Joseph Parker has seen what goes in to the makings of a champion heavyweight boxer.

The 8-0 Kiwi sparred 45 rounds in the lead-up to last month's bout with Marcelo Luiz Nascimento with Haitian-born Canadian Bermane Stiverne during Parker's training camp in Las Vegas.Stiverne then went on to claim the vacant WBC heavyweight title with a sixth-round knockout of American Chris Arreola in California yesterday."We got a first-hand view on how a champion fighter trains,'' Parker said."You see him in the gym and how he works ... With Bermane Stiverne, they did pad work with his coach and a lot of things they do, Kevin [Barry] does with me.''Parker's trainer Barry has known Stiverne's coach Don House for a long time courtesy of their Las Vegas links and they struck up a solid working relationship."It was definitely great sparring for me and it's good to know I'm a main sparring partner for him'' Parker said.

"I could tell that he was a very smart boxer. He didn't waste his punches.''Stiverne put Arreola on Dream Street with a massive right to the temple in the sixth yesterday before he eventually finished him as the 35-year-old then sunk to the canvas to celebrate his victory."He put on a real good performance,'' Parker said. "He looked like he had a lot of power when he hit Arreola with that right hand.''Parker flew out to Las Vegas last night with Barry as the 22-year-old enters an eight-week training camp ahead of his bout with American Brian Minto in Auckland on July 5.Stiverne's next opponent remains unclear with undefeated American Deontay Wilder the WBC's mandatory challenger, although Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, who holds all the other pieces of the world heavyweight crown, said he would like to unify the titles.The WBC belt was vacated last year by Klitschko's older brother Vitali as he moved further in to politics.Whoever Stiverne faces next, Barry was confident Parker would be called upon for sparring."We will definitely be involved in his next training camp, which won't be for a while,'' Barry said. "I don't expect him to fight until the end of the year."Bermane had a lot of praise for Joseph through our time in camp ... He gave Bermane a lot of good work.''

​Aside from completing a collection of sponsor and media commitments during his time in New Zealand, Parker spent a few days off with his family and said he would return to Las Vegas with no lingering issues from the perforated ear drum he suffered in his bout with Nascimento.Given he fought so recently, Parker will start sparring early in his camp, which will be made up of six weeks in Las Vegas and two in New Zealand.

- APNZ


Boxing: Parker has seen a champ in action
By Daniel Richardson

Parker learns fast in big card fight

By Daniel Richardson in Oberhausen

When Joseph Parker knocked Marcelo Luiz Nascimento to the canvas in the opening round of their fight in Germany with a damaging right hook, Parker's trainer Kevin Barry wanted the Brazilian to get up.The 1.96m journeyman eventually got to his feet to just beat the 10-count at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen yesterday and managed to continue.He fought his way through to the seventh round before the young Kiwi recorded a TKO victory.This fight, on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's successful world heavyweight title defence against Australian Alex Leapai, was about education.

Parker hadn't been in the ring for six months, since he dismantled Afa Tatupu in October, and yesterday's bout marked the first time he had the opportunity to show off his immense talent on such a big stage.There was a worldwide television audience and plenty of movers and shakers in attendance, which all added up to a big night out for Parker.There were certainly some jitters as the occasion got to him slightly, but ultimately he moved to 8-0 with seven knockouts for his professional career."I thought it was a fight where Joseph learned more than he has in his previous seven fights," Barry said."When he landed that right in the first round, if he had ended the fight then, I think we'd have learned nothing."Nascimento enjoyed a good run in the sixth round when he landed a booming right to Parker's ear and also opened up a small cut above the 22-year-old's left eye.Parker suffered a suspected perforated eardrum from the blow and was due to be checked out thoroughly by a doctor overnight.

Parker was cut severely in his last bout when he clashed heads with Tatupu but that gash was in a different spot from the nick he suffered yesterday."The German doctor came in and put one stitch in the cut," Barry said. "It's very small. It won't interrupt our planning for July. I really don't believe it's going to be a problem moving forward."Barry's reference to July is when Parker will fight next with a bout scheduled for Auckland against an opponent who will be confirmed shortly.Parker's victory over Nascimento earned him the interim WBA PABA heavyweight title and probably moved him to No15 in the WBA's rankings.Barry said Parker's next opponent would be a challenge for him and there were ongoing discussions with promoters Duco about managing everyone's expectations."Joseph is in the very early, apprenticeship stages of his professional career," Barry said."Our promoters are far more aggressive with wanting Joseph moved up the rankings; faster than myself. But the opponent we are talking about for July is someone who I think is going to be a nice test for Joseph."

Barry and his team set high standards for Parker and the heavyweight prospect knows he missed the mark in certain areas against Nascimento as he looked too keen to fire a knockout blow early on."People say it was a good knockout but I've got to get back to the gym and work on a few things," Parker said."But it was a great experience fighting on a big card."

Round by round recap
Round 1: After picking his spots early, Parker landed a sweet right hook late in the frame but Nascimento was able to get to his feet in time. Just.
Round 2: Parker looked to capitalise on his early dominance and finish the bout but he was unable to hit a big shot, although he still comfortably won the round.
Round 3: Parker continued to work the body, which was part of his fight plan but he looked slightly impatient in searching for a knockout.
Round 4: The South Aucklander's dominance began to show and Nascimento ate a huge left hook late in the round but managed to stay on his feet.
Round 5: This was the most even round of the fight, although Parker would have edged it on the scorecards. The crowd started to get in to it here.
Round 6: Parker made one slight mistake and Nascimento landed a big shot to Parker's ear. He also gave him a nick near his eye which later required a stitch. Nascimento's round.
Round 7: Parker came out with a roar and delivered a collection of stinging blows mid-way through the round. When Nascimento was unable to defend himself, referee Brad Vocale stopped the bout.

•Daniel Richardson travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.
- APNZ


Parker has plenty to ponder after TKO victory

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN GERMANY

A belt around his ear and a new belt around his waist were Joseph Parker's rewards from a mixed night in Germany for New Zealand's top professional boxer.Parker was left with a perforated left eardrum after dropping his guard in the sixth round against Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento in Oberhausen yesterday.He survived a torrid round to regain his composure and, under pressure, finished Nascimento in the next round with an impressive flurry that saw Australian referee Brad Vocale step in and stop the fight for a TKO result.That earned Parker the WBA's Pan-Asia belt and a top 15 ranking.His backers Duco Events are expected to announce in the coming days the next step in a busy schedule that should see him fight three more times this year, two of them in New Zealand with a July date looming.A fresh cut above the left eye that he so badly damaged in his last win in October isn't going to affect that programme. The "nick" had nothing to do with the old wound and they don't believe Parker has a problem as "a bleeder".

"I really don't believe it's going to be a problem moving forward," said Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said.But there were lessons to be learned from Oberhausen where Parker was showcasing his skills on the undercard to Wladimir Klitschko's world title demolition of Samoan-born Australian Alex Leapai.Barry felt they had fallen short of making the statement they were after, but it wasn't a lost opportunity."We set very, very high standards. We have from day one and I don't think we reached the standards that we were looking to reach," Barry admitted."I think he was really trying too hard to make a big statement."Eight consecutive wins - seven by knockouts - continue to push Parker's claims and his backers want to keep pushing him.Parker, struggling for hearing, didn't back away from his mistakes later as he reviewed his performance."I've got to keep my eye on my opponent and not look away. I saw his right hand coming and I turned away but I didn't put my right hand up and he got me [in the ear]," the 22-year-old said of the rookie sixth round error that could have been calamitous.But he said he never felt in danger and Nascimento's attack motivated him to get his own aggression back. Fairfax NZDuncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

​- © Fairfax NZ News

​Not everything went Parker's way

​Video


​Video:
Jospeh Parker beats Marcelo Nascimento

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has improved his unbeaten record with a seventh-round win over Brazilian Marcelo Nascimento in a title fight in Germany.Parker claims the WBA Pan-Asia belt and should lift his world ranking following a hard-fought and one-sided win at Oberhausen.The athletic, 1.92m tall, 22-year-old dominated most of the fight - the eighth of his professional career - finishing it with technical knockout. He delivered a flurry of punches to his opponent, who was struggling on the ropes.It was an emphatic performance from Parker, against an equally-tall at 1.95m but slower opponent who was a late replacement for Sherman Williams of the Bahamas, who withdrew over a contractual dispute.Nascimento, who suffered a sixth loss from 23 fights, failed to trouble Parker through the first five rounds before some heavy blows in the sixth round opened a cut over the Aucklander's left eye, which needed treatment.

