Cut rules Parker out of Fight for Christchurch

MATT RICHENS AND DUNCAN JOHNSTONE


Injury has ruled rising boxing star Joseph Parker out of the Fight for Christchurch next month, but the event will go ahead.Parker beat Afa Tatupu in Auckland last night to win one of two New Zealand heavyweight belts – Sonny Bill Williams has the other – but a cut above Parker's left eye has forced a change of plans by his camp.Trainer Kevin Barry said today that Parker's November 28 fight against a yet to be determined opponent was "definitely off"."The first concern is taking care of this cut," he said."He's got five stitches on the inside and nine on the outside. Next month's fight is definitely off."Barry said Parker would consult with a plastic surgeon in Las Vegas to see if more detailed work was required on the cut to ensure it would not become a long-term problem.A doctor's initial advice was to avoid any sparring or contact work for four weeks.That will curtail planned sparring with unbeaten heavyweight Andy Ruiz in Las Vegas.

Parker has never had stitches before and never been cut.The injury was described as "not a cut but a canyon" by promoter Dean Lonergan.Barry said no risks could be taken with the injury because it could come back to haunt Parker, given it was in such a vulnerable position just above the left eye.Cuts in that area were the most problematic as they bled into the eye, forcing referees to take drastic action, as was the forecast last night. If Parker had not managed his knockout in the second round, the fight would have been called off.Parker was sporting large sunglasses today but was happy to reveal the stitching work and believed a good job had been done on the injury last night.He said the disruption to his planned programme was just part of the game.Fight for Christchurch organiser Justin Wallace was disappointed Parker would not be the showpiece of the event."It's just part of boxing, isn't it?" he said.

"We just have to regroup, and there'll be a number of discussions on what plan B will be. We've got a couple of options, though I'd rather not go into that now."The show must go on and it will. We'll still put on a great event."Barry was frustrated that Parker got into a brawl with Tatupu in the second-round knockout win last night.The cut came from a head clash with Tatupu.Barry said he was "bloody angry" with Parker for the way the first round went, and he had predicted Parker could get hurt if he got too close to Tatupu."I guess Joseph wanted to prove that he could mix it up with a real puncher and show that 'I'm not some soft guy that can just box'," Barry said.

- ©-Fairfax NZ News


Joseph Parker beats Afa Tatupu with KO


Joseph Parker's unbeaten professional record remains intact after he delivered a second round knockout win over 'King' Afa Tatupu at the Trusts Arena in Waitakere tonight.All the predictions before the fight were the two would unleash early in the contest, and they came true as Parker won the fight with a stunning second round blow.Despite losing, Tatupu did earn plenty of respect with his showing.Tatupu came out strong in the first round and threw some good shots, testing the chin of the 21-year-old rising star.The two then got into a brawl as they traded punch for punch.

An accidental cut over Parker's eye from a head clash complicated things for the young fighter and could have forced the fight to be called off by the doctor, however, trainer Kevin Barry pleaded for a second round and got it.Parker then threw plenty at Tatupu, showing his speed and power late in the first round but Tatupu was saved by the bell as he battled against the ropes.The punishment continued in the second round before Parker delivered the killer blow.

While the crowd were happy with the result, Barry - who was celebrating his 54th birthday - wasn't too excited by the display.Barry said Parker had fallen into the trap of brawling, and bravado took over as he tried to go toe-to-toe with Tatupu who was searching for a upset knockout win.Parker's cut over his eye may complicate plans with him scheduled to fight in Christchurch in the coming months.

​- © Fairfax NZ News


JOSEPH PARKER Vs "KING" AFA TATUPU

By: skysport.co.nz

THE chosen career path of wonder kid Joseph Parker is fraught with danger.No-one represents that danger in the one-punch heavyweight division more than his October opponent ‘King’ Afa Tatupu who has knocked out seven of the nine boxers he has defeated.Parker will have to avoid the ‘Throwin-Samoans’ power if he is going to claim his first New Zealand title as a professional when the two clash in the Hydr8 ZERO New Zealand National Boxing Federation title fight at Trusts Arena on Thursday October 10.While Parker impressed all with his June KO of one-time contender Francois Botha, the ‘King’ has been dominating the New Zealand rankings in the last two years.He has made a name for himself as a man who comes to fight and Parker and his handlers are aware that while his right hand has done plenty of damage to local fighters, it’s ‘King’ Afa’s heart and killer instinct which are his two most lethal weapons.Parker – touted as the best New Zealand heavyweight prospect since the emergence of David Tua at the 1992 Olympics – will be favoured to win but will need to box smart to avoid ‘King’ Afa’s power.

