​Photos: Glazkov-Rossy Press Conference

Click here for more photo's...


NBCSN Weights from Bethlehem, PA
Photos: Rich Graessle/Main Events

​Vyacheslav Glazkov 218.5 vs. Derric Rossy 232.5
Robert Berridge 173.5 vs. Vasily Lepikhin 174
Joseph Parker 228.5 vs. Keith Thompson 220
Frankie Garriga 121.5 vs. Luis Acevedo 121.5
Tyrell Wright 221 vs. Randy Easton 218.5
Ismael Serrano 138.5 vs. Johnathan Williams 141.5
Khalib Whitmore 177.5 vs. Lamont Capers 177
Venue: Sands Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Promoter: Main EventsTV: NBC Sports Network



Ricky Hatton smashes Parker's hopes of big fight
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Former world light-welterweight boxing champion Ricky Hatton has delivered a knockout blow to Joseph Parker's hopes of fighting rugged Australian Lucas Browne in the near future.Hatton, the British great, entered the war of words around his heavyweight Browne being scared of fast-rising Kiwi Parker, describing them as "laughable".And Browne joined the action, declaring: "Rushing Parker against a banger like me is silly".Hatton promotes "Big Daddy" Browne, a 31-year-old unbeaten fighter who Parker's handlers Duco Events have been taunting.They have labelled Browne, a 125kg former cage fighter, as "fat, slow and scared", trying to lure him into fighting Parker with big money offers to no avail.Hatton, who held the WBA, IBF, IBO belts before moving into promotions, contacted Fairfax Media to release a statement saying that Parker "isn't even on their radar" for Browne.Parker beat little known American Keith Thompson last weekend with a third round TKO. The Kiwi holds the No 15 ranking with the WBO.Browne is unranked by the WBO but is listed at No 7 by the IBF, No 8 by the WBC and No 13 by the WBA.He is positioning himself for a world title shot and clearly won't risk that against Parker's power and fast hands."I've heard Parker's team say Lucas is scared of them, which is laughable," Hatton said in his statement."Lucas is willing to fight anyone if it makes sense and I think Parker and his team need to be more realistic."We're currently working on possible fights against Ruslan Chagaev, Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury, so why would we put Lucas in with someone who has had only 10 fights and isn't ranked anywhere by the WBC, the WBA or the IBF?"Lucas is focused on the fighters above him in the ratings, not someone who is just making his name.

​"Hatton said he had respect for Parker's talents.But timing is everything in a sport cluttered by so many governing organisations and positioning fighters becomes as crucial as fronting in the ring.Browne holds the Commonwealth, WBC EPBC and WBA Inter-continental crowns which make him highly attractive to Parker's handlers."I don't want to sound like I'm running the guy (Parker) down because I respect everybody that gets in the ring and I wish him all the best in the future, but right now he's not even on our radar," Hatton said."If Parker is serious about challenging Lucas then he should try to get himself into a mandatory position for one of Lucas's titles."When Lucas wanted to be the Commonwealth champion, he travelled to the other side of the world to box a 6ft 9ins unbeaten fighter, Richard Towers, in an eliminator. Maybe Parker should do something similar."Browne even entered the debate himself today as it raged on Facebook. He responded to a posting on Duco's page by saying: "You can say whatever you like? I'm a big fan of Parker and think he's a nice kid but to rush him against a banger like me is silly. Either way I'm signed with Hatton and they say what goes, talk to them."Parker has remained in the United States with his handlers for talks with major television networks and promoters there.His next fight is October 16 in Auckland against Sherman Williams of the Bahamas.Duco have stated they are keen to get Parker a top 10 opponent to headline December's Fight For Life promotion in New Zealand.Browne recently extended his unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko, who was himself undefeated in 24 contests before their fight in Wolverhampton, England.Browne has 18 knockouts in his 21 wins.

 - Stuff

Hatton: Joseph Parker isn’t on Lucas Browne’s radar


Promoter Ricky Hatton has stated that Kiwi hopeful Joseph Parker isn’t even on Hatton Promotions’ radar for Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne. Parker defeated little known American Keith Thompson this weekend and has mentioned a showdown with Browne on numerous occasions. But as Browne, who holds the Commonwealth, WBC EPBC and WBA Inter-continental crowns, is ranked highly by the three main world governing bodies and seemingly on the verge of a world title shot, the match-up is highly unlikely at present.“I’ve heard Parker’s team say Lucas is scared of them, which is laughable,” Ricky said. “Lucas is willing to fight anyone if it makes sense and I think Parker and his team need to be more realistic. We’re currently working on possible fights against Ruslan Chagaev, Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury, so why would we put Lucas in with someone who has had only ten fights and isn’t ranked anywhere by the WBC, the WBA or the IBF?“Lucas is focused on the fighters above him in the ratings, not someone who is just making his name.“I don’t want to sound like I’m running the guy down because I respect everybody that gets in the ring and I wish him all the best in the future, but right now he’s not even on our radar. If Parker is serious about challenging Lucas then he should try to get himself into a mandatory position for one of Lucas’s titles. When Lucas wanted to be the Commonwealth champion, he travelled to the other side of the world to box a 6ft 9ins unbeaten fighter, Richard Towers, in an eliminator. Maybe Parker should do something similar.”Browne recently extended his unbeaten record to 21-0 (18 KOs) with a unanimous decision over tough Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko, who was himself undefeated in 24 contests, in Wolverhampton, England.

​Boxing: Smokin' Joe Parker on fire in US


Joseph Parker enhanced his reputation, despite being slightly out of sorts in his victory over Keith Thompson yesterday. But for fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge, the overwhelming feeling was of an opportunity wasted.Berridge suffered a big career setback in losing to powerful Russian Vasily Lepikhin in a fifth-round knockout, the first time he has been stopped.The 29-year-old got close in only one round, the fourth, when he found his range and hit Lepikhin with a combination to the head.The end came 1m 4s into the next round with the undefeated Lepikhin extending his record to 16 victories when knocking Berridge down three times. Referee Gary Rosato called it to a halt for Berridge's second defeat of his career.At the Sands Casino Resort, Berridge and his camp put his two championship belts on the line against a man 14cm taller and with an undefeated record. Lepikhin has never fought out of Russia, but that merely increased the mystery.He appears to have a big future.The crowd cheered at hearing Berridge's "Butcher" nickname and very good record of 20 knockouts in his 24 victories, but he rarely took Lepikhin out of his comfort zone.The defeat effectively takes him out of the running for a title fight against light heavyweight Sergei Kovalev.Berridge, also knocked down in the second round, received a barrage of shots to the head and body throughout. One statistical measure had him throwing 233 punches to Lepikhin's 210, but connecting with only 39 compared with his opponent's 78.He connected with only two jabs; Lepikhin put 20 past his defences.

Afterwards he insisted he was fine physically and ready to continue as early as October 16 on the undercard of Parker's fight against Sherman Williams in Auckland."I wasn't aggressive enough, just no fire. I wasn't on form tonight," he said.Berridge insisted he wasn't concerned about going behind early. "That doesn't worry me. I knew I had the power to knock him out. I caught him a couple of times. I just couldn't find that range all the time."Trainer Cleve Langdon said: "He [Lepikhin] got his range early, it's as simple as that, and that meant he could drop his power shots on Robbie early on. As soon as you start dropping bombs on people ... you know I think Mike Tyson said it brilliantly ... 'everyone's got a game plan until they get punched in the face', and that was proven tonight."Parker wasn't entirely happy with his third-round knockout of American Thompson."I felt flat in the warm-up and the fight. I don't want to make excuses, but it must have been the delay of coming over here," he said.An American voice from the crowd urged on "Smokin' Joe" and Parker delivered, a powerful left uppercut knocking Thompson down and a flurry of punches seconds later resulted in a referee David Franciosi stopping it 2m 41s in. Parker impressed many ringside with his speed, power and, in particular, patience, a rare quality for a 22-year-old.Parker, undefeated in 10 professional fights, and his promoters Duco Events, will now travel to New York and Los Angeles for talks with other promoters, while Berridge will travel straight home — disappointed but determined to fight on.• Patrick McKendry of APNZ travelled to the United States with assistance from Duco Events


​Hot property: Parker lures US promoters

 DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker heads to New York today for talks with broadcasting heavyweights after an impressive television debut in the United States.As expected, Parker did everything required of him in demolishing American journeyman Keith Thompson with a third round TKO in Bethlehem on the outskirts of Philadelphia yesterday.His speed and power were lauded by commentators on the NBC network, who clearly see Parker as hot property in the heavyweight ranks where the 22-year-old has quickly risen to No 15 with the WBO organisation.Now he will join his promoters in meetings with HBO and Showtime in New York.Duco boss Dean Lonergan described those talks as "introductory discussions" and having their prized fighter appear on the back of an impressive knockout performance will certainly help their cause as they look to broaden the exposure for the New Zealand pro scene.Parker faces a busy time.He will also be with his bosses in Los Angeles for talks with promoters there, including Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy productions.He will make a quick dash home to Auckland before returning to Las Vegas for the bulk of his buildup for his next assignment, a fight against the Bahama's Sherman Williams, in Auckland, on October 16.