With four scheduled rounds still to fight, Parker came out aggressively in the seventh, unleashing an array of impressive punches which forced the referee to stop the fight.It was Parker's first fight in six months, the long gap caused by a cut above his eye - suffered during a win over compatriot Afa Tatupu - which required surgery.There were few signs of rust in the opening round, when he knocked Nascimento to the canvas with a right hook, following it with a series of convincing round wins until the Brazilian fought back in the sixth.Parker says he made it a priority to follow the instructions of trainer Kevin Barry."At the beginning I did what Kevin was saying but I felt like I was a bit off - maybe I was a bit tired," he said."There were a few things I did wrong but I haven't been in the ring for a while so happy with the victory."The occasion, in front of a huge worldwide audience, may have affected him but he was pleased to come through the longest fight of his career, Parker said."I felt fit but I felt maybe a little bit tense."He said the cut isn't serious and shouldn't stop him competing in his next fight which is likely to be in July.The fight was on the undercard of the world heavyweight title fight between world champion Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko and New Zealand-raised Australian Alex Leapai.Klitschko stopped Leapai in the fifth round to retain his four belts.

Boxing: Parker wins by TKO in Germany

By Daniel Richardson of APNZ in Oberhausen
Video

It took longer than many predicted but Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker has defeated Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento with a seventh-round TKO win in Oberhausen, Germany today.A flurry of blows in the seventh saw referee Brad Vocale stop the fight, although Nascimento protested the decision.Parker was the dominant figure throughout the bout and won the interim WBA PABA heavyweight championship for his efforts.The fight, on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world heavyweight title defence against Australian Alex Leapai, was Parker's eighth as a professional.

His last bout was against Afa Tatupu in October, which produced a second-round knockout, but saw Parker get too enthusiastic as he didn't follow his team's fight plan.Nascimento, who was a late replacement for durable veteran Sherman Williams, brought a 17-5 record to the contest, which was largely padded by results in his homeland.Parker dropped the 1.96m Brazilian with a stinging right hook late in the first round and Nascimento was given the count but managed to get to his feet in time.In the second, Parker continued his plan to work the body as he delivered a few powerful strikes and looked to wind up his right hook.He wasn't able to land a killer blow but took the round as he continued to assert his dominance in the bout at a sold-out Konig Pilsener Arena.Parker continued to chase his opponent around the ring in the third as Nascimento looked laboured and left his chin on display.Nascimento's chin proved durable during the fourth though as he ate a heavy left hook from Parker late in the round but the Brazilian continued to hold on as Parker moved ahead on the scorecards.In the fifth, Nascimento landed a couple of strong shots but Parker still took the round, although the Brazilian found his range in the sixth.

​He opened Parker up with a cut above his left eye, which was the same spot he was badly cut during his bout with Tatupu while a big shot to the side of his head stunned the South Aucklander.The young Kiwi looked dazed on his feet as he became sloppy with his jab and looked to land a heavy finish rather than continue to work.But in the seventh, which turned out to be the final frame, Parker's power began to show and when Nascimento was unable to defend himself the bout was stopped.Considering the global audience and the magnitude of the impending world title bout, it was a decent showing from Parker, who notably stuck to his team's directions during the fight.His ability to work the body and remain active through a majority of the fight would have pleased trainer Kevin Barry.Parker is scheduled to fight again in Auckland in July with his opponent to be announced shortly.- Daniel Richardson travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events Ltd- APNZ

​Boxing: Barry pleased with Parker's win

By Daniel Richardson of APNZ in Oberhausen
The bright lights, flashy occasion and big audience may have given Kiwi heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker a touch of stage fright during his TKO victory over Marcelo Luiz Nascimento.Parker stopped the 1.96m Brazilian in the seventh round of their bout in Germany today, which was on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's successful world heavyweight title defence against Alex Leapai.Despite dominating a strong majority of the fight, Parker admitted he felt a little tense and was slightly flat during the bout.

It was his eighth professional outing and he moved to a perfect 8-0 with the victory.Nascimento was floored by a heavy right hook in the first round but battled on admirably and rocked Parker with a couple of heavy shots in the sixth as he opened up a cut near Parker's left eye.Parker was also bleeding from his ear in the sixth and it was a testament to his ability to take a punch that he bounced back in such strong fashion in the seventh."In boxing these things happen and sometimes you get caught with a good one," Parker said. "But I took it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was and I was just moving around to try and get away from him loading up."Trainer Kevin Barry was pleased with his young charge who continued his boxing education in solid fashion."Was he as sharp as he's ever been? No, he wasn't. He was a little bit flat tonight," Barry said."In the dressing room he was like lightning. I thought, by God we're going to be in for an impressive performance tonight."I don't know what it was but when the fight started he was a little flat. Joe said to me, the rhythm wasn't quite there. Sometimes you are like that. If you can have a flat night at the office and still come away with a belt and a knockout victory, it's not a bad night."Parker's victory saw him claim the WBA PABA interim heavyweight title and will have given him valuable ranking points within the organisation.Fighting on an undercard of a world heavyweight title fight was a steep learning curve for Parker, 22, and his handlers were keen to show him off to the global TV audience.Despite Parker's jitters, a sold-out Konig Pilsener Arena were treated to another sharp performance, while Nascimento, who came in to the bout with a 17-5 record, proved a durable opponent.Parker, who fought in gold trunks with purple trim, looked quick in the ring, although wasn't as active as he may have liked."I felt a bit off. Maybe I was a little tired but these things happen in boxing. Just fortunate to come away with a win," Parker said."The most important thing was I was able to work the punches and come out with the victory in the end."Parker's early plan to attack the body worked in his favour and he won every round of the bout except the sixth.After flooring him in the first, Parker relied a bit too much on his right hand but eventually produced a heavy burst in the seventh, which brought him the win.- Daniel Richardson travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events Ltd- APNZ


​'Professor of pugilism' Kevin Barry happy again

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Boxing trainer Kevin Barry opens up to Duncan Johnstone about his controversial past and why he's been lured from the good life in Las Vegas to take on another heavyweight Kiwi assignment.It's taken a long time but Kevin Barry feels like he is back where he belongs - in the corner of a rising Kiwi boxing heavyweight.The man who took David Tua to within a whisker of a world title before their own worlds fell apart under the weight of a long and acrimonious court battle has now got Joseph Parker under his wing.Barry took some convincing but a year into the job he couldn't be happier.It's been something of a healing process for Barry. But it has also invigorated him, providing a competitive challenge that had grown stale in a cosy environment engineered in Las Vegas.Barry has been in the world's boxing capital for 10 years, a sanctuary away from the damages done by the public disintegration of his relationship with Tua."When things blew up with Tua and we went from a 12-year relationship where we were as close a brothers to being estranged, I sort of felt very unfairly treated and didn't want to be there (in New Zealand) any longer," Barry said, opening up for a rare moment on the ugly end to his time with Tua and the toll it took on himself and those around him."When you go through some amazing highs and then they turn into incredible lows, it's pretty hard … it's pretty hard to put your family through it.

