard and work hard and run that extra mile in the training camp." The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds with Parker's WBO Oriental and WBA PABA Heavyweight titles at stake. Parker has also accepted an invitation to spar with Wladimir Klitschko at his training camp in Austria during April.



Klitschko opportunity has Joseph Parker pumped to pummel Pettaway

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE


Rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker says his training date with world champion Wladimir Klitschko is motivating him to be at his best for his next fight. The 22-year-old will attend Klitschko's April camp in Austria as a sparring partner – an opportunity he describes as "awesome". But first he fights American journeyman Jason Pettaway in South Auckland on March 5, the start of a planned five-fight year his backers Duco hope will move Parker into the top five. Unbeaten Parker certainly doesn't want to arrive at Klitschko's HQ suffering his first loss. Parker heads to Las Vegas on Thursday, fresh off a decent break in Samoa following a year that took him to No 10 with the WBA and No 12 with the WBO. He's fired up to make the most of the opportunities that continue to fall his way. "The Klitschko camp is definitely motivation for me," Parker said today in Auckland where he got to meet Pettaway who is on a quick media tour of the country. "Just getting the welcome to the camp is a great opportunity. But I know if I can't beat Jason then I'll definitely have trouble with Klitschko big time. "So I'm just trying my best to get past this challenge and then looking at going over and sparring Klitschko who is the best in the world. You can't get any better than that. "Having that in the background is going to help push my training even harder. I'll be focused as soon as I get back to Vegas. I've got seven weeks to prepare. I'm really fired up to get back into my training now. I'm ready." Parker said meeting Klitschko when he fought on the champion's undercard in Germany last April was a highlight, but getting in a ring with him and observing his routines would be invaluable. 


"Just getting the respect from the champ asking you to come and be one of his sparring partners is awesome," Parker said. "Watching how he operates and trains, that's going to be a whole different level for me. He has dominated for 10 years and in that time I've always looked up to him as 'the man'. "It's going to be an exciting time … putting yourself against the champ and seeing where you are at in the sport." The details of Parker's stay in Austria are limited at this stage, but a few rounds with Klitschko shape as an ideal barometer for an ambitious fighter. Still, Parker believes there will be plenty to learn and overcome in this next fight against Pettaway. The 34-year-old has a solid pro record of 17 wins and one loss after an extensive amateur background. He's noted for his movement, producing a hit and run style that can frustrate opponents. "From what I've seen of him, this a is a real good challenge," Parker says of Pettaway who certainly has size and looked to be in good shape today. "He brings different challengers than my last opponents and I'm excited about that. I see him as a bit like Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento who I beat in Germany. I had a bit of trouble cutting off the ring, I missed with a lot of shots I shouldn't have missed with. "Jason is a very technical fighter, there are going to be a lot of different angles and movements." Pettaway said fighting Parker in New Zealand looms as a real challenge. All of his wins have come in his native West Virginia with his one loss to Russian Magomed Adbusalamov happening at Madison Square Garden in New York. "It's an honour to be here," the soft spoken American said. "But I've come to win and take those belts back with me. It's a great opportunity for me, a great moment. I'm coming off a busy year … this is a good time for me." He acknowledged Parker's speed and skills but detected weaknesses, particularly the Kiwi's habit of dropping his hands. "I've looked at a lot of Joseph's fights and that's given me things to work on. "I feel like I'll be able to distribute my punches in a way he won't be able to hit me."


- Stuff


VIDEO: Full interview: Parker previews Pettaway fight

(Please click link above to watch video)


Joseph Parker says he can't wait to get back in the ring for his first fight of 2015 against Jason Pettaway at the Manukau Events Centre. The March 5 bout will give Parker a challenge he has never faced before in his professional boxing career. "I haven't fought someone with the same hand speed, or of similar hand speed," Parker said of Pettaway. "That's why we picked him as an opponent for the new challenges he brings to the ring." The 22-year-old will also be tested by the Pettaway's movement around the ring and says he'll have to be wary when chasing his opponent. "I think with [Pettaway] and the combinations of punches he throws out, I'll have to be able to move around more, head movement, being able to duck, and just being more elusive." "With the other fighters I was doing a lot of the movement." Parker is planning to have five fights this year and will also spar with world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Austria in April as the Ukrainian prepares for his next title bout.

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Boxing: Speedster next foe for busy Parker

Joseph Parker will face another style test in his next bout rather than meeting a top-ranked opponent. The Kiwi heavyweight boxer will fight American Jason Pettaway over 10 rounds at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on Thursday, March 5, as he begins a busy 2015 campaign where he is likely to step in the ring five times. Parker, ranked inside the top 12 of the WBO and WBA with a 12-0 professional record, will be forced to move quickly against the counter-punching Pettaway (17-1) who is light on his feet and has a polished technique. Pettaway is ranked 158th in the world by respected website Boxrec and has no status inside the top 15 of any of the four major sanctioning bodies. But Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said Pettaway posed a different threat to many of Parker's previous opponents who liked to come forward. "He's a big mover, he's not going to be the sort of guy that's going to stand in front of Joe and let Joe tee off on him," Barry said of Pettaway. "We are going to have to corner this guy, we are going to have to set a fight plan in place of cutting the ring off and keeping the pressure on."


Pettaway, 34, has a strong amateur background and should push Parker in certain areas before the South Aucklander moves on to more challenging opponents. Pettaway's only professional loss came via TKO against retired Russian Magomed Abdusalamov in March, 2012. Parker's handlers want to keep him busy this year after he produced five wins in as many bouts in 2014. "What we've proven is activity has been helping us in the development of Joe," Barry said. "He's showing great progress. He's a very intelligent, very talented fighter with great boxing character and what he needs now is experience." Parker, who will spar with heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko during his training camp in Austria in April, will likely fight again in May, although no opponent has been confirmed. For Parker's third bout of the year, which has been tentatively planned for Invercargill in July, Barry said they wanted to step up against a big-name boxer as they continued their pursuit of being ranked inside the world's top five by the end of the year. Despite the hype around Parker, Pettaway remained confident of coming to New Zealand and producing a strong showing. "I have studied his style and identified his flaws which we will exploit," Pettaway said.


- NZME.