By design, of course, Parker has a better understanding of the ‘sweet science’ of boxing these days.Indeed, his trainer – the great Kevin Barry – is convinced that even novice fight fans will be able to see the improvement from ‘JP’ from his demolition job on Botha.“We had a real tight schedule before the Botha fight,” said Barry. “We only had eight weeks together and every day counted.“But since I have got him back to Las Vegas we have been able to be a bit more relaxed and I have been able to introduce Joseph to a lot more things.“Joseph’s body is changing. His strength is improving. His boxing knowledge is being extended every day. He is already a different and a better fighter to the one who beat Francois Botha.”Parker locked away 85 rounds of sparring in the last seven weeks as he strives to condition himself for the first scheduled ten rounder of his career.That chance – originally scheduled for August 31 (the original date for the Hydr8 ZERO David v Goliath clash) - will come at the Trust Arena, Auckland.“I can’t wait,” said Parker, now weighing in at 102kg. “There’s a lot of talk around about Sonny Bill in the future but I have to remain focused on what’s in front of me and that’s ‘King’ Afa.“In the meantime I’ll let my fists do the talking for me.”

Much interest will focus on what happens inside the ropes after the bout.Both fighters want to unify the NZNBF belt with the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association belt Sonny Bill Williams won when he beat Clarence Tillman.That fight was 18 months ago and so far Williams has successfully avoided having to defend the title, most recently ducking and weaving from a call-out from Tatupu.But that will all change at Auckland’s Trusts Arena when the winner emerges from the clash between Parker and Tatupu.“Most people in boxing have come to realise that Sonny Bill Williams is running from his next fight,” said Duco Events’ Dean Lonergan.“Privately he has been doing everything he can to avoid putting his NZPBA belt up because he knows that when he does he will run into some serious contenders.“But he can’t hide in the shadows now. I would anticipate that whoever wins at Trusts Arena, they will have Sonny Bill Williams in their sights.

If Joseph or Afa call him out in front of all of New Zealand on SKY Arena, what’s he going to do then? He can’t hide away forever.”THE COMBATANTS Joseph Parker The ‘boy wonder’ had many talking about him as the ‘real deal’ following his destruction of one-time contender Francois Botha in June. The South African loudmouth was no match for the new found power in Joseph Parker which had been unleashed and primed by his new trainer Kevin Barry.That Parker has reached those heights quickly is no surprise. After a stellar amateur career - which included a gold medal at the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin, a gold at the China Open and a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Championships - the 21 year old phenomenon signed a long term deal with Duco Events and his controlled by an all-star cast of advisors led by the Las Vegas based Barry. Not one for hype – even though he is surrounded by it – Parker prefers to do his talking with his fists.

That’s something the first six opponents of his pro career (Dean Garmonsway, Terry Tuteru, Richard Tutaki, Dontay Pati, Brice Ritani-Coe and Botha) can all attest too. Indeed the power on show against former Botha has many whispering that he’s NZ’s best potential shot at glory since David Tua’s pro debut in 1992.THE RECORD: Won 6, Lost 0, Drawn 0Afa Tatupu‘King’ Afa Tatupu might not be a household name in New Zealand – but he could be if he can snag the result in his bout against Joseph Parker. Despite his undoubted power – he has knocked out seven of the nine opponents he has beaten – the King is, of course, facing the toughest challenge of his time as a professional.But in the throwing Samoan’s favour is the glove sized heart beating in his chest. In short, he fears no one. Indeed he has called out Sonny Bill Williams in recent times. But with SBW ducking and weaving whenever a credible opponent comes knocking, he putting his hard earned NZNBF belt on the line against the toughest possible opponent in New Zealand with the exception of David Tua.Helping him too is that his confidence is high.

​Last time out he showed the improvements in the game with a decision win against the highly toured Junior Pati – a fighter who knocked him out cold in their first meeting in 2010.



Joseph Parker not taking 'King' Afa bout lightly

BEN STANLEY   


      On the face of it, Thursday night's fight against "King" Afa Tatupu should be no more than a high tempo sparring session for rising Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker.

Talent-wise, the 21-year-old South Aucklander is in a different stratosphere to his fellow Samoan New Zealander. He is faster, leaner and starting to develop a mature poise in the ring that is impressing famed trainer Kevin Barry, who has been putting him through his paces in two separate, but tough camps in Las Vegas over the past two months.   


      Last week, Barry gushed to the media about Parker's improved shot section - and ability to find "holes" in his opponents' defense. Despite possessing the New Zealand National Boxing Federation (NZNBF) heavyweight title, which he claimed when fighting Junior Pati in April, Tatupu really has only the proverbial "boxer's chance" of defeating his younger opponent. Parker, however, is not taking the fight - or Tatupu - lightly.   



      "People can say what they want to say - but for me, I'm looking at this guy as one of the hardest I've ever fought," he said at an open training session in Auckland last week. "The ones you under-estimate are the ones that defeat you. One punch in any division can change everything. You've got to give the guy respect. He's got the title . . . we know he can go the distance.


"Tatupu has got some knock-outs on that record as well - he's got some very decent power." Barry laughs when it is suggested Tatupu should be meat and drink for a rising star like Parker. "The one thing I've told Joseph is we can never ever take any fight easily," he said. "The thing about King Afa [is that he] has a much bigger punch than Francois Botha. One punch can change a fight.