"Tua undoubtedly felt the same way as both held their ground over accusations of missing finances from the Kiwi-Samoan's long and successful career.Barry feels vindicated by the court rulings. But it's clearly not a sweet victory."As time went on, we went through the judicial system in New Zealand and spent millions of dollars on lawyers and accountants to prove that we both wasted a lot of time and a chunk of our own lives determining something that I knew from the get-go … that there was no money missing."It was unfortunate. One of the things that disappointed me was that I thought after the sacrifices I had made in the 12 years that I had spent with Tua, I expected a little bit more loyalty than what I got (from David)."When this all blew up it wasn't me that turned my back on him, it was him that turned his back on me over the word of people who had no idea what was going on."It's really not a subject that I talk a lot about because, if you spend your time dwelling on the past, you can't move forward in the future."At times when I do recollect, I'm very disappointed … we had a tremendous association that certain individuals destroyed. It was senseless."Barry always anticipated living overseas and earning a living from a sport that he has been involved in since he was eight and earned him an Olympic silver medal.He thought that destination would be London. But ultimately his own connections in Vegas proved too strong. Plus his wife Tania and their three children instantly liked the place and have thrived there.His twin sons Taylor and Mitch, now 19, love gridiron and are damn good at it with Mitch being an All-American. His daughter Jordy is the family's academic with grades placing her in the top two per cent in the States."All I can I tell her is I'm a professor of pugilism," Barry laughs, realising it's only a half joke. Boxing really is his world. It's all he knows and he probably knows it better than any Kiwi.It's why Parker's handlers, initially Sir Bob Jones and then Duco Events, both approached him to guide a fighter of rare potential.

Barry had proved his worth in Vegas, getting over the Tua fallout to guide Kazakhstan light-heavyweight Beibut Shumenov to a world title in 2009 and having a handful of top 10 fighters in his stable.He was also operating a gym that tended to the corporate market. But health issues eventually caught up with him. Just as he recovered from two hand operations and a shoulder reconstruction, his right ankle blew out.Barry took time out and eventually scaled his work back to just the very high end of his corporate clients."It was a nice job, risk-free, and I wasn't getting knocked around. But there was something missing."That missing element turned out to be Parker. Sir Bob had piqued his interest in the young amateur by saying he wanted to back his bid to make the Olympics and wanted Barry to train him.When Parker's 2012 Olympics selection quest fell agonisingly short and he instantly turned professional signing with Duco, it was Barry's old mate Dean Lonergan who phoned next to try to persuade him to take charge of Parker.By then Barry had done some homework on Parker and was intrigued enough to listen. He looked at the logistics, and believed they could be achieved while still living in Vegas. He still had to convince his wife though because just as he had done with Tua, the Parker partnership involved a 24-7 arrangement with the fighter living as part of the Barry family."Tania said to me right: ‘Really? You really want to do that again?' I told her I needed that challenge in my life. Life was too easy with the corporate guys. She said 'if you really want to do it, you do it. I'll be there but I don't want to be picking the pieces up again, I don't want to see you heart-broken'."I told her that I'd hold myself back a bit this time and she just laughed: ‘If you are in, you're in 100 per cent'. And she's right about that."Barry demanded the same of Parker when he eventually met him about a year ago in Auckland."I said to Joseph: ‘You have a real big job to do. You and I have to become great friends really, really quickly. You have to trust in everything I tell you. If you do that I will give you 100 per cent of myself'."That's where it started and every single day since then I have been giving Joseph life lessons on boxing."I had to win over his parents and earn their trust, too. In the background there are people who have said, ‘look what he did to David Tua'."Yet Joseph is so protective of me. He is such a gentle man outside of the ring. A couple of times I have seen him angry when someone has said something disrespectful to me."There's more than a touch of irony in the second coming of Kevin Barry and New Zealand boxing.

There are plans by Parker's management to build a stable of boxers under Barry's tutelage."This is what I had in place to do with Tua 10 years ago. This is what he and I talked about in detail. We had set up a base to bring all the talent from New Zealand and Australia through us to America."Then it just disappeared. Overnight."It wasn't about riding the Tua thing out till we couldn't flog it any more, it was about building a team for life."Now Barry, a proud New Zealander despite his American trappings, has been given a new lease of life in the form of his prodigy Parker."I think this kid is going to be special, I really do."

Parker win not perfect but he'll take it  

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY

Joseph Parker and his handlers were happy to negotiate what they described as "a flat performance" as the New Zealand heavyweight maintained his unbeaten record with a seventh round win over Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento in Germany this morning (NZT).The Kiwi camp felt Parker had learned some tough lessons but were content to come away with what was eventually a rollicking TKO in Oberhausen.Fighting on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world title defence against Samoan-born Australian Alex Leapai, there was also the worrying sight of Parker suffering another cut over his left eye.That came as Parker took some heavy punishment in the sixth round but he rebounded strongly to finish off Nascimento.

Trainer Kevin Barry played down the significance of the cut as the 22-year-old's impressive career takes another step forward.He pointed out that it was a new "nick" rather than the old wound - suffered in his last win over Afa Tatupu - opening up again.Barry was keen to concentrate on what could be taken out of this night where Parker showcased his skills on a massive stage."It was a good solid performance. Nascimento was an experienced guy and proved to be a difficult target," Barry said."Joseph put him on the canvas in the first round and after that I think he got a little right hand heavy. I told him he had to be patient and that the win would come."I think Joe realises now, and what he will come away from this fight with, is that he needs to be patient. You can't always get guys out quick like our last two fights were with second round knockouts. This fight went a lot longer."Barry was happy for Parker to get some rounds in, especially after a six-month absence from the ring.This was the first time he had been pushed into a seventh round in eight fights as a professional and Barry was a little bemused by Parker's body language in the ring at times."Was he as sharp as he's ever been? No, he wasn't. He was a little bit flat tonight," Barry admitted."In the dressing room he was like lightning. I thought, by God we're going to be in for an impressive performance tonight."I don't know what it was but when the fight started he was a little flat.

Joe said to me, the rhythm wasn't quite there. Sometimes you are like that. If you can have a flat night at the office and still come away with a belt and a knockout victory, it's not a bad night."Barry was impressed with the way his fighter reacted after taking some heavy punishment."In the sixth round he got a bit of a scare. We knew this guy throws wild right hands to the head and also the uppercut to the chin. We trained for it but Joseph lost his focus for a bit and got hit," he said."Joseph settled down (in the seventh round) and got his jab going and took control of the fight."Barry also believed the decision by Australian refere Brad Vocale to stop the fight was the right one."Joe had him rocked with about 10 really good shots. It's Brad's decision as a referee, he's a very experienced referee."Personally as a trainer I wanted to see him (Nascimento) on the canvas and that was coming."Parker was satisfied with his night's work although he seemed a little flat in the dressing room after the fight."I haven't been in the ring for a while, so, happy with the victory," Parker said"I felt a bit off. Maybe I was a little tired but these things happen in boxing ... (I'm) just fortunate to come away with a win."The most important thing was I was able to work the punches and come out with the victory in the end."Parker said he was happy with the way he handled getting hit heavily."In boxing these things happen and sometimes you get caught with a good one. But I took it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was and I was just moving around to try and get away from home loading up," Parker said.Parker's eyebrow wasn't the only bloodied area from this battle. A big right hook from the Brazilian also connected with his left ear, popping a cauliflower with a blow that clearly had the Kiwi dazed."Nothing serious," Parker said of the ear. "It's always been like that; it's all good."* Duncan Johnstone traveled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events

- © Fairfax NZ News

Joseph Parker beats Marcelo NascimentoNew Zealand's Joseph Parker (left) on his way to a seventh round TKO heavyweight boxing win over Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento at Koenig-Pilsner Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.


Joseph Parker beats Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento.


Joseph Parker wins with 7th round TKO

  DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY

Joseph Parker's professional boxing career took another step forward this morning (NZT) as the young New Zealand heavyweight scored an impressive seventh round win over Brazil's Marcelo Nascimento in Oberhausen, Germany.Parker dominated the opening five rounds and then survived a rocky sixth after he had an old cut over his left eye opened which will be a major concern moving forward.Crucially the 22-year-old rebounded and came out in an aggressive mood in the seventh round to pummel the Brazilian and score a TKO with Nascimento powerless on the ropes.Nascimento complained bitterly to Australian referee Brad Vocale about the decision to stop the fight but really he had no argument given his total lack of defence as Parker dished out some heavy punishment with both hands.The win maintained Parker's unbeaten record and won him the WBA Pan-Asia heavyweight belt. It should also earn him a ranking of No 15 with the credible organisation which will help his bargaining power and appeal.