Parker wants to get that preparation spot-on, believing a messy buildup to this fight had left him "feeling a bit flat" against Thompson.That he was able to carry out the assignment with such style, is a credit to his ability.But it also continued a worrying trend, Parker having felt below par for his other major overseas assignment on the Wladimir Klitschko card in Germany in April."I could feel it in the warm-up. I don't know what it was, I don't' want to make excuses, it must have been the flying or the delay of coming here," he said of visa and passport problems holding up his departure to America."I think when we have big fights around the world we need to go a bit earlier so I can adapt better to the time."We didn't have enough time in Germany as well. We are still learning about what is good with our team."But it was good to be live on US television . . . awesome."I think I showed some speed and some combinations. I was able to concentrate on [attacking] the body, that was the aim. Throw more shots, be patient and pick my shots. I'm happy with the victory."Parker's increasingly effective jab set up the win, as he pounded Thompson's midriff.His biggest disappointment was that his new "friend", former world champion Larry Holmes, turned up too late to catch his fight. By the time Holmes was ringside and introduced to the crowd, Parker had already disposed of Thompson. But Parker got to enjoy Holmes' company in celebrations at the casino later.Parker said he was eager for a good camp ahead of his clash with the durable Williams, a veteran who hasn't been knocked out in 51 professional fights dating back to 1997 and includes 35 wins, 19 by knockouts."I know Sherman Williams is a tough guy, I need a lot of time to prepare," Parker said.- Duncan Johnstone travelled to the United States courtesy of Duco Events.

- Stuff

Video: Joseph Parker beats Keith Thompson


Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker racked up his 10th consecutive win as a professional with a third-round knockout of American Keith Thompson in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.The six-round bout was called off 2min 41sec into the third round after Parker, who dominated the first two rounds, unloaded in the third with two knockdowns to finish Thompson off, boxingscene.com said.Parker, who has amassed nine knockouts in his 10 wins, worked Thompson over with his left jab early on and continued to inflict damage with his right in the second round.The 1.92m tall Kiwi decked Thompson with a left hook early in the third, then wrapped up the win with a flurry of punches which again floored the 33-year-old American.Parker's next fight is against Sherman Williams from the Bahamas in Auckland in October.Fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge wasn't so lucky, losing his light heavyweight 12-round bout to towering Russian Vasily Lepikhin by a technical knockout in the fifth round.Berridge gave up a huge advantage to the Russian in height and reach, and was knocked down once in the second round and three times in the fifth with just over a minute remaining.Video will be available after the main fight has finished.

3 News/NZN

Parker makes light work of Thompson, Berridge battered


Joseph Parker has improved his career record to 10-0 after his TKO win over Keith Thompson today.The referee was forced to stop the fight in the third round as a tired Thompson was cannon fodder for the power of Parker who pinned him to the ropes and had his way.Parker used his jab to great effect early and throughout, focusing on the body in the first round and coralling Thompson where he wanted him.The first danger signs came midway through the second round when Parker picked an opening and landing a heavy overhand right.Parker sensed the opportunity and felled Thompson with a clean left hook after he lured Thompson's hands down with a body jab and uppercut.From then on the American was a heavy punching bag and his stuffing saved by the ref.The ref stepped in again in the following fight as Robbie Berridge was comprehensively beaten up by the lanky Vasily Lepikhim.The reach difference was ominous and Berridge couldn't get a look in for all of the bout, Lepikhim dominating the fight.Berridge was knocked to the canvas at the end of the second round and it was all downhill from there, Lepikhim punishing the short Kiwi in the fifth round with three knock downs. 

VIDEO:​Boxing: 'Flat' Parker wins by KO
(please click title to watch video)
By Patrick McKendry of APNZ in Bethlehem Pennsylvania

Joseph Parker has improved his professional record to 10 victories with a knockout win over American Keith Thompson here at the Sands Casino today.Parker, quick and strong, caught Thompson with a powerful left hook in the third round which sent him down.Seconds later it was all over, Thompson caught with a flurry of punches to the body and head, and dropping to a knee. Referee David Franciosi called the fight off 2min 41sec in the third."I felt a little bit flat but I'm thankful for the victory and the opportunity of fighting in the United States on the Main Events card.""He looked like he was tired and finished but I left it up to the referee to do his job," Parker said of the referee's decision to stop it.Meanwhile fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge has lost to Russian Vasily Lepikhin by way of technical knockout in the fifth round.Lepikhin, nicknamed The Professor, knocked down Kiwi Berridge once in the second round and three times in the fifth round, referee Gary Rosato calling it to a halt 1min 4sec into the round.The defeat was Berridge's second of his career, and with it goes both of his light heavyweight championship belts. It was the first time he has been stopped.Berridge, who will see his rankings fall after this defeat - he was rated 9th in the WBO and 12th in the WBA - failed to trouble the implacable Lepikhin, who controlled the pace of the fight and refused to concede a centimetre.He used his greater height to good advantage, leaning on Berridge. And his body shots were spectacular at times.Berridge's best round was the fourth. He came forward, found his range, and connected to Lepikhin's head.However, the end came quickly a round later. Berridge fell early, was knocked down again following some powerful body shots, and the ref was quick to act after the third as Lepikhin had him trapped in the corner and was going in for the kill.

VIDEO:Joseph Parker powers to comfortable victory
(please click title to watch video)
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker unleashed all of his speed and power to secure a third round knock out win over American Keith Thompson in the United States today.The 22-year-old relentlessly stalked Thompson and took him to the canvas early in the third round with an uppercut and finished him off soon after with a brutal flurry at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem on the outskirts of Philadelphia.The official time was 2m 41s into round three.The win lifts Parker's record to 10 consecutive wins as a professional, nine of them by knockout.The result, on a fight scheduled for just six rounds against a lowly-rated opponent, won't do much for his No 15 ranking with the WBO, but it will certainly have helped his profile on the crucial American market with the fight televised live by broadcast giant NBC.Parker's handlers were demanding an impressive knockout today and he duly delivered.Using his trademark speed and power, along with his economy of movement, Parker overwhelmed Thompson.The 33-year-old Thompson is a long-term sparring partner of America's best heavyweight prospect, the unbeaten Deontay Wilder and trained with him in his preparations for this fight.Thompson was coming off an April win against another American, Derek Walker. He hardly fired a shot, being on the back foot throughout.Parker now sets his sights on an Auckland date with Sherman Williams from the Bahamas.They line out on October 16 with Parker's promoters also wanting him to headline December's Fight For Life against a top 10 opponent to round out a busy and successful year.Parker was clearly dominant from the opening bell today, whipping his jab into Thompson's body, quickly finding his range but also showing patience with his big shots.Thompson landed a left hook to Parker's head in the second round that angered the Kiwi into unleashing a flurry of good combinations.That continued with relentless pace in the third round with a quick finish inevitable.Parker said he had felt a ''bit flat'' at times but was thrilled with his victory.''I'm thankful for the win and the opportunity to fight in the United States,'' he said.''My coach (Kevin Barry) said to take my time with my shots. It was a bit wild there at the end, I could tell he was tiring and I got the victory and that's what matters most.''

- Stuff


Joseph Parker finds new fans in US

Joseph Parker has found a new number-one fan in Pennsylvania, with former heavyweight world champion Larry Holmes promising to attend Sunday's bout with American Keith Thompson.The 22-year-old will have a 4km weight advantage, while fellow Kiwi boxer Robert Berridge will have his hands full, facing a ripped Russian.Sunday's bout with Thompson isn't expected to be Parker's toughest, but it will be his most visible, although the 103kg heavyweight isn't feeling the pressure ahead of his US TV debut."I think it's important to chill out, relax, spend time with family, and if you tense up you lose your fitness and your mind's not really there," says Parker.Holmes is pretty excited though. After meeting Parker on Wednesday, the boxing legend went on YouTube to check out Parker's fights. Holmes was so impressed he called in to Parker's hotel to tell him."The first thing he said to Kevin when we met up was, 'That guy's got a good jab,' and it made me feel like damn, the champ says I've got a good jab," says Parker. "He said he's going to definitely come on Saturday and sit ringside and cheer us on. So that's pretty cool."The casino complex is built around the decaying remains of the Bethlehem steel mill. But there were no derelict structures on display when the boxers took to the scales.Robert Berridge's opponent, Vasily Lepikhin, looked in particularly impressive shape, but the butcher's not concerned about dealing with lean meat."Yeah I think I could chop him down, go to the body," says Berridge.The 1.93m Russian towered over Berridge during a particularly intense stare down.After fasting to make the 79.38kg weight limit, Berridge was just feeling hungry."Yeah there's a make-your-own burger upstairs in the casino, so I'll go have a gamble and eat a burger."Headlining the fight night is the clash between unbeaten Ukrainian Czar Glazkov and American Derric Rossy.