"Joseph is a big favourite in this fight and that gives added motivation to the underdog. "We can't allow a shorter King Afa, with power, to get into a position to throw his power shots. There is definitely a test in this fight for Joseph." During Parker's first seven-week camp in Vegas, Parker sparred for 77 rounds, before knocking over a further 55 in his three-week second camp - following a visit back to New Zealand. Barry said during Parker's first visit to Las Vegas, before his fight with Botha earlier this year, the duo focused largely on boxing fundamentals, while the last three months have seen the duo look more at the "tricks of the trade". "His punch selection has improved a lot," he said. "He is throwing a lot more power punches, and a better selection of punches.   

 

      "He's seeing gaps - holes - and he's setting up punches to deliver to the holes. There is a lot that has been introduced to him this particular round. "Joseph's been learning about things he never knew existed - so for me, it's exciting to see it excite him." Provided Parker defeats Tatupu, it is understood that the young Kiwi's next opponent will be announced in the days following the fight.

- © Fairfax NZ News


Boxing: Parker ready to reveal 'new weapons' 


Something appears to be wrong with this picture. After his flight landed in Auckland from Las Vegas just after dawn today, Joseph Parker has finished several interviews at his plush hotel and is into his second three-minute skipping routine for the cameras. This particular routine includes 30 seconds of ``double jumping'' at the end of each set. And he still isn't breathing hard, nor has he made a single mistake.


This particular routine includes 30 seconds of ``double jumping'' at the end of each set. And he still isn't breathing hard, nor has he made a single mistake. The sweat begins pouring as he shadowboxes but, still, his aerobic capacity seems incredible - it's funny what daily 10km-plus runs and a training regime of more than 130 rounds of sparring will do. "He's breathing more than he normally would,'' the heavyweight's trainer Kevin Barry says. "He wouldn't be doing that if he hadn't been on that long flight.'' Welcome to the new and incredibly fit world of Parker, the 21-year-old from South Auckland who now lives mainly in Vegas. His next assignment is to challenge 33-ear-old Afa Tatupu for his New Zealand National Boxing Federation title at Trusts Stadium next Thursday, a fight which is surely a road bump to bigger and better things for Parker, who demolished Francois Botha in June following a training regime much less taxing than this one. Both Parker and Barry are excited about the opportunity to show off a new artillery which has been worked on during those endless rounds of training over the past couple of months.


One weapon will be Parker's fitness, but also his increasing size and strength. Weighing in at about 104.5kg, he has put on about 3.5kg since the Botha fight. And then there are the new punching options. "He has a lot more weapons, he is a much better fighter than when he fought Botha,'' Barry says. Parker adds: "We've been working on a few things in the gym which hopefully I can show on fight night. They have helped me to become a more complete fighter. "People haven't seen some of the unches that we've been working on so it's going to be a bit of a surprise. I'm feeling better than I was before the Botha fight... I'm feeling that my body is changing too, and that's due to all the hard work we have been doing in the gym.'' The title is important for Parker, who, with a record of six successful fights under his belt still considers himself a beginner in the professional fight game. "It is significant. I know where I am in this sport. I am still at the start of my professional career and to get an opportunity like this, I'm excited and grateful. It was one of my goals to get the New Zealand title at some stage and now my time has come.'' - APNZ


Tatupu happy to get chance to fight Parker

BEN STANLEY   

​​

      He may be one of the biggest underdogs in New Zealand boxing history, but "King" Afa Tatupu is confident he can pull off a massive upset when he fights rising Kiwi heavyweight star Joseph Parker next month. Tatupu will defend his New Zealand National Boxing Federation title against Parker at Trusts Stadium in Auckland on October 10, and has the odds stacked heavily against him.


Parker, who has compiled a 6-0 record since turning pro, is seen as New Zealand's best heavyweight prospect since David Tua, and has been taken under the wing of Tua's former manager, Kevin Barry. He has been in intense training in Las Vegas for the past six weeks for the fight, only taking time out to attend the hugely hyped Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez scrap a fortnight ago. Tatupu, meanwhile, is striking down the road of true blue collar battler - training every day at the crack of dawn and in the evening, and working at a timber yard in Kumeu during the daylight hours.


It's hard, physical labour, but good conditioning for a bloke whose knockout power has impressed many in New Zealand. Tatupu has a 9-4 pro record, knocking out seven of the nine opponents he has conquered. His most recent victory against Junior Pati, who knocked him out the first time they fought in 2010, was perhaps his best, beating him on points in a brutal encounter, and he believes he is on track to turn heads in two weeks.


"Upsets do happen," Tatupu told Sunday News. "He has got everything really - but you have to leave it all in the ring. I'm grateful that I've got the chance really.

"[Parker] might have a big team up in Las Vegas, but I'm thankful for my team here. You can't get into the hype [surrounding Parker]. "It can take over everything. I've got a lot of respect for the fella. But I'm hopeful." Tatupu, a former rugby wing, has been training with long-time Auckland boxing identity, Chris Martin, in Penrose.

He went into camp this week after holding down his regular job. Manager Jim Johnstone, who is based in Christchurch, praised Tatupu as the one of the hardest training boxers he has ever met. "He trains the house down. He works hard at his job, and works just as hard in the gym.