Parker's management will plan another three fights for him this year though that busy schedule may be compromised, depending on the severity of his re-opened wound.This was Parker's eighth fight as a professional and his first in six months since claiming the New Zealand title from Afa Tatupu where he had the same left eyebrow ripped open by a head butt, resulting in surgery.It returned to haunt him this morning and is in a vulnerable position, especially against hard-jabbing opponents.The 12,000-seater stadium in Oberhausen, which was full for Parker's performance, held two fights before world champion Wladimir Klitschko put his four world titles on the line against Samoan-born Australian Alex Leapai.With a global television audience watching, Parker put in an impressive display, showing some added power to his renowned hand-speed. Apart from the sixth round where he was clearly rocked, Parker controlled the bout.His ability to survive some heavy blows from the big-swinging Brazilian was a pleasing sign in a short career where he has hardly been tested.This was the first time he had gone beyond six rounds but the fight never looked like lasting the scheduled 10.

After a cautious start Parker floored Nascimento with a clean right hook 10 seconds from the end of the opening round. The Brazilian got up to beat the count.Parker dominated the second round though he struggled to effectively find his range.Parker also dominated the third, unloading a couple of bombs on Nascimento and he was also on top of a busy fourth that again tested the Brazilian's chin, especially with a thumping left hook.Parker claimed the fifth round but then had a torrid time in the sixth.Nascimento clubbed Parker with a right that brought blood from the Kiwi's left ear and clearly had him dazed. The Brazilian kept up the offensive, getting through to open the eye wound.To his credit Parker held on to get a breather between rounds and re-group with his corner working overtime to tidy up the damage to his face and ear.Parker knew he had to rally strongly and did just that with a flurry of bombs that forced the referee to stop the fight.-Duncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Boxing: Heavyweight Parker wins

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Parker at heaviest professional weigh-in
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Time for Parker to get noticed


A victory won't be enough for Joseph Parker in Germany tomorrow. The rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer needs to make a statement with it.Gifted the unexpected chance of appearing on the undercard of a world title fight, Parker has to seize the moment to showcase his undoubted skills to a massive global audience that will include fight fans and, more importantly, some of sport's biggest powerbrokers.All eyes will be on Wladimir Klitschko defending his four belts against Samoa-born Australian Alex Leapai but with Parker one of just three televised bouts, he will get a decent share of the spotlight.And the 22-year-old declared himself ready to claim some fame in Oberhausen.''I'm feeling relaxed. But I'm feeling strong and my fitness is good. I've done a lot of work coming into this fight because I know how important it is,'' Parker said as he went through his final hitout last night.''I'm just really excited about this opportunity and I want to make the most of it. I've gone 110 per cent with my training because I know how important this is.

''Parker's veteran trainer Kevin Barry was keen to put some perspective on the occasion presented to his young charge.''This is a massive opportunity for us. This is a chance for the boxing world to see Joseph Parker,'' Barry said.''I've been around the game long enough to know this is a very rare opportunity we have here.''I can't remember a seven-fight boxer being on a card of this magnitude. The fight was going right throughout Europe, now it's going through North America as well.''It's major and I want Joseph to display what I see every day. If he can do that, then we will have a lot of people afterwards saying they want to see Joseph again.''That's the impact I'm looking for here. We need to make a statement, not just get a win.''There is also another juicy incentive for Parker. The WBA's Pan-Asian interim heavyweight title is on the line and a win would elevate him to No 15 on that credible organisation's rankings.Parker has the goods to carry out this assignment. Barry believes Parker has added significant strength to his game since his last fight six months ago. The long layoff had been used effectively.Parker has been particularly busy in the sparring ring, doing 112 rounds in the lead up to this fight and working on improving his armoury, notably his overhand right.Ad Feedback It was the weapon that destroyed Frans Botha last year but, by all accounts, it has gone to another level now as Parker continues to add power to his trademark speed.And he's had to make some late adjustments which could add to the spectacle tomorrow.

A change in opponent also means a change in approach.Originally pitted against veteran Sherman Williams, the plan was to take a cautious approach and get in some invaluable rounds against a durable warrior.But with Williams pulling out and sulking in the Bahamas, Parker now takes on a younger, taller and less experienced fighter in Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento. Suddenly the focus shifts to a demolition job.His handlers won't say so publicly, but privately they'd like to see Nascimento finished off well inside the 10 rounds.The Kiwis are taking no risks with this fight either. It's Parker's first fight since splitting his eyebrow courtesy of an Afa Tatupu head butt before he knocked out the Samoan last October.Barry has used his connections to have Jacob ''Stitch'' Duran, the legendary American cut man, in his corner. Duran will also be working with his regular client Klitschko.Barry is taking no chances. While he is confident the scar won't be opened by a punch, there are concerns it could be vulnerable to an elbow or another head butt.Parker completes pre-fight formalities today with the weigh-in where he is expected to tip the scales around his normal fight weight of 106kg.Duncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events

​Joseph Parker's boxing plan

Video

​Joseph Parker must win and make statement

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

A victory won't be enough for Joseph Parker in Germany tomorrow. The rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer needs to make a statement with it.Gifted the unexpected chance of appearing on the undercard of a world title fight, Parker has to seize the moment to showcase his undoubted skills to a massive global audience that will include fight fans and, more importantly, some of sport's biggest powerbrokers.All eyes will be on Wladimir Klitschko defending his four belts against Samoa-born Australian Alex Leapai but with Parker one of just three televised bouts, he will get a decent share of the spotlight.And the 22-year-old declared himself ready to claim some fame in Oberhausen.''I'm feeling relaxed. But I'm feeling strong and my fitness is good. I've done a lot of work coming into this fight because I know how important it is,'' Parker said as he went through his final hitout last night.''I'm just really excited about this opportunity and I want to make the most of it. I've gone 110 per cent with my training because I know how important this is.

''Parker's veteran trainer Kevin Barry was keen to put some perspective on the occasion presented to his young charge.''This is a massive opportunity for us. This is a chance for the boxing world to see Joseph Parker,'' Barry said.''I've been around the game long enough to know this is a very rare opportunity we have here.''I can't remember a seven-fight boxer being on a card of this magnitude. The fight was going right throughout Europe, now it's going through North America as well.''It's major and I want Joseph to display what I see every day. If he can do that, then we will have a lot of people afterwards saying they want to see Joseph again.''That's the impact I'm looking for here. We need to make a statement, not just get a win.''There is also another juicy incentive for Parker. The WBA's Pan-Asian interim heavyweight title is on the line and a win would elevate him to No 15 on that credible organisation's rankings.Parker has the goods to carry out this assignment. Barry believes Parker has added significant strength to his game since his last fight six months ago.

The long layoff had been used effectively.Parker has been particularly busy in the sparring ring, doing 112 rounds in the lead up to this fight and working on improving his armoury, notably his overhand right.It was the weapon that destroyed Frans Botha last year but, by all accounts, it has gone to another level now as Parker continues to add power to his trademark speed.And he's had to make some late adjustments which could add to the spectacle tomorrow.A change in opponent also means a change in approach.Originally pitted against veteran Sherman Williams, the plan was to take a cautious approach and get in some invaluable rounds against a durable warrior.But with Williams pulling out and sulking in the Bahamas, Parker now takes on a younger, taller and less experienced fighter in Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento. Suddenly the focus shifts to a demolition job.His handlers won't say so publicly, but privately they'd like to see Nascimento finished off well inside the 10 rounds.

The Kiwis are taking no risks with this fight either. It's Parker's first fight since splitting his eyebrow courtesy of an Afa Tatupu head butt before he knocked out the Samoan last October.Barry has used his connections to have Jacob ''Stitch'' Duran, the legendary American cut man, in his corner. Duran will also be working with his regular client Klitschko.Barry is taking no chances. While he is confident the scar won't be opened by a punch, there are concerns it could be vulnerable to an elbow or another head butt.Parker completes pre-fight formalities today with the weigh-in where he is expected to tip the scales around his normal fight weight of 106kg.