3 News

VIDEO:Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker will need a convincing win in Pennsylvania to prove his top 10 credentials.
(please click title to watch video)


Joseph Parker paid hotel visit by Larry Holmes
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Joseph Parker has a blossoming friendship with Larry Holmes after the former world champion turned up unexpectedly at the Kiwi's hotel on the eve of his heavyweight fight to pay him "the ultimate compliment".Parker and New Zealand light-heavyweight Robbie Berridge, along with their entourages, gained an audience with Holmes earlier in the week at his bar on the outskirts of Philadelphia.But it was Holmes who initiated the return meeting and he has confirmed he will be ringside tomorrow when Parker takes on American Keith Thompson and Berridge battles Russian Vasily Lepikhim at the Sands Casino and Resort.Holmes arrived unannounced at the complex last night and invited Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry to join him and his wife for dinner.Holmes, undisputed champion from 1978-85, said that after meeting Parker he had gone home and viewed all of the 22-year-old New Zealander's fights that were available on YouTube."He can really fight," was Holmes' appraisal of Parker to Barry, "and he's got a good jab"."Coming from a boxer who I regard as having the best jab in the business, it was the ultimate compliment," Barry said, adding that Holmes had again indicated he was keen to visit New Zealand."I think we've got a friend for life there now."When fans in the casino were asking Holmes for photographs and autographs, he told them Parker was "the guy you should be asking".The Kiwis are thrilled to have Holmes in their corner and Parker is eager to put on a good performance against Thompson in a fight that will be televised live in the United States and New Zealand (11.30am NZT).The fighters weighed in at the venue today with the Kiwis and their opponents looking in good physical condition.Parker tipped the scales at 103.6kg with Thompson 99.7kg.Berridge, who has been on a tight diet over the past week in the United States, got to his required mark, weighing in at 78.6kg.Lepikhim was closer to the 79kg limit at 78.9kg.Berridge planned a small celebration but is fully focused as he defends his WBO Oriental and WBC Asian belts against the tall Russian champion."I'm happy as. There's a burger joint in the casino so I'll go and spend 20 bucks on the gambling machines and eat a burger," he smiled."I feel good. It's here now and I just want to get the fight going."Berridge said he wasn't fazed by Lepikhim's height."He's got sparrow legs on him ... hopefully I'll bowl him over."

- Stuff

​Parker, Berridge very marketable in United States

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

One of the biggest powerbrokers in international boxing believes Kiwis Joseph Parker and Robbie Berridge have the styles to electrify American audiences.The rising Kiwis make their United States television debuts tomorrow on NBC's Fight Night - the brainchild of Cathy Duva, boss of long time boxing promotion company Main Events.Berridge fights unbeaten Russian champion Vasily Lepikhim with the Kiwi putting his WBO Oriental and WBC Asian light-heavyweight belts on the line over 12 rounds.Parker takes on American Keith Thompson over six rounds as the second undercard fight to the main event which features rising Ukrainian heavyweight Vyacheslav Glazkov and American Derric Rossy.Duva did her homework on the two New Zealanders and liked what she saw.In an American market under threat from the hugely popular UFC and other mixed martial arts events, Duva believes the aggressive approaches of Berridge and Parker will be welcomed."They look like fun fighters. Berridge is out there throwing punches and the American audiences are particularly interested in that. And Parker is a big puncher," Duva told Fairfax Media."The sport has become MMA-a-fied ... the young men are starting to follow it. There's an older demographic but as young men get into the sport they are following guys with that take no prisoners kind of attitude. They don't want to follow stylish boxers, they want to follow guys that throw punches."They (Berridge and Parker) have got the style we are looking for."Duva made it clear that tomorrow's performances could be huge for the futures of both New Zealanders.Berridge, who boasts 20 knockouts in 24 wins, came on Duva's radar when his New Zealand management, Duco Events, unexpectedly pushed his cause to fight WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.

That didn't eventuate because Australian Blake Caperello, the only man to beat Berridge, managed to persuade broadcaster HBO he was a better choice.Caperello was knocked out by Kovalev in the second round in New Jersey last weekend. Kovalev has just signed a massive deal for a unification fight with veteran Bernard Hopkins, who holds the IBF and WBA belts, in November.Beyond that anything can happen, especially with few fighters wanting to step into the ring with the unbeaten Kovalev.Suddenly Berridge and Lipikhim's fight has the air of an eliminator about it."We want to look at both of them. Let's see what happens, maybe they will both make it long-term, but on Saturday the guy that wins is going to move forward and a step closer to a big fight," Duva said."Finding opponents for Kovlave is absolutely impossible, nobody wants to fight him. When Duco called us and pushed Berridge, we took them seriously. That didn't happen then, but this is an opportunity for us to see what he can do."Duva feels that Parker, who has risen to No 15 in the WBO ranks inside two years, is timing his run nicely in a heavyweight division she believes is set for a rebirth.With Vitali Klitschko having given up his belt and his brother Wladimir nearing the end of his dominant career, Duva believes there are a number of boxers under 30 who are going to have a good battle for one of the biggest crowns in sport.Parker needs to continue his run of knockouts with an impressive performance against the little known Thompson.Duva has a strong link with New Zealand, working with David Tua in his early professional years. She has retained that friendship along with Tua's former trainer Kevin Barry who now handles Parker.Barry said yesterday: "It's very surreal this full circle I've come with Cathy and Main Events."Duva's Fight Night concept is an ideal link for world class New Zealand fighters. She sold the concept to NBC as an economical way to take on the massive pay-per-view operations in the United States."I told them they should work with us because I don't have 25 fighters under contract who I have to give winnings to. I can go out and work with everybody and just put the best matches together to work the best show."That had brought an international flavour to the series."That's how we found Kovalev," she said of a fighter who is now undoubtedly one of the best in the business.Berridge and Parker will be hoping this is the start of something big too.

- Stuff

Boxing: Fighting talk from Thompson

By Patrick McKendry of APNZ in Bethlehem Pennsylvania

Keith Thompson has promised to provide New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker with a stern test when they fight on Sunday.Thompson and Parker encountered each other for the first time at today's press conference, with the American, who had just flown in from his Alabama home, saying: "He seems to be a tough guy but I came here to win so we'll see."Fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge also faced up to his opponent, Visily Lepikhin, for the first time and the Russian, who has been sparring with light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in Miami, looks a tough, and tall, prospect.The New Zealanders gave little away, both saying they were thankful for their opportunities. It will be Berridge's first fight out of Australasia. Parker has fought in the United States before - his decision victory over fellow Kiwi Brice Ritani-Coe in California last year.Thompson was happy to provide the closest thing to a provocative statement with his comment about testing Parker's toughness."I've seen videos of his fights but before this fight I didn't know much about him," Thompson said of the 22-year-old from Auckland.Asked if getting in the ring with Wilder, a hard hitter who has won all 31 of his fights by knockout, Thompson said: "You got to be tough just to get in with him, he's a real puncher for sure."Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry have promised to provide a busy start to the fight, which is scheduled for only six rounds.Berridge is likely to face a bigger test in his main undercard fight to the main event, which pits Vyacheslav Glazkov, who recently moved his family from his war-torn Ukrainian homeland to Florida, against New Yorker Derric Rossy.Scheduled for 12 rounds, the fight will be a big test for Berridge, who is 14cm shorter than his undefeated opponent.Lepikhin, who speaks limited English, was reluctant to talk about his fighting style. He was called "The Professor" because he was a smart boxer, he said.


Boxing: When Larry met Joseph


At the Champs' Corner Bar and Grill on 91 Larry Holmes Ave, the man himself is sitting on the balcony and talking to his good friend Jimmy when Joseph Parker and Robert Berridge walk out to meet him.Holmes, a 64-year-old former heavyweight champion of the world, is looking out over the Lehigh River and sipping from a pint of Budweiser, which leads nicely into the first of many pieces of advice he hands to the two New Zealanders who are fighting near his Easton home here on Sunday.Known as the Easton Assassin and the heavyweight with perhaps the best left jab ever, Holmes tells the Kiwis, who are clearly impressed: "You make'em drunk and then you mug'em. The jab is always your best punch."Quietly at first, Holmes meets the entourage of Parker and Berridge, including Parker's parents, Dempsey and Sala, and Berridge's fiancee, Renee.Soon, however, he is on his feet, showing Parker, in particular, how to master that famous left. Jimmy says quietly to one of the group that the champ, a natural raconteur, doesn't normally give advice to fighters.Maybe the fact that the pair have come so far and are fighting in his backyard has made all the difference."No, what are you doing?" he asks Parker. "Throw it out that way, pop, like a whip."Stay loose, tighten at the end, pop. Step in like that, pop."Later, Holmes turns to Sala and says: "The smartest thing you did was bring him here. My mama didn't like to see me fight. She said, 'the only one who hits him is me'."Then he turns to Parker and Berridge and says: "I got a lot of things to teach you boys but you didn't bring a pencil and paper. I know this stuff, I know it!"Holmes does. He was the heavyweight champion of the world from 1978-1985, fought professionally 75 times, lost six, which he disputes to this day, and was knocked out only once - by Mike Tyson in 1988.The hardest hitter? Earnie Shavers. Toughest fight? Ken Norton."No one thought I could do it. I ran around the hills here and people said, 'What are you doing boy, come and have a drink.' But I said, 'I ain't gonna do it if I don't try'."There is a sense that Holmes wasn't appreciated during his career, sandwiched as it was between those of Muhammad Ali, whom he beat in 1980, and Tyson.He is now. He shows Parker and Berridge around the memorabilia in his restaurant which by now is filling with families.Taking pride of place on his "wall of fame" is a large portrait of Martin Luther King, the American civil rights campaigner."I put him up there because what I achieved was minor compared to what he did," Holmes says.Parker says afterwards: "It's an honour. He knows everything about boxing."His jab and the speed that he had was the best. Before I met Larry all I heard was how fast his jab was and how effective it was."That's what we try to do and now I've met the guy who we've been talking about."As Parker and company sit down to eat, Holmes, ever the showman, says: "Somebody sing!"Patrick McKendry travelled to the USA courtesy of Duco Events.