"He has made everything happen for himself [in his career] - and it is all through hard work. He's got a big punch, and can get in the position to use it." Johnstone, who predicted the fight to last no more than six rounds, believes Tatupu is capable of one of the biggest upsets New Zealand boxing has seen.   



Boxing: Boxer focused despite 1m distractions
If Afa Tatupu wins tomorrow night he has the prospect of a lucrative match-up with Sonny Bill Williams.

​​

Afa Tatupu loves his job at St Luke's Timber in Kumeu. So much so that he isn't really thinking about becoming a professional boxer - not even with the prospect of an A$1 million fight against Sonny Bill Williams in view.Such things are a far cry from his $16.50-an-hour day job or the $100-$200 a round that professional boxers below the publicity line tend to earn in Auckland - but he is not contemplating much past tomorrow night.


It's then that Tatupu, 33, fights rising 21-year-old heavyweight star Joseph Parker in Auckland, with the winner proposed as an opponent for Williams in an A$1 million fight to reunify both New Zealand heavyweight belts (one held by Tatupu and the other by Williams).So far there are no encouraging noises from Williams' camp to suggest the bout will take place - and that suits Tatupu for the time being. "Sonny Bill ... he's another challenge," says the cousin of former Warriors stalwart Tony Tatupu and former Manu Samoa 1995 World Cup flanker and Wigan league forward Shem Tatupu.


"I can't really afford to be thinking about anything other than fighting Joseph." In fact, Tatupu is not thinking too hard about Parker either. Already friends, the pair have sparred for each other when they have had fights in the past and have great respect for each other."We do respect each other but I just can't afford to think of him too much as a friend. We both have a job to do."


So, while Tatupu has a million reasons, all of them Australian, to be thinking about something other than his fight against Parker, he is staying on course mentally for that clash - and credits his job at St Luke's Timber as a steadying influence."I love this job. It is pretty much where I get most of my fitness from and the enjoyment of working outside," he says. "Plus my boss, Brian Glamuzina, has been really good to me; he's let me have time off work to train for this fight."Train he has - full-time for the past month with trainer Chris Martin, working out twice a day in a mixture of fitness and ring work.


"It's really different and I have learned a lot; it's God's blessing that I have a guy like Chris Martin in my corner."Originally an Eden rugby player who went to Panmure's Shamrock Boxing to keep fit, Tatupu has fought 13 times in three and a half years; his last fight saw him avenge an earlier loss to Junior Pati and win the vacant New Zealand National Boxing Federation title in April.

Of his nine wins, seven were knockouts and manager Jim Johnstone says his four losses were the result of "sheer inexperience". "Everyone is underestimating him," he says. "He has got a knockout punch and that always gives you a show. He is a hard worker, he is working to the nth degree right now. He wanted this fight even before the money was brought up - he just wants to measure himself against these guys and that's a powerful motivation all on its own.


"Okay, he's had a couple of losses but they were down to sheer inexperience and he is a lot better placed now. Obviously he doesn't have the same level of stardom and exposure that 'Prince Joseph' does but he really wants this fight."His wins include a victory over Richard Tutaki - at one time proposed as an opponent for Williams - and his only loss in the past two years was to well-performed young Japanese heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto in Japan. Fujimoto has also fought and beaten a Williams opponent, Clarence Tillman, and US-Kiwi Chauncey Welliver..


"I can tell you, if Afa gets past Joseph - and he can do it - he doesn't need any extra motivation but that fight against Sonny Bill ... Afa will go through the roof."

For now, however, it's all about keeping feet on the floor, and Tatupu always has the timber yard to remind him about floors and roofs.


Boxing: Parker muscles up for big bout By Greg Taipari



For the past month there has been no time to rest for up-and-coming boxing star Joseph Parker.But you won't hear the 21-year-old complaining; in fact the 1.97m giant is thriving in the professional boxing world, thanks mainly to his equally hard-working boxing coach Kevin Barry.Parker has just returned to New Zealand from his training camp in Las Vegas, looking lean and ready for his fight with "King" Afa Tatupu for the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title at the Trusts Arena in West Auckland on Thursday.


"About four-and-a-half weeks ago when we did the media tour [in New Zealand] and when Kevin said 'that when we go back [to Las Vegas] we're going to hit the ground running' he wasn't joking." Parker said he had clocked up a lot of kilometres on the road and equally a large number of hours in the ring, sparring in preparation for his heavyweight title fight. 

"We've put in something like 130 rounds of sparring, also doing a lot of technique and skill work in the ring. "I'm pretty excited, it's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to next week," Parker said.


The orthodox (right-handed) fighter said he put his improvement down to his trainer, former Olympian Barry. "When I first [turned professional], I was still doing a lot of mistakes and it was quite hard to sway away from what I was doing in amateurs, but having a guy like Kevin around, he's already been there and done that with a lot of different guys. "[He's] given me the confidence to move me into the professional ranks a lot better and with that, moving into the professional ranks, it's lifted my confidence," Parker said. 

"I feel like I'm ready to take on the world. Taking those right steps and the right times. I pretty much trust in my team and my coach." Parker's opponent is no slouch. Tatupu has nine wins and four losses as a professional and is known in the boxing circles as a big hitter. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to be fighting for the New Zealand title at this stage in my career. I know where I'm at, I'm still at the beginning.