​Boxing: Parker's opponent has big right hand

By Daniel Richardson of APNZ in Oberhausen
Video

Joseph Parker's opponent for tomorrow's heavyweight showdown in Germany says the young Kiwi needs to watch out for his right hand.Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento has taken the fight with Parker at short notice after durable veteran Sherman Williams pulled out.Parker and Nascimento weighed in at an Oberhausen hotel yesterday with the New Zealander tipping in at 108kg, while Nascimento was 101kg.Nascimento was able to converse with the Kiwi media for the first time since taking the fight after an interpreter had been arranged.The Brazilian was at ease during the weigh-in and was polite as he fielded questions from journalists.Nascimento said he had scouted Parker and those within the boxing community in Brazil were aware of the young Kiwi who has a perfect 7-0 record with six knockouts."I have seen him fight before," Nascimento said.

"Obviously it's going to be a big challenge for me. He's a rising star."The 33-year-old, who has recorded 17 wins with 15 knockouts in a 22-fight career, was happy to give up a weight advantage to Parker but said he would have preferred to have been slightly heavier.Weight differences aside, there's one thing Parker will have to keep an eye on."My right hand is definitely a strength," Nascimento said.The Brazilian has a habit of coming out firing in the early rounds and Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said his camp were well aware of what to expect."He's a dangerous puncher; there's no doubt about it," Barry said of Nascimento. "You only have to look at his knockout percentage and I've watched him on tape. He winds that right hand up and he looks to throw a home run with it. He's dangerous."Parker's weight was the heaviest it has been for a professional fight; up a couple of clicks from his last bout against Afa Tatupu in October where he produced a second-round KO.The extra kilograms are a reflection of the size he has put on in the past six months.His legs, arms, shoulders and chest all look bigger and the 22-year-old could still put more size on as he grows in to his body.

"He's a work in progress," Barry said.As he has been all week, Parker was relaxed at the weigh-in as he pondered a chance to claim the WBA PABA interim heavyweight title, which will be on the line tomorrow morning (NZT)."Anywhere between 106 or 108kg was good for us," Parker said of his weight. "I'm feeling good and feeling strong, so it's definitely not a problem."The bout will feature on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world heavyweight title defence against Australian Alex Leapai.- Daniel Richardson travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events Ltd

- APNZ

Heavyweights humbled by war cemetery visit

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN ESSEN, GERMANY

​​

The Anzac spirit has drawn New Zealand and Australian heavyweight boxers Joseph Parker and Alex Leapai together for their Sunday battles in Germany.The good friends yesterday visited the Rheinberg War Cemetery where 104 New Zealand air force personnel and 240 Australian servicemen are buried.The immaculately maintained cemetery is about a 30-minute drive from Oberhausen where Leapai will fight champion Wladimir Klitschko for his world titles and Parker will meet Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento on the undercard.Both jumped at the opportunity to pay their Anzac Day respects while on the other side of the world and each said they were inspired and motivated by their walk among the graves of 3326 Commonwealth servicemen of the second world war.The site was chosen in 1946 by the Army Graves Services as an assembly cemetery from numerous German cemeteries in the area. 

The majority of the dead were airman killed in an area of Germany that suffered some of the heaviest bombing from the allied forces. They were brought in from Dusseldorf, Krefeld, Munchen-Gladbach, Essen, Achen and Dortmund."It's a very humbling experience to come here today and I'm grateful that we made the time to do this," Parker said."Looking around and seeing how young they were, it's courageous for them to say 'yeah, I'll go to war'. The sacrifice they made at that age, the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, it's inspiring for me. It's going to motivate me."Parker has a German grandfather who lives in Samoa and said Anzac Day "makes me a proud New Zealander".Leapai, a Samoan-born, New Zealand raised Australian, was clearly moved by his hour-long visit to the cemetery."Just being here today seeing all the young men and women who died for our countries is just unbelievable," Leapai said.Some of them were only 17, 18 and 19. They put their lives on the line for Australia and New Zealand. It's given me a great boost for Saturday. I can't compare to what they have done but come Saturday I'm going to take the same kind of spirit in the fight and put everything on the line to bring it home to our country."Parker had another light training session last night to round off his preparations.The weigh-in is held tomorrow.* Duncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- © Fairfax NZ News

​Parker and Leapai pay Anzac respects


New Zealanders are buried in hundreds of Commonwealth grave sites across the world, including Rheinberg War Cemetery in Germany.Promising Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker is in the area preparing for his fight on a world title undercard this weekend, and went to pay his respects to the fallen.For Parker, along with his mate Samoan-born, New Zealand-raised, Australian boxer Alex Leapai, it was an emotional experience.

"They're only 17, 18, 19, they're just everywhere - it's unbelievable," says Leapai."When I was that age I wouldn't have the courage they had to stand up and say they would go and do what they did, so it's a very humbling experience," says Parker.Leapai is in Germany to fight Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight title, and while he's aware of the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign in World War I, the graves of 240 Australians here have taken him by surprise. 

"I don't think many Australians and New Zealanders know about this area, and I think the whole world, especially on our side of the world, Australia and New Zealand, we should let them know," says Leapai.Just under 30,000 New Zealanders died in both world wars, and 104 of them are buried in Rheinberg. They were mostly airmen, shot from the skies over Germany, and their remains were brought to the cemetery where they now rest in peace."We should start paying them more respect for what they did. They made the ultimate sacrifice to give us a better life, and I would love to visit all the other cemeteries around the world," says Parker.Parker and Leapai's visit to Rheinberg is sure to provide the boxers extra motivation, as they prepare for their own battles in Germany on Sunday morning.3 News

Joseph Parker inspired by fallen Anzac heroes
Video


Unbeaten New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker will be even more motivated this weekend after visiting a German cemetery on Thursday.Parker and Australian boxer Alex Leapai visited the Rheinberg War Cemetery where 240 Australians and 104 New Zealanders are buried after perishing in the Second World War.Parker, who will fight Brazilian Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento on the undercard of the heavyweight boxing world title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Leapai, was inspired by the visit to the cemetery, where many of those laid to rest were even younger than the 22-year-old Aucklander.

"It's a very humbling experience being here today and I'm pretty grateful that we made the time to come here," Parker said."Looking around and seeing how young they were, they were pretty courageous at this age to stand up and say they were going to do it."Being here is inspiring for both me and Alex and it's going to motivate us come Saturday night."Leapai hoped to be infused with some ANZAC spirit for the fight in nearby Oberhausen in the early hours of Sunday morning (NZT)"Seeing all the young men that died for our country is just unbelievable," Leapai said."I'm hoping on Saturday night I'm going to take the same type of spirit into title fight and put everything on the line to bring it home for our country."It's given me a great boost for Saturday."Leapai only found out a couple of days ago he would be visiting Rheinberg, where 3,326 people from the Commonwealth are buried."It's worth every minute coming here, just seeing these men and women away from their families and they are over here when they should be back home," Leapai said."This is the best way to start today off."I needed something like this, just to get that little bit of a boost."Just have a look around - I can't compare myself to them, but Klitschko better be ready for Saturday."

Boxing: Parker visits Anzac graves ahead of fight

By Daniel Richardson in Oberhausen

Joseph Parker's education in Germany has included more than boxing.The Kiwi heavyweight prospect has largely been confined to his hotel this week as he awaits his bout with Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento in Oberhausen tomorrow. But while this fight is important as he looks to build on his perfect 7-0 record, the 22-year-old was also able to take in some history.Parker was given the chance to walk around the Rheinberg War Cemetery on Thursday.There's 3326 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated at the site, including 104 New Zealanders and 240 Australians.They were airmen with the Royal Air Force and were laid to rest there after being shot down in action over western German air space during World War II.Parker and Australian Alex Leapia, who is fighting Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight championship, were moved by the visit.