- NZ Herald

Boxing: Big Philly burger off the menu - for now

Spare a thought for Robert Berridge, a light heavyweight boxer preparing for a career-defining fight, all the while watching every calorie he consumes in a place of many culinary temptations.Berridge must drop from 82kg to 79kg for his fight against undefeated Russian Vasily Lepikhin. He is confident he will reach his target weight comfortably, saying water retention from his long flight from Auckland was probably responsible for the added bulk, but it's not easy. One of 29-year-old Berridge's pluses is his fitness and strength, but while heavyweight Joseph Parker can tuck into pasta, Berridge is limited to grilled meat and steamed vegetables. He hasn't eaten sweets for years.The other temptation is a local "delicacy" known as the Philly cheesesteak, a long bread roll filled with chopped steak and dripping with cheese, a meal almost guaranteed to send your weight and cholesterol levels soaring.Berridge has been trying to trim down by walking in the summer heat here or running on the hotel treadmill. The weigh-in is scheduled for tomorrow morning (NZT) ahead of his fight, broadcast live on NBC television after Joseph Parker's bout against American Keith Thompson, and after he steps on the scales he has some catching up to do."I'll go eat one of those famous Philly burgers or steak sandwiches," Berridge said. "It's my job to keep my weight down, so I have to be careful but after the weigh-in I'll hammer a big burger."Even trying to eat healthily here can have its drawbacks in terms of weight loss, he said."The salads are twice the size, I could feed a family of four with them. It's ridiculous, but I try not to eat too much of it.""I'm enjoying being over here and getting the experience. The culture is different but I'm loving it."Berridge has been training almost continuously over the past three months. He took a week off due to flu after destroying Brazilian Rogerio Damasco in Auckland a month ago, but he isn't one to take a rest."I like my food so if I don't train and keep eating I'm going to get too fat."There's no point in getting up to 90kg and having to strip down to 79."

- NZ Herald

Money, fights and sex: 'get it while you can' 

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN PHILADELPHIA

From the importance of a good jab to the acceptance of sex before fighting - former world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes readily handed out advice to top New Zealand boxers Joseph Parker and Robbie Berridge today.Holmes welcomed the two and their Kiwi entourage into his Champ's Corner bar and restaurant in Easton, on the outskirts of Philadelphia in the US.A grandfatherly chat evolved into a long and casual dinner, surrounded by the memorabilia Holmes collected through 38 years of fighting including ruling the world from 1978-85.Grounded at first, but warming to the eager attention he was receiving, the 64-year-old delivered some gold to the young Kiwis in technical and general terms.They soaked it up ahead of their fights at the Sands Casino on Sunday night with Holmes enjoying their company so much, he said he would do "everything I can" to attend.He also indicated a willingness to come to New Zealand, even possibly for December's Fight For Life event.Holmes said the best fighting advice he could offer the Kiwis today was the need for an effective jab, a weapon he won universal acclaim for."You make them drunk with your jab, then you mug them," he said."You've got to flick that, you've got to whip it" he implored, holding his left hand close to his heart and then unleashing it with incredible speed.Holmes became animated, rising from his chair to demonstrate hand work and footwork and correct techniques."Go out and kick arse ... when in doubt always stick that jab out. Keep your hands up, be fast, and be first. And don't be scared."Parker said that jab advice alone was worth the trip to meet Holmes. Parker said his coach Kevin Barry had rated Holmes' jab as the best in the business and the one to model his own on."I've watched a lot of his fights and he has got the best jab. Kevin has told me a lot about it. We always talked about Larry and how fast and effective his jab was."I think this shows me that Kev is teaching me the right things. Champions do it and now I'm starting to do it myself. His speed with his jab was the best."That was just amazing he took the time out to see us. It's an honour to actually meet the guy I've talked about. He knows everything there is about boxing."Dedication, hard work and money - he is money driven, it's get it while you can. If he comes along (to Sunday's fight) that would be amazing. I'll have to put on a good performance."Holmes raised some eyebrows and some laughs when he readily aired the topic of sex ahead of fighting."If you want sex, go get it," he smiled. "It will help you relax ... even the night before a fight. I did it."

Holmes said the relaxation was a crucial ingredient as well as wise training."Be dedicated. Hard work aint that easy but it's fair. But don't leave it all on the roads running or in the gym," Holmes said, emphasising inside the ropes was the place to excel.Holmes also had some valuable offerings on longevity. Sprightly and clearly sound of mind despite his long time in the game, he said the key was not getting hit."Don't take the shots. Go in and do your thing and then get out of range."Some boxers can't talk because they got hit too much," he said noting the physical decline of  fellow great Muhammad Ali as an example.Holmes said boxing was a tough game and that deserved reward. Money was clearly a motivator for him - and still was."It's all about the money. If you can't get the money, don't do it. I could make you a champion," he told rising heavyweight star Parker."Where's a contract? I'm like [promoter] Don King, I could steal you," he joked.Holmes, with all the confidence of a man who defended his heavyweight title a staggering 20 times, told Parker's father Dempsey: "the smartest thing you did is you brought him here to see me."Holmes liked the look of Parker, especially his height."He's a big guy. He has the opportunity. Saturday night I'll see what he can do. He's still young and you don't learn overnight. He seems to have good support from people with goodness in their hearts," Holmes said of the 22-year-old.Holmes believed the heavyweight division was "wide open" as Parker starts to stake his claim, having lifted to No 15 on the WBO rankings inside two years.Holmes had little time for the current fighters, questioning the abilities of the Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali, and also criticising them for hiding behind pay-per-view walls that denied the public the enjoyment of seeing world champions."How do I know about people we don't see?" he asked. "They're nice guys, I've met them. But I don't know about them because they don't fight here (in the United States)."As for Klitchkos' intimidating size, Holmes scoffed: "You hit them right, they will fall."He believed the lack of American talent at the top of the heavyweight ranks and other divisions was through "a lack of desire".Holmes' long-time friend and adviser, Jim Blasco, helped arrange today's meeting and said Parker and Berridge should feel honoured for the way he opened up to them."That's advice you can't buy. Larry doesn't give actual hitting advice to many people," Blasco said.

​* Duncan Johnstone was flown to the United States by Duco Promotions

- Stuff


Lesson of a lifetime for Kiwi heavyweight

Kiwi boxing heavyweight Joseph Parker has been treated to the lesson of a lifetime ahead of his debut in the ring on American soil.It all started through a beer former World Champion Larry Holmes was having in his Philadelphia restaurant.Holmes hosted the Parker camp at his bar, but what was planned as a brief meeting over a beer turned into a two hour tutorial.Holmes enjoyed what he saw: "What I'm seeing is ok for what he's doing, he can improve on it cos he's still young, but it takes time, it's not a game that you learn overnight."Parker relished the opportunity to gain some pearls of wisdom from Holmes."It is priceless right, I was talking to his friend Jim, and Jim said he doesn't usually get up and show boxers a lot of his moves or how to do this or do that but he got up for us."It's just awesome just sitting down and just talking to him and sort of listening to what he has to say."

VIDEO: Boxing: Holmes still a champion entertainer
(please click title to watch video)

At the Champs' Corner Bar and Grill on 91 Larry Holmes Ave, the man himself is sitting at a table on the balcony and talking to his good friend Jimmy when Joseph Parker and Robert Berridge walk out to meet him.Holmes, a 64-year-old former heavyweight champion of the world, is looking out over the Lehigh River and sipping from a pint of Budweiser, which leads nicely into the first of many pieces of advice he hands to the two New Zealanders who are fighting near his Easton home here on Sunday.Known as the Easton Assassin and the heavyweight with perhaps the best left jab ever, Holmes tells the Kiwis, who are clearly impressed to be in his presence: "You make 'em drunk and then you mug 'em. The jab is always your best punch."Quietly at first, Holmes meets the entourage of Parker and Berridge, including Parker's parents Dempsey and Sala, and Berridge's fiancee Renee.Soon, however, he is on his feet, showing Parker, in particular, how to master that famous left. Jimmy says quietly to one of the group that the champ, a natural raconteur, doesn't normally give advice to fighters.

Maybe the fact that the pair have come so far and are fighting in his backyard has made all the difference."No, what are you doing?" he asks Parker. "Throw it out that way, pop, like a whip."Stay loose, tighten at the end, pop. Step in like that, pop."Later, Holmes turns to Sala and says: "The smartest thing you did was bring him here. My mama didn't like to see me fight. She said 'the only one who hits him is me'."He turns to Parker and Berridge and says: "I got a lot of things to teach you boys but you didn't bring a pencil and paper. I know this stuff, I know it!"Holmes does. He was the heavyweight champion of the world from 1978-85, fought professionally 75 times, lost six, which he disputes to this day, and was knocked out only once - by Mike Tyson in 1988.The hardest hitter? Earnie Shavers. Toughest fight? Ken Norton."No one thought I could do it. I ran around the hills here and people said 'what are you doing boy, come and have a drink'. But I said 'I ain't gonna do it if I don't try'.There is a sense that Holmes wasn't appreciated during his career, sandwiched as it was between those of Muhammad Ali, whom he beat in 1980, and Tyson.He is now. He shows Parker and Berridge around the memorabilia in his restaurant which by now is filling with families.Taking pride of place on his "wall of fame" is a large portrait of Martin Luther King, the American civil rights campaigner."I put him up there because what I achieved was minor compared to what he did," Holmes says.Parker says afterwards: "It's an honour. He knows everything about boxing."His jab and the speed that he had was the best. Before I met Larry all I heard was how fast his jab was and how effective it was. That's what we try to do and now I've met the guy who we've been talking about."As Parker and company sit down to eat, Holmes, ever the showman, says: "Somebody sing!"Patrick McKendry travelled to the USA with assistance from Duco Events

By Patrick McKendry of APNZ

Nickname needed for rising boxing star Parker

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Joseph Parker is rapidly making a name for himself in the heavyweight boxing ranks, but maybe it's time he got a new name.You know, one of those monikers that sums up the person and the athlete, reflects their personality and abilities, and sounds good when being drawled out at high velocity by the ring announcer.It's all part of the game of professional boxing.Slugged the "American Invasion", Kiwi boxers Parker and Robbie Berridge were due to fight Sunday in Bethlehem, near Philadelphia in the US.Berridge would enter the ring to the bellow of his appropriate nickname "The Butcher", but Parker would be announced as ... well, just exactly who he is - Joseph Parker.Two years into a professional career that's netted him nine consecutive wins and earned him an exciting No 15 ranking with the WBO, no one has been able to attach a tag to Parker.Not even Duco Promotions, his livewire backers known for some left-field moves in the sporting domain, especially the circus elements that came with boxing, have been reluctant to brand Parker.A few people have had a go, but nothing has stuck.