"Having a guy like Barry, who is real knowledgeable about boxing and has all the contacts. He knows what he's talking about," Parker said. "He's given me the confidence and I'm ready for the challenge ... It's a great opportunity, to get the title off someone whose worked equally as hard. I know he's gonna come ready and prepared." The humble youngster said he was looking forward to having the support of his boxing fans from Rotorua. "For me on the night, they [fans] are going to expect to see someone who's worked real hard ... I've been getting messages of support from all over New Zealand and some from Rotorua as well and those messages motivate me and push me to train harder."

Barry said Parker's fans were going to be surprised by the Parker who steps into the ring next Thursday compared with the Parker who stepped into the ring against Francois Botha in June. "He is a much better now than a young man in June. During that time I only had him for eight weeks and all we concentrated on was the fundamentals. "Starting this camp, we've had two eight-week camps. I've introduced him to a lot more ... "I am very excited about it, so much more this time because he has improved from that last time."

Hollywood actor, Rotorua's Temuera Morrison, is on the undercard of the Parker fight and a replacement to face the Once Were Warriors star will be announced on Monday, said Duco promoter Dean Lonergan. Morrison was meant to take on radio DJ Mike Puru; however the 38-year-old was injured while training for the event. - THE DAILY POST


 Boxing: SBW tipped for winner of Parker-Tatupu boutBy Greg Taipari



Less than three days out from the biggest fight of Joseph Parker's career, his coach Kevin Barry and promoter Dean Lonergan are in a sparring match. Barry, a former boxing Olympian, said he was "p*****" with Lonergan's decision to offer Sonny Bill Williams $1 million to put his New Zealand heavyweight boxing belt on the line to the winner of Parker and Afa Tatupu fight. Talking to the Rotorua Daily Post today, Barry said it's not the first time Lonergan has thrown up a "roadblock" prior to a Parker fight.

"I love the guy but I wonder sometimes what goes on inside his head. Him and I have had this discussion before. He's supposed to be Joseph's promoter and his representative. "The decisions that he makes, I always think, you've got to make the right decisions for the fighter before you worry about promoting and moving too far ahead. "He did the same thing to us with the Botha fight and I was really p***** when he did that and I really thought he would have learned his lesson." However, Lonergan said Barry needed to "get the blinkers off" and take Parker out of "cotton wool". "What Kevin doesn't understand and agree with that we are doing is, we are getting Joseph ready for the big time. "One day in the perfect world he's going to fight for the heavyweight title of the world. Now if he's going to do that, he's going to have some tough challenges on the way," Lonergan said.

"So what we're doing is putting Joseph though a series of tests and challenges to fight guys who are incredibly motivated and it's pretty simple. pressure creates diamonds. "Now along the way Joseph Parker is either going to rise to the challenge or not. Now in my opinion he 100 per cent will and Kevin needs to get the blinkers off and start taking his boy out of cotton wool." Although Barry was employed by the Lonergan-run Duco Promotions, he had no trouble telling his employer if he was doing something wrong. "I'm nobody's pony. I'll put him in check. The guy runs the company that employs me and there has been many times, I've put him in check when I don't think things are right. This is one of those things." The coach said he would have preferred Lonergan had waited until after the fight to announce the million dollar deal. He said despite the call he was certain his fighter wasn't letting the controversy get to him.

Meanwhile, Lonergan said Barry's comments were typical of the boxing coach.Parker and Tatupu are set to fight on Thursday at the Trust Arena in Auckland. Duco Promotions is expected tomorrow to release the name of the fighter who will take on Rotorua's own Temuera Morrison who is featured on the undercard. - THE DAILY POST



Parker seeks quick result against champion Tatupu

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Kevin Barry wants an early night tonight.Barry's young charge, Joseph Parker, will take on Afa Tatupu tonight in a New Zealand heavyweight title matchup and Barry isn't all that fussed about it going the distance.Tatupu is the current holder of the belt, but everything and everyone is pointing to a victory from 21-year-old Parker, as he looks to keep his clean professional record.Parker weighed in yesterday at a sharp-looking 104kg, up two kilograms from when he destroyed Frans Botha in his last outing, and he will have a five kilogram advantage over Tatupu.In Parker's six professional bouts to date, he has been past the third round just once and with tonight's matchup scheduled to go 10 rounds, there is a thought that it might be good for Parker's development to be taken into some of the later rounds.


Barry, however, wasn't all that interested in that kind of talk.When asked if he would be happy for Parker to be pushed late into the fight, the answer couldn't have been clearer."No," he said."We want to finish it early if there is a chance to finish it early."


"It is a 10-round fight and we've trained for a 10-round fight. We've got a plan and if the knockout opportunity comes, it needs to be taken.Parker echoed Barry's thoughts, saying the 130-plus rounds of sparring had prepared him to handle 10 rounds.


However, the fight is unlikely to see Round 10."I know that if either of us land a good punch, it is going to be interesting and will probably end early," Parker said.