Reading gravestones of servicemen, some of who died in their teens, can be jarring."Seeing this has given us inspiration and extra motivation going in to the fight," Parker said. "It's a humbling experience."The pair of heavyweights will channel the Anzac spirit in their respective bouts."Having my brother Alex walking around with me, it's a great feeling, and we are both going to take a lot from what we've seen," Parker said.Leapai (30-4-3) is a heavy underdog against the Ukrainian Klitschko (61-3) but said his trip to Rheinberg was a highlight of the week."It's given me a great boost," the 34-year-old said. "I can't compare to what they've done but come Saturday, I'm going to put everything on the line and hopefully bring the right result and take it home."Parker should have an easier outing against Nascimento, although the 1.96m 33-year-old has been handpicked to test Parker.The Brazilian (17-5) took the fight on short notice as a replacement for Sherman Williams who decided to pull out after he had a falling out with the Klitschko camp where he was employed as a sparring partner for the world champion.Williams was a stocky opponent at 1.80m so the Parker camp has adjusted their strategy on the run to take on a taller man.

The WBA's Pan Asian Boxing Association interim heavyweight title will also be on the line, which could give Parker the chance to establish further ranking points and get his name out there.Parker's parents and brother John joined him in Germany this week, which put the Kiwi at ease."I'm feeling really good, really relaxed and I've got a lot of familiar faces here, which makes it easy and a happier environment for me."Daniel Richardson travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- APNZ

​Parker special project for management as Kiwi fighter eyes shot at heavyweight championship of world.


Timing plays a big part in building a contender. It's not just about timing your punches; there are myriad factors that go in to the management of a boxer."It's about taking the right fights at the right time," heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker said yesterday.The Kiwi's timing will be tested again when he meets Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world heavyweight title defence against Alex Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany, this weekend."This fight here could really launch him and we are both well aware of the significance," Parker's trainer Kevin Barry said.

Barry and Parker have worked together for a year and it's a team effort to continue his development, which everyone wants to do at a rapid pace.It seems fitting in the high-speed internet age that the traditional approach of giving a fighter 20-25 bouts before pushing them to a title shot has been ditched.Parker's promoters Duco have said they don't want to pad his record, which is 7-0, and he will fight three more times, injury permitting, this year with his next bout set for Auckland in July."The guy's talented and we want to take him all the way as soon as we possibly can," Duco's Dean Lonergan said.That ambitious plan will have its critics and Barry conceded there were elements of risk."Don't forget, there's a lot of resources being put behind Joseph," Barry said. "This is a full-time job and he appreciates that and he understands that and it's helping him develop and mature at a much greater rate than most other fighters because of the training regime that's been put in place.

"Parker sparred with the WBC's No1-ranked heavyweight Bermane Stiverne ahead of this weekend's bout, which was scheduled to be against Bahamian brawler Sherman Williams before he pulled out at late notice and was replaced by Nascimento."We want to have him ranked in the top 10 within two years. That's the plan," Barry said. "I'm not taking a softly, softly approach and that has never been our game."Given the murky elements of professional boxing, making your way to a big-time fight can only ever be one or two bouts away.Leapai is a case in point, given few people had heard of him before he upset Russian Denis Boytsov in November to be installed as the WBO's mandatory challenger to Klitschko's title.Given the worldwide audience and promotional people who will be watching on Sunday morning (NZT), Parker needs to deliver a strong performance against the 1.96m Nascimento.Parker's well aware of what is going on around his development and he buys in to the thinking along with his management, promoters and trainers."I love challenges and I know where I'm at in the sport," the 22-year-old said."I'm still at the beginning and getting pushed at a good pace, not the usual pace that people take. But I'd rather go at this pace than fight what people call 'bums' and I'd rather fight some people that are actually known and known as good boxers so I can get there at a good pace."

- NZ Herald

​Conflict of interests in Joseph Parker's camp

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE


Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry is at odds again with the Kiwi heavyweight's promoters as he gets set to fight on his biggest stage yet in Germany this weekend.Given Parker's inactivity and the size of this opportunity to feature on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world title defence against Alex Leapai, Barry was desperate to arrange a warm-up fight for his young charge.The trainer had lined up a comfortable bout for Parker in Las Vegas last month on a Dan Goosen fight night, however, he got a flat "no" from promoters Duco Events who didn't want to risk the boxer ahead of his date in Germany."Joseph hasn't fought for more than six months.

For a young guy at this stage of his career, inactivity for six months is quite a big issue for me," Barry said."If we were talking about a guy who has been a pro for six or seven years, then six months inactivity is not an issue. But you want to try and keep a young guy busy. It's a reason for concern," Barry said.Complicating Parker's situation has been his recovery from a badly cut eyebrow from his second round win over Afa Tatupu in October that required surgery and a longer than planned break."With that inactivity it's important to get the Joseph Parker train back on the rails," Barry said."I wanted a lead-up fight, a tune-up fight. It was important to me. I sat down with promoters Dean Lonergan and Dave Higgins, they knew where I was coming from.But they just said, 'we have a big investment in this, it's too risky'. I wasn't happy."Lonergan confirmed the meeting and Barry's concerns. But he defended his reasoning for keeping Parker in cotton wool ahead of Sunday's fight in Oberhausen."It took so much work to get him on this card," Lonergan said of showcasing his fighter to a global market."We're in a position to get worldwide exposure with this Germany fight. We couldn't gamble on that by risking Joseph hurting his hand or getting a nick on his eye. We're comfortable with our decision.

"The pressure has eased somewhat with the late withdrawal of Parker's opponent Sherman Williams, a vastly experienced fighter who has been knocked out just once in a 52-fight career.Replacement Marcelo Luiz Nascimento from Brazil doesn't have Williams' experience. But he does have other attributes including significantly more height and reach and a powerful armoury that has seen him win 15 of his 17 fights by knockouts.Barry's concerns - and his willingness to express them publicly - continue a trend of conflicting approaches with the management of the 22-year-old Parker who is just seven fights into his professional career.Duco are keen to see Parker significantly challenged with each new fight. They want to push him hard and fast. Barry would like to see a more protected approach with some of the match-making.Last year Barry twice ripped into Duco over their handling of Parker.He was unhappy with the decision to line Parker up against South African veteran Frans Botha, especially with it being Barry's first time in Parker's corner, a cunning deal that came at late notice before the fight. He was also infuriated by Duco incentivising Botha by offering him a lucrative fight with David Tua if he could beat Parker.Then Barry hit out at Duco offering Sonny Bill Williams $1m to fight the winner of the Parker-Tatupu fight, feeling that was a massive bounty for the hard-hitting but lowly paid Tatupu to lift his game.

In the end Parker dealt with both challenges, scoring successive second round knockouts of both Botha and Tatupu, although the win over the latter came at the cost of that nasty facial cut that is still to be tested in the heat of battle.Barry said his relationship with Duco was healthy but he would continue to fight for his fighter."They (Lonergan and Higgins) wear a different hat than me. My concern is Joe and having him at his best on any certain day."Parker was buoyed yesterday by the arrival of his parents and younger brother in Germany to watch the fight."They are my greatest supporters and having them there gives me some extra drive when I'm in the ring," Parker said."You have a lot of people screaming when I'm fighting but there are certain voices that you can hear and I can definitely hear my mum's voice through it all. I'm grateful that they can attend."* Duncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- © Fairfax NZ News

​Parker gets unexpected praise from Wladimir Klitschko

By Tony Wright

Growing up in South Auckland, young Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker was a keen student of multiple world champion Wladimir Klitschko.Now, Parker is just days away from fighting on a Klitschko undercard, and has received some unexpected praise from his idol."I said, 'Hey Klitschko, thank you for the opportunity of letting me fight on your undercard,'" says Parker."He just goes 'Oh I've been watching you. I've seen some of your fights.' I was just like, 'Oh damn, thank you.'"Parker's trainer Kevin Barry says his young charge was left in awe by the brief encounter."It was very pleasing for me to see the look on his face, it meant so much to him. Wladimir is undefeated - a very classy man."And Parker's been taking lessons from the giant Ukrainian since he first stepped in the ring.

"Growing up I watched a lot of boxers who were taller to get my fight the same as theirs, guys like Klitschko who's won every title there is - [it's] a great experience, I'm very happy," says Parker.And Klitschko's presence today at a fight promotion at a local mall drew a big crowd, his title fight with Aussie-based Kiwi Alex Leapai the talk of the town in Oberhausen.Parker was also there to get another close-up view of his childhood hero, and come Sunday he'll be looking to create his own buzz during his bout with Brazillian heavyweight Marcelo Nascimento.