When he fought a low-rent bout against fellow Kiwi Brice Ritani-Coe in Irvine, California, just over a year ago, the ring announcer bellowed Joseph "Wild Child" Parker. It didn't stick, thank goodness. Parker didn't like it, and nor should he. Having no nickname was no reflection on the polite 22-year-old who has let his fast hands do the talking.Others have loosely tried "Explosive Joseph", even "Jurassic Park-er", "Joe The Jury", and Joseph "The Power" Parker.It got raised in a quiet chat after a visit to the grave of heavyweight legend Smokin' Joe Frazier.There's no way Parker wants the Smokin' tag given the association it had with Frazier, one of the true greats of the sport."Smokin'" needs to be retired, something like the American franchises do with the shirt numbers of their greatest athletes who were no longer active.Living up to the pressures of "Smokin" would be just too much.But what about "Gentleman Joe". It wasn't entirely unique. There was a Gentleman Jim Corbett, an American who won the world heavyweight title way back in 1894 and was credited with changing prizefighting from a brawl into an art form, even labelled the father of modern boxing because of his scientific approach in a far more rudimentary era.Jim, by all accounts, was a real nice guy. And they didn't come much nicer in New Zealand sport than Parker, the ever-obliging heavyweight with a soft touch to life outside the ring.Consider this. A day after knocking out Brian Minto in Auckland last month, Parker rang up the veteran American and took him out to lunch just to show there were no hard feelings.What's more, he presented Minto with a greenstone pendant as a long-serving reminder of their rivalry and Minto's growing appreciation of New Zealand.That's a touch of class. That's a gentlemanly act - that's Gentleman Joe.And just quietly, I've got a feeling he likes the tag.Will it stick? Time will tell.What nickname do you like for Joseph Parker? Share your ideas in comments below.

- Stuff


​Boxer Joseph Parker targets top-10 opponent
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Plans are in place to have Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker fight a world top 10 opponent in New Zealand before the end of the year.The bout was likely to headline the next edition of the Fight for Life extravaganza.It was almost certain to be held outside of Auckland in December. Parker's promoter, Duco Events, expected criticism as it continued to push its prized fighter, but made no apologies.Parker has risen to every challenge in a blossoming nine-fight professional career that had raised him to a WBO ranking of 15.Parker has no problem with his demanding schedule."I'm comfortable. I have a great team, and before they tick off on anything they discuss it with me and [trainer] Kevin Barry," he said."I'm excited with the steps we are taking."I know we are moving fast, but to keep getting better you have to keep fighting and learning in the ring. That's how you learn your craft."Duco was not putting an opponent's name in the public arena yet, but it would be Parker's fifth fight this year and his fourth in six months.He would fight little-known American Keith Thompson in Bethlehem, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, on Sunday.He would then put his WBA Oriental and PABA titles on the line against Bermuda's durable Sherman Williams in Auckland on October 16.But December loomed as his biggest test to-date and a crucial step in the ambitious plans to snare Parker a world title fight by the end of next year.Duco boss Dean Lonergan said a win in December could elevate Parker into the WBO's top five and start to give the camp real bargaining power."It was always the plan to fight Joe at least five or six times this year," he said."We think he's capable of a lot more than what most other people think he is capable of.

"We are definitely looking to fight someone in the top 10 before Christmas. There are a number of guys we think we should be targeting, so we are doing that right now."People criticised us, saying that Brian Minto was a step too far [Parker won], but it's not just a decision by me or [Duco partner] David Higgins."We take into account what our matchmaker, Stuart Duncan, has to say and most importantly what Kevin Barry has to say."At the end of the day, he knows exactly where Joseph is at and we have passed a couple of names by Kev and he says, 'Yeah, I like it', so it's now a case of us going to get it."Duco has long chased unbeaten Australian Lucas Brown, who was ranked seventh by the IBF and eighth by the WBC, but Browne has priced himself out of Duco's range."He's too scared to fight us," Lonergan said."He's a big, fat, slow slug who we'd love to knock out."We think he's a pretender who shouldn't be near the rankings."Parker said there was no danger of getting too far ahead of himself.He was focused on Thompson and realised the importance of a good result on Sunday as he debuted on American television.Parker said beating Minto had given him huge self-belief, especially since Minto had demolished Shane Cameron, a Kiwi fighter Parker had looked up to."Minto was a tough dude who knew a lot of tricks," he said."It gave me confidence in myself and what I can do in the ring, and confidence that if we put in the hard work and follow the plan, everything can fall into place."The highlight was executing the game plan."Parker's Philadelphia buildup yesterday included a visit to the grave of former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier."It was humbling to visit the grave site of Joe Frazier, a hall of famer," Parker said."I certainly never thought I'd visit the grave of the first man to beat Muhammad Ali."It's definitely inspiring to see that plaque and the picture on his grave. Reading that ... his world titles, it's definitely something I want to achieve. It's motivation."Parker was joined by Kiwi light-heavyweight Robbie Berridge, who would fight on the same card on Sunday.Lonergan said the next Fight for Life was likely to again be a rugby v rugby league format, and he was pleased about plans to get "exciting" players involved.- Duncan Johnstone travelled to the United States as a guest of Duco Events.

- Stuff

​Smokin' Joe inspires Parker


With aspirations of being a world champion, Joseph Parker has today drawn inspiration from one of boxing's all-time greats. A visit to the grave of former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, remembered for his involvement in the "The Fight of the Century" against Muhammad Ali, was used to put things into perspective ahead of Parker's fight against Sherman Williams on Sunday (NZT).  Standing before Frazier's resting place, adorned with a near life-size portrait, at the Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Parker said: "When I look at his grave site and the picture in front of it, it inspires me," he said. "I want to be champion of the world."I know that it takes time but I'll definitely get there."Parker and fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge are on a Main Event card at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.At the age of 22, Parker has already drawn attention from the likes of former world middleweight champion Oscar De la Hoya, who is now one of boxing's biggest promoters.The South Aucklander is looking to build on his dominant performance against American Brian Minto a month ago and take his professional fight record to 10-0. 

Boxing: Frazier grave visit helps inspire Parker


A visit to the grave of former world champion Joe Frazier today has helped inspire Joseph Parker to reach the heights of the man who became known as Smokin' Joe.New Zealanders Parker and Robert Berridge, both of whom fight on a Main Event card at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem in Pennsylvania on Sunday NZT, paid their respects to Frazier's legacy at the Ivy Hill Cemetery on the outskirts of Philadelphia.Frazier, who died of cancer on November 7, 2011 at the age of 67, lost only four times in his professional career - twice to Muhammad Ali and twice to George Foreman. A near life-size portrait of him as a boxer adorns his grave, but a plaque placed at the leafy site by his family paints him as a family man with a love of cars, church and music."To come and visit the grave site of a champion... he was the first one to beat Muhammad Ali," said Parker, who has seen many of Frazier's fights on YouTube."He had the brawler style, he liked to come in because he wasn't that tall. He came in and bobbed and weaved. They are the hardest to fight because of the pressure they bring. It's definitely inspiring.

​"The desire to be world champion burns strongly in 22-year-old Parker and the belief has been helped significantly by his performance in his last fight a month ago - a demolition of experienced American Brian Minto.Minto is an experienced fighter who went into the bout in South Auckland with self-belief of his own after a victory in a bloody brawl over Shane Cameron, one of Parker's role models, and a bag of tricks picked up during his many years as a professional."For me that was a big step up," said Parker. "He was a tough dude and knew a lot of tricks. In the training camp we did everything we could to prepare and after the victory that was a boost for me because everything we did was working."To beat someone who beat Shane Cameron and someone who has been around the world and fought different champions, the feeling was cool."It gave me confidence in myself and what I can do in the ring and confidence that if we put in the hard work, listen to the coach and follow the plan then everything will fall in place. Probably the highlight of the fight was executing the plan. In previous fights I wasn't able to or didn't follow instructions."In an odd twist, one of the gravestones facing that of Frazier's is inscribed by the name "Joseph Parker", who died in 1890.