Parker comes into the bout as a short-priced favourite and expectations are for him to make another statement with a convincing win.Added to the pressure is the hype of a million-dollar matchup with Sonny Bill Williams.Legendary boxing commentator Colonel Bob Sheridan lumped even more pressure on Parker this week, when he suggested he would certainly become the heavyweight champion of the world in the coming years.


Barry admitted he wasn't all that comfortable with those comments."I don't really like those comments - it is flattering, but Joseph knows he's got a long way to go."

Parker does looks ice-cool under the bright spotlight and said he needed to remain humble to ensure he stayed on the right track."I'm happy that people think good things of me, but for me, I just need to keep grounded and not let them get into my head, and just focus on what I can do."I'm grateful for my parents and my friends around me, who do keep me grounded and remind me of what is important to me."


However, It was an undercard matchup that overshadowed the Parker-Tatupu weigh-in in Auckland yesterday, as the tension almost boiled over a day too early.

The media turned up to see what sort of shape Parker was in for tonight's clash, but a push from giant 2.16m American Julius Long on opponent Jason Williams added some spark to the traditional boxing ritual.


Long towered over Williams and sent him backwards with a strong push that obviously angered fellow heavyweight Williams.Williams wanted to go on with it, and had to be restrained by his trainer and support members.Long has been in New Zealand sparring with David Tua to help with his match-up with next month.Long, 36, said it was a tactical move to put Williams off his game."The little shove thing was just to get him off his edge, to let him know 'hey, your in a fight," said Long. "I took the edge off myself, now I've got him angry,"


-Faifax


Parker aims to unify heavyweight boxing belts
LIAM NAPIER


Sonny, Joseph Parker is coming for you.In a bid to restore credibility to the two New Zealand heavyweight belts and unify them, Parker is plotting to challenge Sonny Bill Williams this year.The Sunday Star-Times understands Parker has secured a fight with Afa Tatupu on the David Tua v Alexander Ustinov undercard on August 31 in Hamilton.Tatupu holds the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title vacated by American-Kiwi Chauncy Welliver, while rugby and league superstar Williams is the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association champion. Parker respects Williams' achievements and athletic abilities, but boxing is boxing. He wants both Kiwi titles. A victory over the 33-year-old Tatupu would put significant pressure on Williams to step up for his first title defence.Parker v Williams would be a lucrative pay-per-view match-up - likely to generate huge interest in Australia and New Zealand."He [Tatupu] currently holds the other New Zealand title. 

There's only two major titles in New Zealand. He's got one and Sonny Bill has one," Parker told the Star-Times from his Las Vegas training base last week."If everything goes well and we get the win, then we could look at Sonny. If we do get a fight, I will definitely take it, but at this stage I'm not sure if he's [Williams] keen."Comparing their respective results against South African veteran Francois Botha paints a revealing picture. Both have undefeated records after six fights, though Williams' "victory" over Botha was tainted by controversy. Parker's advantage comes from his extensive amateur experience. Williams originally learnt his craft from YouTube footage."We believe Sonny's camp will come up with reasons why he's got to drop the belt," Duco promoter David Higgins said. "We'd be over the moon if Sonny was willing to step up but we don't believe he'd be willing to back himself to beat Joseph Parker. Joseph is determined to restore credibility to the New Zealand titles. Sonny will have to defend his title to prove he is a legitimate champion."Selecting Tatupu (9-4) as Parker's next opponent is a smart move on several fronts.

Talk of jumping in the ring with Shane Cameron was premature.Tatupu is a powerful puncher who comes forward but is thought to lack the defensive capabilities needed to handle Parker's lethal hand speed and increasing skills.In the leadup to his professional debut last year, Parker used Tatupu as a sparring partner. It is understood the pair had some serious exchanges."I used to do a lot of sparring with Afa back in the day," Parker said. "He is a powerful guy. He's got the title and he worked hard for it. There are a few weaknesses we've seen but you never know what he's going to bring on the day. He's got a lot of time to prepare. He might fix up his mistakes."We'll definitely start looking at him because you have to adjust your style and techniques towards that."

Since returning to Vegas to work under Kevin Barry's tutelage, Parker has resumed a relentless six-day training regime that starts with a run at 5am and includes two further daily sessions. He has also been exposed to quality sparring partners.After working with undefeated Mexican Andy Ruiz in the buildup to the Botha fight, Parker has since traded blows with Belarusian former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (25-5)."I wouldn't have access to these sorts of guys back in New Zealand," he said. "It's great to be sparring guys that have a lot of experience. I'm learning a lot. Every time I spar them I improve a lot."

- © Fairfax NZ News


Boxing promoter eyes bout for star
JONATHAN MCKEOWN



International fight promoter Dean Lonergan has confirmed he will look to stage a bout for heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in Nelson next year in what would be Parker's "toughest fight to date".The fight would be a continuation of a heavy schedule over the next five months for Parker, who has four dates confirmed.Beginning with a fight on the David Tua undercard on August 31, Lonergan said the other dates for fights were October 12 in Auckland, November 22 in Christchurch and December 14 at Auckland's Fight for Life.A potential followup fight in Nelson in March or April was discussed at a meeting held yesterday between Lonergan, of Duco Events, Fight for Victory organisers Paul Hampton and Barry Galbraith, and Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio.