-3 NewsR

​Parker meets childhood hero Klitscko
Video

​Parker changing fight plan to counter tall Brazilian

By Daniel Richardson in Oberhausen

Rap music fills the room as Joseph Parker dances to the beat to warm up for his morning pads session.Decked out in red and black colour co-ordinated training gear, he went for a run hours before.Parker's trainer Kevin Barry watches his charge throw shadow combinations: jab-jab, jab-jab-hook.Then it's time for the veteran coach to impart some knowledge.Parker has had an opponent change for this weekend's bout on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's world heavyweight title defence against Australian Alex Leapai in Germany.

The stocky Sherman Williams has pulled out and 1.96m Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento (17-5) has agreed to step in the ring with Parker.Parker's perfect 7-0 record will be on the line and the fight plan will change against a taller opponent.Barry talks Parker through a couple of new combinations that will help the South Aucklander hatch a plan to produce a victory on Sunday morning (NZT).Nascimento presents a 16cm height difference to Williams and is also 4cms taller than Parker.Parker's camp know the Brazilian loves to come out swinging early so they will need to weather a storm in the first couple of frames.From there, Nascimento fights with his chin on display, which isn't a smart option, and Barry tells Parker they can knock the 33-year-old out.Barry has donned the pads now, with a body protector to absorb the shots Parker delivers to the mid-section. Parker's jabs move like lightning, while you can see the improved power in his hands as Barry tells the 22-year-old to work the solar plexus as it will bring the big man down to size.Five three-minute rounds of pad work have been completed.

All of this has taken place in a small conference room at their Essen hotel.It doesn't seem like a place where New Zealand's next great hope of heavyweight boxing would complete his training leading up to his first major fight on the international stage. From an audience of three Kiwi journalists, it's a world away to entering the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen this weekend, when 12,000 people will be watching.• Daniel Richardson is in Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- NZ Herald

​Joseph Parker backing 'Samoan brother' Leapai

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker is putting aside a lifelong admiration of Wladimir Klitschko to back his "Samoan brother" Alex Leapai in Sunday's world heavyweight title fight in Germany.Parker fights Brazil's Luiz Nascimento on the undercard in Essen for the highlight of his young professional career.He's got some mixed emotions about the main event, especially after meeting world champion Klitschko for the first time yesterday and eyeing the giant Ukrainian's four belts."Wladimir is very impressive, just the way he conducts himself," the 22-year-old Parker said of getting to chat to Klitschko, whom he had watched closely since he started boxing, looking to emulate some of the style and tactics from the tall fighter."I've watched all of his fights, but seeing him up close, you really see how impressive he is, as a person as well as a fighter in the ring.

"The way he presents himself and speaks and takes time out to sign autographs and have photos with people."I shook his hand and had a quick chat. He said he knew of me and about a couple of my fights which I thought was pretty cool." But Parker, a Kiwi-Samoan, hopes Samoan-born Australian Leapai can do the business."I always look up to Wladimir but when another brother is fighting him I have to back Alex," Parker said with seriousness.Leapai, who spent time in New Zealand as a youngster before crossing the Tasman, is the second Samoan to challenge for the world title following David Tua's unsuccessful bid against British giant Lennox Lewis in 2000.Parker got to know Leapai early in his pro career when they shared the same trainer in Maselino Masoe, Samoa's former WBA middleweight champion."Klitschko is a clever fighter and always comes prepared and in shape for every fight but Alex is in great shape as well," Parker said."It's going to be a tough fight. Alex is prepared and ready for the challenge. He seems relaxed so let's hope his head is in the right place." Parker has strong memories of watching Tua's Las Vegas title fight at an uncle's house in south Auckland."The whole family was there cheering David on. I can remember they were upset because he couldn't get in there and really mix it with Lewis. But David went the distance and did his best - you couldn't ask for much more."

Conceding a similar height and reach advantage to Klitschko is going to be Leapai's greatest challenge. Parker expects Leapai to be aggressive and busy, looking to leave nothing out there in this rare opportunity."I know with their game plan Alex and his trainer Noel (Thornberry) have worked on a way to get inside. It will be good to see what they have been planning to do with Wladimir because he moves so well, dictates fights, and controls opponents in the ring."But I know it's a challenge that Alex is looking forward to." Parker continues to work on adjusting his own game plan with the late change of opponent presenting him with a taller challenge than Sherman Williams who has pulled out after a dispute with the Klitschko camp where he was helping with sparring.* Duncan Johnstone travelled to Germany courtesy of Duco Events.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Video:
Boxing Brodie 

​Video:
Joseph Parker and Leah have a moment during a plank off
Bryce and Joseph Parker have a plank off with a twist... don't think we have ever seen Leah so flustered.

​Video:
Joseph Parker plays red or black boxing with Jono and Ben
Yeah, we just wanted Joseph to knock the boys around a little. Kinda hard to disguise that one.

​Video:
Joseph Parker Live In Studio
FM Si & Gary - speaking with Joseph Parker & Kevin Barry live in studio.


Joseph Parker hit as favoured gloves come off
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
BIG GUNS: Joseph Parker used the controversial gloves to earn another belt in his recent knockout of Marcelo Nascimento in Germany.


Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry is fuming that his boxer won't be allowed to wear his preferred gloves for the heavyweight title fight with American brawler Brian Minto.In a bizarre twist to the July 5 south Auckland showdown, Minto has gained a clause in his fight contract barring the controversial Everlast MX gloves that give an advantage to a heavy hitter.Their padding is a blend of horse hair and foam as opposed to the more traditional moulded foam.With Parker's notorious hand speed and increasing power, the gloves are seen as complementing his style. He wore them in his last two knockout victories, over Afa Tatupu to win the New Zealand heavyweight belt and against Brazilian Marcelo Nascimento to win the vacant PABA belt.Yet Parker's promoters have denied their prize fighter one of his assets, giving Minto some added cushion for a bout where plenty of punches are expected to be landed.Barry isn't happy."Apparently, unbeknown to me and without any consultation to me, Minto had a clause written into his contract that we would not be allowed to wear the MX gloves. It has been taken off the table, which annoys me a lot," Barry said from Las Vegas, where Parker has started his preparations."Joseph really likes them. He finds them very comfortable, very flexible, there is good wrist support for him. It's a glove that suits him, it's a glove that I like him to wear.

They are a glove that is designed for optimal power transfer."I talked to Brian Minto about them and he says they are dangerous. They are only dangerous if you are getting hit by them. Obviously Minto plans on being hit by Joe a bit."The gloves caused a storm in the buildup to Floyd Mayweather's successful WBC welterweight title defence against Marcos Maidana recently. The Argentinian fighter wanted to wear a custom-made pair of blue MX gloves to match his country's flag.Mayweather was worried about their construction - claiming there was no padding in the knuckles of those gloves - and threatened not to fight right up to the eve of the Las Vegas bout. Eventually the fight went ahead with Maidana wearing stock MX gloves.Duco boss Dean Lonergan said safety had come into their thinking but so had a bit of give and take as they persuaded Minto to come to New Zealand and put his WBO Oriental belt on the line."From our point of view it's a safety issue. Yes, we are Joe's promoters but we have to look after the safety of both fighters," Lonergan said."And we have to be fair to both fighters. If we want to have people come down here (to fight) and they think it's a one-sided affair and they don't get a fair shake of the stick, we'd never get guys to come and fight Joe."Kevin always wants everything his way whenever he can to get any small advantage. But the reality is that doesn't always happen."Lonergan said there would now be "three or four choices of gloves" that the two camps would have to choose from, although he admitted it was likely to be an ongoing issue in the leadup to the fight.Barry scoffed at the safety concerns around the MX gloves."These gloves are sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. If they are approved by the reputedly No 1 commission in the world that runs most of the big fights . . . if there is anything wrong with the glove, there is no way they would approve them," Barry said."This is the home of lawsuits. If there was any functional part of that glove that was dangerous, it would leave everyone very vulnerable.