- APNZ

​​Kiwi boxers attract promoters after Glasgow

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

New Zealand's biggest boxing promoters are keen to sound out the country's Commonwealth Games stars about their futures.Duco Events boss Dean Lonergan said his company had been monitoring the outstanding form of Commonwealth Games light-heavyweight gold medalist David Nyika and heavyweight silver medallist David Light.They were thrilled to see their success and were interested to see how they might fit into the country's rejuvenated professional scene."We're always interested in talking to talent," Lonergan said.Duco's Kiwi stable is headed by heavyweight Joseph Parker and light-heavyweight Robbie Berridge, who have both rocketed up the world rankings over the last couple of years and are in action in the United States this Sunday on a televised card.Duco are about to add Australian welterweight Jeff Horn to their list with Lonergan describing the 26-year-old as a "once-in-a-generation boxer".Nyika, blessed with good footwork and fast hands, could claim the same title in New Zealand terms, winning the country's first Commonwealth gold since 1990.Lonergan believed amateur boxers were capable of making an easier transition to the professional ranks now that they were fighting without headgear and using the same 10-point scoring system.He said it would be up to Nyika and Light as to how they saw their futures, but they were certainly interested in "touching base".

But Duco may be out of luck with both fighters if their comments in the immediate aftermath to their Glasgow success are anything to go by.Light, 22, indicated he had little respect or interest in the money ranks and also wanted to ensure his long-term health in a sport that has little regard for head injuries.Nyika, a late starter for the Commonwealth Games team who blossomed into one of their stars, suggested he would like to pursue an Olympic dream at Rio de Janeiro in two years' time.Some insiders suggest Nyika is more talented than Parker. He will certainly need all his skills to just reach Rio, let alone prove a force there on a boxing stage with far more talent than the Commonwealth can deliver.Parker found out how brutal the Olympics selection process is after he missed out on the London 2012 Games and then turned professional, quickly making inroads."It's a hard road as an amateur and two years is a long time," noted Lonergan."A talent like Joseph has quickly seen how he can earn good money for himself and his family in that time."Lonergan's partner at Duco Events, David Higgins, said the biggest outcome he hoped for from boxing's success at the Commonwealth Games was that it received improved funding, describing the financial support handed out in the leadup to Glasgow as "a pittance".

- Stuff


VIDEO:Joseph Parker is getting into the winning mind set

(please click title to watch video)
​VIDEO:Boxing: Kiwis in 'Rocky's' footsteps
(please click title to watch video)
​VIDEO:Top Kiwi fighters run the Rocky Steps 
(please click title to watch video)

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN PHILADELPHIA

It remains the quintessential boxing movie and young Kiwi fighters Joseph Parker and Robbie Berridge proved it had stood the test of time as they re-enacted one of its famous scenes in Philadelphia today.Sylvester Stallone's 1976 classic Rocky launched a six-move series that won three Oscars, based around the battling boxer Rocky Balboa.In the most basic of fitness programmes he built his leg strength by running up the 72 steps leading to the city's beautiful Museum of Art. Hardly able to jog up them at the start of his campaign, he was triumphant in sprinting up them by the end of the original.They have become known as the Rocky Steps. A statue of the fighter stands at their base and there were plenty of locals using them today in their own fitness workouts.The sight of two large men draped in New Zealand flags jogging up and down them turned more than a few heads.Heavyweight Parker and light-heavyweight Berridge would fight on Sunday in Bethlehem, about an hour's drive from "Philly" and couldn't resist the chance to honour the landmark.Parker, 22, said he had watched the original Rocky "a few times'' and refreshed himself on YouTube yesterday, before arriving in Philadelphia from his Las Vegas base this morning.

"We wanted to come straight here to the steps. It's a beautiful day and a beautiful place. It makes the movie very real for me now," Parker said."I was going to get dressed for the occasion ... wear the old grey sweats. I watched parts of the movie again last night just to get Rocky's actions right going up the steps and his celebration."Berridge, 29, on his first trip to the United States, was quite moved by the experience."It was awesome after seeing the movie and then running the Rocky Steps. I'm just looking forward to getting my fight in America ... I'm here to do my thing," the knockout specialist said.It was a real trip down memory lane for Parker's trainer Kevin Barry."I can remember going to the Rocky premier in Christchurch. I came out feeling so pumped I wanted to get into the ring," Barry said."I've sent hem all, but the original Rocky is still my favourite."He had done the ritual of the Rocky Steps in 2003 when he was in charge of David Tua who fought a controversial draw with Hasim Raman in Philadelphia.Barry took Tua to the steps and they ran up them with the then world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins.Barry felt that running the steps was "a good motivation" for Parker and Berridge ahead of important fights on Sunday.Parker was taking on American Keith Thompson over six rounds while Berridge was putting his WBO Oriental and WBC Asian belts on the line against unbeaten Russian champion Vasily Lepikhim.Both fights were on a card that would be televised in the United States, exposing them to a huge audience. The fights would also be televised in New Zealand.- Duncan Johnstone travelled to the United States courtesy of Duco Events.

- Stuff


Interview: WBO #15 heavyweight Joseph Parker
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

WBO #15 heavyweight Joseph Parker (9-0, 8 KOs) of New Zealand talks to Fightnews about his recent win over Brian Minto and also about the current world heavyweight champions Wladimir Klitschko, Bermane Stiverne and Ruslan Chagaev.You were recently rated with WBO after scoring a sensational win over tough American Brian Minto. He had defeated your countryman, former world rated Shane Cameron. Was that your most outstanding ring achievement? Your thoughts on that fight.I have valued all of the professional fights that I have had to date as learning experiences, great tests and confidence boosters as I have felt myself become a better fighter with my training, mental and physical preparation and time in the ring. I went into my fight with Minto well prepared knowing he was a step up as an opponent as someone who has skill and maneuvers that can only be gained from years of experience. Winning against Minto and gaining a ranking in the WBO, as well as showcasing myself as a more focused and clinical boxer is definitely the most outstanding ring achievement to date.Your manager and trainer Kevin Barry accused Minto of using performance enhancing drugs. Was that correct? Your thoughts?With my promotion, management and training my team and I have put in a lot of effort to keep them all separate. My promotion is exclusively dealt with by DUCO Promotions, I have a management team that does not include Kevin although Kevin’s advice is valued, whilst Kevin deals predominantly with the training side of my career. Kevin is a great trainer and as such has my best interest at heart and does not shy from speaking out if he feels that something needs to be addressed. I respect Minto as a fighter and we are great friends and whether he was using performance-enhancing drugs or not is something I feel that is for my trainer and promoters to deal with and address.You are scheduled to fight in the USA in August. Who will you fight? Where? How good is your opponent? Your thoughts?My fight in August will be held in Pennsylvania USA and my opponent is a fighter named Keith Thompson. In every fight that I go into, I try not to distinguish whether an opponent is good or not, I know that in boxing it is dangerous to underestimate any fighter especially being in the heavyweight division.

I go into training camp and train the house down every time and prepare as well as possible for each and every fight. However, in saying that we aim to have purposeful training and so we try to study our opponent and tailor training to factor in our opponent’s height, style, strength and weaknesses.You are also scheduled to fight American journeyman Sherman Williams. He has boxed the very best heavyweights and was recently sacked by Wladimir Klitschko as a sparring partner. You were scheduled to fight him in Germany earlier this year but he pulled out of the fight. Give me your thoughts on Williams. Are you confident of victory.I have a fight scheduled in August and that is all I am focusing on at the moment and although the future fight with Williams is in the back of my mind, it is premature to put too much thought into it having another fight immediately in front of me right now.I would say however though that I had been scheduled to fight Williams in Germany and had a six-week training camp prior to that fight focusing on building up a game plan to deal with Williams’ height and style of fighting. I would think therefore that in preparation for a fight with Williams it would be a case of picking up where we left off. I also know that if I prepare as thoroughly as possible and go into the fight with a positive frame of mind that I would go into the fight confident that I am capable of victory.It was report Marcelo Luiz Nascimento gave you problems before you stopped him in seven rounds on the undercard to Klitschko v. Leapai. Tell me about that fight?It was a huge deal for me to be on the undercard of a world heavyweight title fight and a Klitschko event fighting on the world stage. Like I mentioned before, I had been scheduled to fight Sherman Williams and had been preparing for a shorter fighter, which meant that our gameplan had to be tweaked in the limited time that we had from the announcement of change of opponent. The last minute change of opponent is not ideal but not uncommon in the world of boxing and so we just dealt with it. I was not as fully prepared gameplan-wise for fighting Nascimento and in the sixth round I ran into some trouble when I lost focus and allowed Nascimento to land a good shot to my left ear leaving me with a bothersome ringing in my ear which caused me to momentarily be off balance. I went back to my corner after round six and Kevin gave me the mental boost that I needed, telling me to concentrate and advising what I needed to do. I was then able to go into the seventh round determined to carry out what we had planned in training and coming away with a satisfying victory.Your two round stoppage of former world heavyweight champion Frans Botha gave you global exposure. Tell me about that fight? Did you expect the early stoppage?Frans Botha is an experienced boxer and has been in the ring with some of the best boxers in the world, it was not surprising then that in the build up to my fight with Botha there were many people who doubted whether I would be able to rise to the challenge. My team and I have always felt that if I want to be a great fighter and be able to work towards my goal of a world heavyweight championship title fight, I have to be constantly challenged and pushed, which is the best way to progress in the sport of boxing.I don’t go into a fight looking for or expecting a knock out and certainly not one that early in the fight, however if the opportunity arises you take it but still I am sure when people watched the fight they could spot the surprised expression I had when Botha went down.