The inaugural Fight for Victory charity boxing event, held in June this year, was met with widespread acclaim for the spectacle the 13-bout card provided for the sellout crowd at Trafalgar Centre.Lonergan said, with that base to work from, in combination with Duco Events, the next Fight for Victory, headlined by Parker, would attract "a minimum" 500,000-strong pay-per-view audience."This would be a massive fight," said Lonergan. In six to eight months' time, Joseph is going to be a much bigger star in New Zealand than he is now."If we can get it down here it would be Joseph's toughest fight to date."We've got about four fights between now and Christmas planned for Joe, and every time he fights he will be a bigger and bigger media star."We would probably come down here when Joseph fights and probably 20 or 30 national media would follow. There would be a significant audience come to town."Lonergan said it was a "very active schedule" for the 21-year-old, but the belief is that more fights will help Parker while he is perfecting his craft."Joseph is really on the rise, Kevin [trainer Kevin Barry] is doing a great job and we really want to fight him around the country, so we would really love to fight him down in Nelson."At the opening of the new Victory Boxing Gym last night, made possible by money raised at Fight for Victory last month, foundation fighter Mr Miccio said the fight had his backing."

The business case for the proposal looks very strong and now it is just a matter of working through the details," Mr Miccio said."We discussed the possibility of this happening every year as a major event, with Parker or someone of his calibre here every year."Nelson, potentially, could become one of the homes of boxing in the country."Discussion will continue over the coming months with a final decision expected during that time.

​Plan booms, P12.- © Fairfax NZ News


Joseph Parker Hopes To Secure Sonny Bill Williams

By Liam Napier



Article Link - http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=68111#ixzz2kerhORqkThis is a legal waiver. By copying and using the material from this article, you agree to give full credit to BoxingScene.com or provide a link to the original article.Sonny, Joseph Parker is coming for you.In a bid to restore credibility to the two New Zealand heavyweight belts and unify them, Parker is plotting to challenge Sonny Bill Williams this year.The Sunday Star-Times understands Parker has secured a fight with Afa Tatupu on the David Tua v Alexander Ustinov undercard on August 31 in Hamilton.Tatupu holds the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title vacated by American-Kiwi Chauncy Welliver, while rugby and league superstar Williams is the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association champion. Parker respects Williams' achievements and athletic abilities, but boxing is boxing. He wants both Kiwi titles.

A victory over the 33-year-old Tatupu would put significant pressure on Williams to step up for his first title defence.Parker v Williams would be a lucrative pay-per-view match-up - likely to generate huge interest in Australia and New Zealand."He [Tatupu] currently holds the other New Zealand title. There's only two major titles in New Zealand. He's got one and Sonny Bill has one," Parker told the Star-Times from his Las Vegas training base last week."If everything goes well and we get the win, then we could look at Sonny. If we do get a fight, I will definitely take it, but at this stage I'm not sure if he's [Williams] keen."Comparing their respective results against South African veteran Francois Botha paints a revealing picture. Both have undefeated records after six fights, though Williams' "victory" over Botha was tainted by controversy. Parker's advantage comes from his extensive amateur experience. Williams originally learnt his craft from YouTube footage.

"We believe Sonny's camp will come up with reasons why he's got to drop the belt," Duco promoter David Higgins said. "We'd be over the moon if Sonny was willing to step up but we don't believe he'd be willing to back himself to beat Joseph Parker. Joseph is determined to restore credibility to the New Zealand titles. Sonny will have to defend his title to prove he is a legitimate champion."Selecting Tatupu (9-4) as Parker's next opponent is a smart move on several fronts. Talk of jumping in the ring with Shane Cameron was premature.Tatupu is a powerful puncher who comes forward but is thought to lack the defensive capabilities needed to handle Parker's lethal hand speed and increasing skills.In the leadup to his professional debut last year, Parker used Tatupu as a sparring partner. It is understood the pair had some serious exchanges."I used to do a lot of sparring with Afa back in the day," Parker said. "He is a powerful guy. He's got the title and he worked hard for it. There are a few weaknesses we've seen but you never know what he's going to bring on the day. He's got a lot of time to prepare. He might fix up his mistakes."We'll definitely start looking at him because you have to adjust your style and techniques towards that."

​Since returning to Vegas to work under Kevin Barry's tutelage, Parker has resumed a relentless six-day training regime that starts with a run at 5am and includes two further daily sessions. He has also been exposed to quality sparring partners.After working with undefeated Mexican Andy Ruiz in the buildup to the Botha fight, Parker has since traded blows with Belarusian former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (25-5)."I wouldn't have access to these sorts of guys back in New Zealand," he said. "It's great to be sparring guys that have a lot of experience. I'm learning a lot. Every time I spar them I improve a lot."