I can't understand what all the fuss is about."Barry said there was "risk and reward" when using the heavy MX gloves but that was a gamble he was prepared to take with Parker moving forward, despite his young charge being cut in his last two outings."Yes, that's always the way with these gloves. We saw in the last fight when Joe got hit really hard in the ear in the sixth round . . . maybe it wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been wearing puncher's gloves."But that's the gamble you take. You have to believe in your athlete. If I wasn't backing Joe, I'd put him in the glove with the most protection I could find. I'm confident that we will get to Minto before he gets to us."We plan on hitting Minto a lot. But he's going to have a bit more protection now."

​- Sunday Star Times


Paul Lewis: Right time to take on world You know a sport is doing well when the promoters start bitching at each other. This week, New Zealand Professional Boxing Association boss (and referee and former heavyweight) Lance Revill accused the handlers of rising heavyweight Joseph Parker of being "fools" for pushing him "too hard, too fast".Revill said David Higgins and Dean Lonergan, of Duco Events, were too interested in money and were pushing their fighter into the ring with boxers he was not yet ready for. With all due respect to Revill, for many years a cornerstone of New Zealand boxing and the only Kiwi ever to get in the ring with Muhammad Ali (even in an exhibition fight), that's about as credible as a turkey telling Thanksgiving jokes.Parker has ability Revill never had. Revill's contention that Parker should be cleaning up New Zealand heavyweights before starting on the Australians is redolent of a career that never moved beyond those local boundaries.Being bold and aiming high is no crime, particularly if there is talent to sustain that approach. Parker is a formidable young man, made even more so by his hand speed and growing ringcraft — not to mention a likeable personality and a sensible grip on the important things in life. Those physical, mental and social attributes can a champion make.Duco has transformed New Zealand boxing. It is doubtful the Super 8 3x3-minute round fights on June 4 starring former world champion Hasim Rahman, big American Alonzo Butler and 39-year-old UK journeyman Michael Sprott would have gained any traction without Duco's previous work in the fight game.The same could be said of Inga Tuigamala's appearance on a seven-fight, pay-per-view fight card headed by Robbie Berridge in Auckland on May 22. That would have struggled had Duco not staged the David Tua-Shane Cameron classic back in 2009.Duco has done little wrong with the 22-year-old Parker and is slowly — slowly — raising the ante in terms of the skill of his opponents. Parker has had just eight fights. Six of them were against, in top boxing terms, complete nobodies, apart from the clearly-over-the-hill Frans Botha.Parker was all set to take on difficult, hard-punching US heavyweight Sherman Williams on the undercard of the latest Wladimir Klitchsko world heavyweight title bout against Australia's Alex Leapai - before Williams pulled out.So he fought, and beat by TKO, tough Brazilian heavyweight Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, no easy rival and a step up from anyone Parker had fought previously.Nascimento has fought credible heavyweights such as Tyson Fury, Jovo Pudar and Solomon Haumono (even if he lost to them all) and wobbled Parker in one round as the young man perhaps forgot to move when required.It was a clever feat to get Parker on to the Klitschko undercard. Global attention does no one any harm in professional sport. But too much, too fast? Nah.If he is going to make the grade, Parker is going to have to fight quality and learn on the way up — not spend his time knocking over tomato cans, as the Yanks say.Revill's criticism comes ahead of Parker's July fight with Brian Minto, the tough, US heavyweight with weighty punches, flailing elbows and a dangerous leader with the head. A man who can cut opponents, which is maybe Parker's one worry. Minto may have effectively ended Shane Cameron's career but what else has he done, really? He is 39 and has a 39 win-7 loss record. Reasonable names he has fought include Tony Tubbs, Chris Arreola, Marco Huck and Michael Sprott. Lost to them all.His best scalp was probably big German Axel Schulz; 36 when Minto beat him in 2006 and well past a prime that saw him fight (and lose to) the likes of Henry Akinwande, Michael Moorer and George Foreman before an ill-judged title fight against Klitschko put him into retirement for seven years before an equally ill-judged comeback, ended by Minto.Minto's value is in his style. Parker has to be a boxer, avoid being butted and show some of the beauty and skill of the sport in using that handspeed and footwork to punch and move, jab and go, hit and run. It's go-to-school time.Don't give me any of this "too young" 22-year-old stuff. If you're good enough, you're old enough. Ali was only 18 when he fought journeyman Tunney Hunsaker in his first professional bout. He was only 22 when he won the world title against Sonny Liston in that weird, suspicious bout. At that stage, he had only had 19 fights and included among them was ageing great Archie Moore and a then 29-year-old Henry Cooper whose famous left hook knocked Ali down and nearly beat him. He went to school, too.Now Klitschko, the undisputed world champion, wants to unite all of boxing's various, ridiculous titles and has been ordered to defend his IBF title against extremely tough Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev.He may not be recognised by many but could be more of a test than the champion has endured lately. He is 33, undefeated in 20 fights, dodged by many who don't want to fight him and has beaten reputable heavyweights Tony Thompson, Sprott and Alexander Ustinov — the giant Russian who rather easily ended David Tua's career last year.Parker's timing is good, too, as Klitschko may well be on his way out relatively soon.Klitschko, 38, with 62 wins, 52 KOs and only three defeats in his 65-fight career, said he wanted to unify all the titles after belting Leapai.Canada's Bermane Stiverne and Arreola fight to contest the vacant WBC belt today after which Klitschko could challenge — as he has never held the WBC title (but has the WBA, IBF and WBO titles).The huge Ukrainian is clearly the best in the world — even Pulev may not be a valid threat — and if he does toss in the towel on his career some time soon, the field will be wide open. Maybe even for a young hopeful from New Zealand.Don't scoff. Stranger things have happened in boxing. ​- Herald on Sunday


Joseph Parker has seen what goes in to the makings of a champion heavyweight boxer.

The 8-0 Kiwi sparred 45 rounds in the lead-up to last month's bout with Marcelo Luiz Nascimento with Haitian-born Canadian Bermane Stiverne during Parker's training camp in Las Vegas.Stiverne then went on to claim the vacant WBC heavyweight title with a sixth-round knockout of American Chris Arreola in California yesterday."We got a first-hand view on how a champion fighter trains,'' Parker said."You see him in the gym and how he works ... With Bermane Stiverne, they did pad work with his coach and a lot of things they do, Kevin [Barry] does with me.''Parker's trainer Barry has known Stiverne's coach Don House for a long time courtesy of their Las Vegas links and they struck up a solid working relationship."It was definitely great sparring for me and it's good to know I'm a main sparring partner for him'' Parker said.

"I could tell that he was a very smart boxer. He didn't waste his punches.''Stiverne put Arreola on Dream Street with a massive right to the temple in the sixth yesterday before he eventually finished him as the 35-year-old then sunk to the canvas to celebrate his victory."He put on a real good performance,'' Parker said. "He looked like he had a lot of power when he hit Arreola with that right hand.''Parker flew out to Las Vegas last night with Barry as the 22-year-old enters an eight-week training camp ahead of his bout with American Brian Minto in Auckland on July 5.Stiverne's next opponent remains unclear with undefeated American Deontay Wilder the WBC's mandatory challenger, although Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, who holds all the other pieces of the world heavyweight crown, said he would like to unify the titles.The WBC belt was vacated last year by Klitschko's older brother Vitali as he moved further in to politics.Whoever Stiverne faces next, Barry was confident Parker would be called upon for sparring."We will definitely be involved in his next training camp, which won't be for a while,'' Barry said. "I don't expect him to fight until the end of the year."Bermane had a lot of praise for Joseph through our time in camp ... He gave Bermane a lot of good work.''

​Aside from completing a collection of sponsor and media commitments during his time in New Zealand, Parker spent a few days off with his family and said he would return to Las Vegas with no lingering issues from the perforated ear drum he suffered in his bout with Nascimento.Given he fought so recently, Parker will start sparring early in his camp, which will be made up of six weeks in Las Vegas and two in New Zealand.

- APNZ


Boxing: Parker has seen a champ in action
By Daniel Richardson