​The victory over Botha and the second round knockout was certainly a moment that helped give me global exposure that I needed.You have had only 9 professional fights and at 22 years of age how long before you would be ready to challenge for world crown? Your thoughts on world heavyweight champions WBA, IBF, WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, WBC champion Bermane Stiverne, WBA (regular champion) Ruslan Chagaev. Are they beatable?There is not a specific time frame for when I want to take on a heavyweight boxing challenge but it is a goal of mine and my team and I are certainly working hard towards that goal. I am constantly being challenged and pushed and although it is still early in my career and I am still young, I would imagine that if everything went to plan that hopefully a world heavyweight title shot was not in the too distant future.I admire all those boxers who hold world titles, being a boxer I know how much hard work, sacrifice and determination goes into being successful in this sport. However, even though I admire and respect the world boxing champions, I do believe that any fighter is beatable.Australia has WBC #7, IBF #7, WBA #13 Lucas Browne. Would you be interested in a Browne vs. Parker fight?I would be.What would you like to say to readers of FightnewsI am determined, dedicated and training hard everyday with my sights set on being world champion. Definitely keep an eye out for Joseph Parker, I am still in the early stages of my career but you can definitely expect exciting things to come from me and my team.



Parker still set to spar in Vegas, despite delays
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Kevin Barry intends having Joseph Parker sparring in Las Vegas despite his partner still being stuck in New Zealand ahead of next week's fight in the United States.Parker and Barry have had to delay their flight to America for a further day after the heavyweight's passport again failed to materialise from the United States consulate in Auckland today.Parker had his work permit approved last Friday but his passport has been caught in a backlog of paperwork following a global computer glitch.That has thrown a question mark over Parker's last minute training plans as he puts the finishing touches to his preparations to fight American Keith Thompson in Pennsylvania on Sunday week (NZ time).Barry is happy with the condition of his charge but still wants to apply some polish at their Las Vegas base before switching coasts for the fight.They are ''very hopeful'' they will be on a flight to Los Angeles tomorrow, allowing them to get in some sparring in Las Vegas over the weekend.

​''I still want a couple of days in Las Vegas and I think that's going to be possible,'' said a frustrated Barry.''We are certainly going to be doing everything we can to achieve that. I think it's going to be important for Joseph just to get his feet on the ground in Vegas for a couple of days. I also want him to do a some sparring there."It's not about the rounds, we've done that here, it's just about getting a couple of good sessions in.''Parker has sparred 18 rounds with local opponents in Auckland over the last couple of weeks as he remained in New Zealand following his July 6 knockout win over American heavyweight Brian Minto.Barry said Parker was in good shape and was handling the mental test of the repeated delays. He had maintained his 102kg fighting weight and his general fitness was where it needed to be.''He has stayed very, very healthy. What we have been doing in the gym will more than carry him through six rounds.''With the travel complications, Barry was pleased they had insisted on fighting the shorter distance.''I was never keen on 10 rounds given Joseph's busy schedule. I would have been happy with eight rounds, but under the circumstances we'll take six.''In reality, the Parker camp want this assignment finished much quicker.With the fight being televised in the United States they are keen for Parker to display renowned hand speed to finish the fight early against a 33-year-old opponent who has just nine fights to his name, winning seven and losing two. 




Joseph Parker now forced to consider bypassing Las Vegas sparring 

New Zealand Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is still no closer to getting on a flight to the United States.  His passport has not been returned today and his flight out of Auckland tonight has been cancelled.The 22-year-old has had his working visa approved but is yet to get his passport back from the US Consulate in Auckland and as a result cannot fly.A global US immigration computer glitch is still delaying proceedings We now have our fingers crossed he can fly tomorrow but the US Consulate is still giving us no guarantees that his passport will be returned.Time has almost run out to get him into camp in Las Vegas because Joseph is scheduled to be in Philadelphia this coming Monday for promotional activities.Joseph is desperate to get to Vegas as soon as possible for some quality sparring before his fight against durable Keith Thompson in Pennsylvania next Sunday (August 10).  A decision on whether to forget about Vegas and just head directly to Philadelphia will be made overnight.We will be making no further comment tonight.

JOSEPH PARKER FACES UP TO US AUTHORITIES

Embargoed until 6am Fri 25 July 2014    New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker has his fingers crossed ahead of an appointment at the US Consulate in Auckland today (Friday July 25).The 22 year old is hoping to be issued an American working visa which will allow him to make his US television debut alongside fellow kiwi, Robert “the Butcher” Berridge on NBC Showtime, Sunday morning August 10 (NZ time).If he gets his visa, Parker will immediately board a plane to Las Vegas with trainer Kevin Barry but has been told by the Americans further delays are likely. “The American embassy people have been great to deal with,” said Parker.“But they’re warning me not to get my hopes up “They’ve told me they are experiencing ‘worldwide clearance issues’.  I don’t know exactly what that means but it doesn’t sound good.”“Psychologically, I need to get back to Vegas to train as soon as I can.”Until now, Parker has been freely able to enter and exit America as a visitor because he has not been receiving a wage at his Vegas training camp. Kevin Barry believes they have adjusted the best they could training in New Zealand ahead of fighting Keith Thompson, the sparring partner of highly regarded undefeated American contender, Deontay Wilder.

“The biggest difference (training in New Zealand) has been Joseph doing seven kilometres a day on a treadmill inside, rather than hitting the pavements, outside, in Vegas.“We just can’t afford him getting a chill in the New Zealand winter.“Obviously sparring is also a lot higher standard in the states.“We are keeping US promoter Main Events updated daily because they desperately want Joseph on their card.” Barry has found one upside to staying on in New Zealand.  The former Commonwealth Light Heavyweight champion and 1982 bronze medallist can tune into the boxing from Glasgow on Saturday morning.“There’s no doubt in my opinion Patrick Mailata is a six foot three David Tua.  I know he’s aiming to go one better that Joseph in Delhi.”


Parker Draws Interest From Golden Boy, Goossen, Duva

​By Duncan Johnstone

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker is being courted by one of the biggest names in world boxing to promote his future fights in the United States.Oscar De La Hoya, the 10-time world champion and man behind Golden Boy Promotions, has been in contact with Parker, sounding out his intentions.Parker's Kiwi handlers, Duco Events bosses Dean Lonergan and David Higgins, will use next month's fight in America to meet with Golden Boy Promotions' senior vice-president Eric Gomez.Parker will fight little-known American Keith Thompson at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 9 over six rounds.Clearly if he can continue to make rapid progress to his exciting beginnings in the professional ranks, bigger things are on the horizon for the South Aucklander, 22, who this week rose to No 15 on the respected WBO rankings.De La Hoya's company is a major player. It is co-promoting September's welterweight title rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.Unbeaten Mayweather is the biggest name in the game, just as De Hoya himself once was before moving into the promotions field in 2002."Oscar texted Joe last week asking who his US promoter was," Lonergan explained.

"You've got to realise that Joe spends a lot of time in Las Vegas these days and the boxing world is a small place there, especially when you are sparring with the likes of [WBC champion] Bermane Stiverne."It's not surprising to us but it's a great opportunity that we are going to follow up."Lonergan and Higgins, unashamedly ambitious for Parker and their own company, plan to make good use of their time in the United States.Parker‘s fight there is promoted by long-time player Main Events and they will sit down with its boss, Kathy Duva, to ascertain her company's long-term interest in the fast-handed Kiwi.They are also hoping to touch base with another big name promoter, Dan Goossen.It's a volatile time in American boxing promotions with lawsuits flying faster than bad left hooks and Duco will need to be cautious and wise.There's also the threat of having Parker snatched away from them."I guess that threat exists," Lonergan admitted. "But we have a six-year contract with Joe and a fantastic relationship. We don't see that changing but we do see this as very exciting . . . it's more about working with other promoters."

As for Parker's next assignment that comes on the undercard to heavyweight title contender Vyacheslav's clash with Derric Rossy, Duco see Thompson as a worthy opponent.American Thompson is another young fighter looking to make an impression, he has won seven fights including avenging one of his two losses.He is a regular sparring partner to top American prospect, the unbeaten Deontay Wilder.But with a fight already set up against Sherman Williams in Auckland on September 16 and the American bout being beamed to a live audience via network giant NBC, it's hard to imagine Thompson being anything other than hand-picked for defeat by Parker - especially with the De La Hoya and Duva eyeing proceedings.The six-round distance has been designed to accommodate Parker's busy schedule as he has just come off a seventh round knockout of American Brian Minto and is looking at three fights in four months."But I think it's also about producing a different performance," Lonergan said."Trainer Kevin Barry wants more volume of punches to be thrown in this fight. We were impressed with Joseph's discipline in beating Minto."However, one of the things that struck him when he was on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko was the accuracy the world champion had considering the number of punches he threw. That's the challenge for Joe now."Fellow Kiwi Robbie Berridge, who also fights on the Pennsylvania card, has seen his WBO ranking lift a place to No 9.Impressive Australian welterweight Jeff Horn, who Duco are courting, is up to No 14 in the WBO rankings.