Parker the 'most exciting' boxer since David Tua
JONATHAN MCKEOWN


New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is already breaking new ground in boxing, but plans are in place to see the punishing young pugilist become a superstar.Parker and trainer Kevin Barry were in Nelson to promote Parker's Hydr8 ZERO New Zealand National Boxing Federation title fight against Afa Tatupu on October 10, but they also discussed plans to fight in Nelson next year.At a training session at Victory Boxing Gym last night, Barry said the plan for Joseph has always been to make him New Zealand's fighter, to fight him around the country and increase his following.With Barry's personal connection to Nelson through boxing and the sell-out success of the Fight4Victory charity boxing event held at the Trafalgar Centre in June, Barry said Nelson was a natural fit.

"Our first fight of 2014 is going to be here in Nelson," said Barry. "With the show Barry [Galbraith of Fight4Victory] put on, when the Nelson option presented itself, we never hesitated."Barry and Galbraith were boxing around the same time in the late 70s and early 80s, when Nelson had its boxing heyday with names like Rackley, Galbraith and Mcnamara. Barry fought "many times" in Nelson in the amateur ranks and a pair of the late Kevin Barry senior's gloves hang pride of place at the Victory Gym."Nelson has had some great fighters throughout the years and I would like to think, with [the Victory Boxing] programme up and running for these young guys, in the future [Galbraith] will get some champions out of this gym."Parker said he is excited to come back to fight in Nelson and "give the fans something back", yet he said there is plenty of work to be done between now and then.In training for his title fight, Parker has already logged some amazing stats, training three times a day, six days a week with Barry at his Las Vegas base.

The 21-year old had clocked close to 320km running, 300 rounds on the heavy bags and completed close to 85 rounds sparring in seven weeks, when he could get the opponents.Parker has been mixing it with some top competitors, like former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich.Yet, the Belarusian "White Wolf" went a similar way to the "White Buffalo" Francois Botha - who Parker knocked out in June - turning down more sparring sessions after feeling the power of Parker.Prior to the Botha fight, Barry and Parker only had eight weeks to train. Barry said Parker has successfully implemented the plans put in place; fighting like a big man, controlling the distance and working on an overhand right, which stopped Botha in his White Buffalo tracks.With a further seven weeks under the belt and another Las Vegas training camp before the title fight, phase two of the transformation of Parker is well under way.

"After the success of the Botha fight, I was able to introduce a lot more into his game, he is a much more complete fighter now, he has many more weapons," said Barry."What he has been showing me in the gym against some very classy sparring partners, is he is a far more dangerous fighter, a more exciting fighter."Barry said his charge, who now has a record of 6-0, is also a lot stronger.While Parker remains at 102kg, he is already, noticeably bigger in the shoulders and back. And, being Parker's first 10-round fight, a lot of work has gone into Parker's endurance and stamina."You saw when Sonny Bill [Williams] fought 10 rounds, he is an athlete at the highest level and wasn't ready for 10 rounds, he wasn't ready for nine. We are not going to make that same mistake."Like the rugby star-cum-boxer, who holds the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association title - which Parker is coming for in the near future - Parker is also working on his "brand".Parker filmed a television commercial this week for Hydr8 ZERO.For a young guy who has only been fighting as a professional for a year, to have a commercial is an endorsement in itself, Barry saying the hype is well-placed."To head his own pay-per-view in his sixth fight is unheard of, so we are already breaking new ground.

"This is the most exciting kid to come out of boxing in the last 20 years, since I turned [David] Tua pro in 1992, there is no doubt about it."We have got very aggressive plans for this guy, over the next 12-18 months, we want to turn him into a superstar."

- © Fairfax NZ News


Boxing: Parker in shape of life for Tatupu title fight
By Patrick McKendry



Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry says the New Zealand heavyweight has improved massively since his impressive knockout of Francois Botha in June.Parker, weighing in at 102kg, has put in more than 320km of road running and 85 rounds of sparring in Las Vegas in seven weeks ahead of his fight against Afa Tatupu for the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title at Auckland's Trusts Arena on October 10.

The fight was arranged following the postponement until November of the David Tua v Alexander Ustinov bout originally scheduled for Saturday and at which Parker was to appear on the undercard."We had a real tight schedule before the Botha fight,'' said Barry. "We only had eight weeks together and every day counted."But since I have got him back to Las Vegas we have been able to be a bit more relaxed and I have been able to introduce Joseph to a lot more things."Joseph's body is changing. His strength is improving. His boxing knowledge is being extended every day. He is already a different and a better fighter to the one who beat Francois Botha.''Both 21-year-old Parker and Tatupu want to unify the NZNBF belt with the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association belt Sonny Bill Williams won when he beat Clarence Tillman.That fight was 18 months ago and so far Williams has successfully avoided having to defend the title, most recently ducking a call-out from Tatupu.Tatupu, who works in a timber yard, will train fulltime during the month before his fight against Parker.

He has a nine-win, four-loss record but is known as an extremely hard puncher.Parker is unbeaten over his six fights.Parker's promoters Duco Events also announced this morning that they have signed light heavyweight Robbie Berridge to their stable on a six-year deal.Berridge, 28, is a hard-hitting southpaw with only one loss in 22 fights.

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