​Joseph Parker Moving Up Quick in The WBO Ranks

Duncan Johnstone


"New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has climbed to No 15 on the WBO's latest rankings. Parker's significant rankings rise with the respected organisation comes on the back of his seventh round win over American Brian Minto in Auckland two weeks ago. New Zealand light heavyweight Robbie Berridge has also moved up with the WBO, lifting a spot to No 9 to keep him New Zealand's highest-ranked professional boxer. Both Parker and Berrdige were set to fight in the United States on August 9 on a Main Events promotion in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that would be televised live in both America and New Zealand. Independent rankings based on a points system run by BoxRec and covering fights in all organisations have Parker ranked No 30 in the world heavyweights and Berridge at No 16 in the light heavyweight division."


​Oscar De La Hoya wants Joseph Parker on board

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker is being courted by one of the biggest names in world boxing to promote his future fights in the United States.Oscar De La Hoya, the 10-time world champion and man behind Golden Boy Promotions, has been in contact with Parker, sounding out his intentions.Parker's Kiwi handlers, Duco Events bosses Dean Lonergan and David Higgins, will use next month's fight in America to meet with Golden Boy Promotions' senior vice-president Eric Gomez.Parker will fight little-known American Keith Thompson at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 10 over six rounds.Clearly if he can continue to make rapid progress to his exciting beginnings in the professional ranks, bigger things are on the horizon for the South Aucklander, 22, who this week rose to No 15 on the respected WBO rankings.De La Hoya's company is a major player. It is co-promoting September's welterweight title rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.Unbeaten Mayweather is the biggest name in the game, just as De Hoya himself once was before moving into the promotions field in 2002."Oscar texted Joe last week asking who his US promoter was," Lonergan explained."You've got to realise that Joe spends a lot of time in Las Vegas these days and the boxing world is a small place there, especially when you are sparring with the likes of [WBC champion] Bermane Stiverne.

"It's not surprising to us but it's a great opportunity that we are going to follow up."Lonergan and Higgins, unashamedly ambitious for Parker and their own company, plan to make good use of their time in the United States.Parker‘s fight there is promoted by long-time player Main Events and they will sit down with its boss, Kathy Duva, to ascertain her company's long-term interest in the fast-handed Kiwi.They are also hoping to touch base with another big name promoter, Dan Goossen.It's a volatile time in American boxing promotions with lawsuits flying faster than bad left hooks and Duco will need to be cautious and wise.There's also the threat of having Parker snatched away from them."I guess that threat exists," Lonergan admitted. "But we have a six-year contract with Joe and a fantastic relationship. We don't see that changing but we do see this as very exciting . . . it's more about working with other promoters."As for Parker's next assignment that comes on the undercard to heavyweight title contender Vyacheslav's clash with Derric Rossy, Duco see Thompson as a worthy opponent.American Thompson is another young fighter looking to make an impression, he has won seven fights including avenging one of his two losses.He is a regular sparring partner to top American prospect, the unbeaten Deontay Wilder.But with a fight already set up against Sherman Williams in Auckland on September 16 and the American bout being beamed to a live audience via network giant NBC, it's hard to imagine Thompson being anything other than hand-picked for defeat by Parker - especially with the De La Hoya and Duva eyeing proceedings.The six-round distance has been designed to accommodate Parker's busy schedule as he has just come off a seventh round knockout of American Brian Minto and is looking at three fights in four months."But I think it's also about producing a different performance," Lonergan said."Trainer Kevin Barry wants more volume of punches to be thrown in this fight. We were impressed with Joseph's discipline in beating Minto."However, one of the things that struck him when he was on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko was the accuracy the world champion had considering the number of punches he threw. That's the challenge for Joe now."Fellow Kiwi Robbie Berridge, who also fights on the Pennsylvania card, has seen his WBO ranking lift a place to No 9.Impressive Australian welterweight Jeff Horn, who Duco are courting, is up to No 14 in the WBO rankings.

JOSEPH PARKER'S NEXT TARGET
Who: Keith Thompson
Where: Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, US
When: August 10
How: Over six rounds (televised live in US and NZ)
Record: Mississippi-born Thomson has had 9 fights for 7 wins (4 KOs) and 2 losses (1 KO)
Ranking: No 111 in the US and 313 by BoxRec

- Sunday Star Times



Heavyweight’s need for US work permit holding up his Vegas preparation for fight

​Heavyweight's need for US work permit holding up his Vegas preparation for fightJoseph Parker's camp is keen to maintain momentum after his stunning performance against Brian Minto (left) in Manukau a fortnight ago. Picture / Peter MeechamPatrick McKendryAproblem securing a United States visa is severely hindering Joseph Parker's build-up to his next fight, which is just over three weeks away.Parker and trainer Kevin Barry were expecting to travel back to their Las Vegas base last week the 22-year-old heavyweight usually enters the US on a visitors' visa but because he is set to earn a purse from his fight in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 10, a working visa is required.Barry, suffering from flu and having to wear a surgical mask while training Parker, is frustrated at the hold-up which has meant the pair haven't been able to quickly build on the South Aucklander's stunning performance against Brian Minto in Manukau a fortnight ago.The Parker camp, and promoters Duco Events, are keen to not only take advantage of Parker's excellent fitness, which would have been helped by a longer stay in Las Vegas and quality sparring opponents, they are also aware that this is an excellent chance to make a splash in the US.

The fight against an unconfirmed opponent the respected Boxrec website is listing him as American Keith Thompson, but neither Barry nor Duco's Dean Lonergan would confirm that yesterday will be screened live on television there."With such a fast turnaround it's definitely not the preparation that I wanted for this next fight," Barry said. "We're trying to keep that momentum going. It's a tremendous opportunity to fight on NBC, one that we definitely want to make the most of, but to be stuck here in the middle of flu season and the cold weather ... we have a very good base in Las Vegas that works for us."My biggest concern is not knowing when this visa is coming through."I'm a little bit disappointed that this issue wasn't resolved a long time ago, but we're getting on with it. Who knows, we could be here for the next two weeks. We might even be leaving here for Pennsylvania, now that would really be terrible."Barry said he was considering asking for the fight to be shortened from 10 rounds to eight because of Parker's limited preparation.If Parker who with fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge will fight on the undercard of a main event featuring the highly ranked Vyacheslav Glazkov does fight Thompson he is unlikely to have too much difficulty. Like Parker, the American has fought nine professional bouts, but has suffered two defeats after first fighting as a pro in 2005.The undefeated Parker has fought reasonably often since turning pro almost exactly two years ago.

​- NZ Herald



Joseph Parker seeks work permit for US fight
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is battling American immigration authorities for a working permit for his next fight there and may have to restrict his training buildup to New Zealand.Parker has remained in New Zealand since beating Brian Minto in his last fight on July 6.Parker has based most of his training in Las Vegas over the last 18 months, teaming with trainer Kevin Barry. He has been freely able to enter and exit America as a visitor because he has not been receiving a wage. But that changes for his August 10 date in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he fights on the Vyacheslav Glazkov undercard against a still to be named opponent.Parker's handlers say they are in the dark about when the matter can be sorted out. But, with the help of respected promoters Main Events, they are confident they'll get through the red tape, desperate to have the 22-year-old gain exposure to the American market via the NBC live TV broadcast there.

​They had hoped to transfer to the States next week but that could change given the visa difficulties and the tight timeframe they are operating on."Joseph's won belts in his last three fights so we need to keep this momentum going and America is where we're heading," Barry said."This is the opportunity for the whole of America [to] see for the first time the fastest hands in the heavyweight division."If we are forced to have to have our whole training camp in New Zealand then so be it."In a further complication, Parker has developed a cold in Auckland's poor run of weather and that could see agreement for his next engagement to be over a shorter distance than the scheduled 10-rounder.Fellow New Zealander, light-heavyweight Robbie Berridge, fights Russian champion Vasily Lepikhin on the same promotion.- The Dominion Post



 JOSEPH PARKER FACING OPPONENT HE CAN’T POSSIBLY BEAT

Embargoed until 6am Thurs 17 July


New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker is facing his toughest opponent to date and it is outside the ring. The 22 year old is at the mercy of American Immigration officials who are stalling on issuing him a working visa ahead of his US television debut alongside fellow kiwi, Robert “the Butcher” Berridge on NBC Showtime next month. Until now, Parker has been freely able to enter and exit America as a visitor because he has not been receiving a wage at his Las Vegas training camp. But the visa hold up has dramatically thrown trainer Kevin Barry’s meticulous schedule out the window ahead of the August 10 fight in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania against an, as yet, unnamed opponent.



Joseph has developed a bit of a sniffle and I am being laid low with a head cold and a chest infection,” said Barry, who is training Parker in Auckland while wearing a surgical mask to avoid passing on any further germs. “It’s very important that we take this opportunity fighting on NBC but I’m also very aware that I’m not prepared to put Joseph in a 10 round fight at the moment and we may have to look for a fight over a shorter distance”. Parker’s promoter Dean Lonergan says he is doing everything he possibly can to get Parker back to his Las Vegas training camp as soon as possible. “US promoter Main Events desperately want Joseph on their card are working directly with American Immigration to get it sorted. 


“Unfortunately we have been given no time frame though on when the visa will come through”. Both Lonergan and Barry remain confident Parker will definitely fight alongside Berridge on the undercard of Russian world number two, Vyacheslav Glazkov. “Joseph’s won belts in his last three fights so we need to keep this momentum going and America is where we’re heading,” said Barry.  “This is the opportunity for the whole of America see for the first time the fastest hands in the heavyweight division. “If we are forced to have to have our whole training camp in New Zealand then so be it”