Below are quotes from the final Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker press conference ahead of Saturday night’s action at The O2 in London, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Dillian Whyte: “Joseph is a fighting man, that’s his heritage, but he’s short of options. He could have gone to USA to fight Bryant Jennings for a small purse and no attention or come to the UK in front of a sell-out crowd and get better pay and a more prestigious fight. He’s motivated – he knows beating me gets him close to another shot at AJ, so that’s what makes him dangerous: “if I do Dillian, I’m back in the big time again” – but he’s got to get past me first.

Joseph Parker: “It was important to get back in the ring in another big fight straight away. Dillian is on the cusp of fighting for a world title and beating him would put me right back at that top table. There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m here to do damage and I’m here to punch with bad intentions. I’m going to break him down and he’s going to take a lot of punches. He’s been talking a lot of smack in the build up and I believe that is a sign of self doubt. I hope he’s ready to take a lot of punches because I’m going to give it to him real bad. He thinks I can’t go to war, let’s wait and see.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn: “Dillian could easily have sat back and waited for his shot at WBC king Deontay Wilder, but the Brixton man is not one to wait patiently in line – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in world title action very soon.”

Carlos Takam: “I’m very glad to be back here in the UK. When I was offered the fight against Dereck I immediately accepted it. Dereck is as tough as they come and I’m prepared for a tough night.”

Dereck Chisora: “Carlos took AJ rounds, he’s a tough guy so this is no walk in the park – it’s a marathon. He goes rounds with good fighters so I know that I’ve got 12 rounds ahead of me. They asked for this at the beginning of the year but there was no right slot for it at that time. I know it’s going to be a long night, there’s no two ways about it. I didn’t learn anything from his AJ fight as he was fighting a different game than he’ll bring tonight, I just want him to be in front of me so we can have a good time.

The blockbuster Heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker has now officially sold out after final production holds were released this week.

Whyte and Parker collide for the WBC Silver and WBO International Heavyweight crowns this Saturday at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

‘The Body Snatcher’ is on the cusp of World title action after destroying Lucas Browne with a devastating sixth round KO in London in March to defend the WBC Silver title and number one ranking he’d landed by beating Robert Helenius in Cardiff in October.

Parker is back in the UK after fighting in the Welsh capital in an historic unification battle with Anthony Joshua in March, with Whyte’s old foe handing a first career defeat for the New Zealand star on points.

“This is a hugely important clash for the Heavyweight division that has captured the imagination of the public,” said Promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now and his popularity is continuing to grow.

“Dillian’s brutal KO of Australian Lucas Browne at The O2 in March underlined that prowess at the top level and now another visitor from down under is here to try to halt Dillian’s rise to the top.

“Joseph Parker is a softly spoken and likeable man – but make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in World title action very soon.”

Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins has confirmed the Kiwi heavyweight is due to train at retired British boxer David Haye’s gym again ahead of facing Dillian Whyte in London later this month.

Parker has previously trained at Haye’s base in London when preparing to fight Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight world title unification bout the 26-year-old New Zealander lost on points in Cardiff on April 1.

Higgins said Haye, 37, who announced his retirement in June, had always been “very accommodating” for Parker.

“Same as usual, Park Plaza, the Riverbank hotel, and as far as I know, he’ll be using the same David Haye gym,” he told the UK’s Sky Sports ahead of Parker’s next fight against Haye’s fellow Brit Whyte at London’s 02 Arena on July 28.

“David seems to have been very good to us from our first fight up there. David’s been very helpful, we’re very grateful.

“I’m sure that he and Joseph will discuss tactics and stuff like that. The use of the facilities has been invaluable, they are private, hidden and quiet, and near the hotel.”

Parker, the former WBO champion, is set to spend the final two weeks of preparation for fighting Whyte on his home turf at Haye’s gym.

Their records are almost identical; Parker is 24-1 and Whyte is 23-1. Parker has won 18 by knockout; Whyte 17.

Haye, a former WBA heavyweight champion, finished his career 28-4 with 26 victories via knockout.


SHOWTIME Sports will present the Heavyweight World championship unification between undefeated IBF, IBO and WBA World Champion Anthony Joshua MBE and unbeaten WBO World Champion Joseph Parker on Saturday, March 31 live on SHOWTIME from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. (photos by Lawrence Lustig).

British sensation Joshua, who has knocked out all 20 of his professional opponents, burst onto the global scene with a dramatic knockout of long-reigning Heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in the universally acclaimed 2017 Fight of the Year at Wembley Stadium in London.

In two fights last year, Joshua drew 168,000 spectators combined to massive stadium events in the U.K. Now, he faces another significant challenge in Parker, a native of New Zealand with 24 wins, no losses and 18 knockouts.  Parker is attempting the third World title defence of his WBO belt.

Joshua vs. Parker is just the second Heavyweight championship unification in history between undefeated World titleholders. The only fighter to emerge victorious from a matchup of unbeaten Heavyweight World champions was Mike Tyson in 1987.

With the addition of Joshua vs. Parker, SHOWTIME will televise all four of the Heavyweight World titles in the same month as undefeated American Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will defend his WBC belt against unbeaten Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on Saturday, March 3 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The four top-rated Heavyweights–Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua and Parker–boast a combined record of 111 wins, zero losses and 100 knockouts.

Both Heavyweight championships are cornerstones of a remarkable 2018 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING schedule that now includes 16 undefeated fighters and 13 world titles fights across 11 marquee events through the first six months of the year.

“The Heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance and SHOWTIME is delivering the all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, World title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th Heavyweight World championship match on SHOWTIME since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”

The event is promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Duco Events. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will televise the event live from Principality Stadium where organizers expect a sell-out of 80,000 spectators. The host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Brian Custer. Mauro Ranallo calls the action from ringside along with International Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-division World champion Paul Malignaggi. A 2018 Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Gray, serves as ringside reporter.–126485?print_friendly=1

By Corey Erdman –

After brutally knocking out Lucas Browne on Saturday night on HBO, Dillian Whyte immediately started screaming for a fight with Deontay Wilder.

He’s not the only one. Any professional fighter above 200 pounds would love to crash the Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder party and get even a fraction of the amount of money those two are set to generate. In fact, there’s likely a large number of fighters below 200 pounds who would gladly hit the sizzler and eat their way up above two bills to do it.

This Saturday, Joseph Parker will have an honest-to-goodness shot at crashing that party when he takes on Joshua in a heavyweight title unification fight on Showtime and Sky Sports PPV.

Outside of the contingent of active heavyweight fighters, there won’t be too many non-New Zealanders rooting for Parker to pull the upset. For one, Joshua is overwhelmingly popular, and already established as one of the biggest box office attractions in the history of boxing. But also, a bout between Joshua and Wilder is too mouth-watering, too perfect, and frankly, too profitable for everyone involved for anyone to want anything other than that particular fight next.

Generally, that’s exactly what happens. Boxing isn’t a league, so with the exception of a handful of sanctioning body rules, the powers that be can set up any fight they want at pretty much any time. Disgruntled Facebook users and the guy who insists on talking to you at the bar while the fights are on like to grumble about how “the best don’t fight the best, ya see, that’s the problem with boxing,” but the reality is that historically, the best fights usually happen. Most great fights do get made, because great fights make money, and that’s what everyone in the sport is here to do.

“It doesn’t really bother me,” said Parker on a recent SHOWTIME conference call of the constant Wilder-Joshua chatter. “I think everyone is entitled to their opinion and the fight they want to see. I think what’s important for us is that we focus on what’s in front of us and that’s Anthony Joshua. Our focus is on Anthony Joshua and being in great shape and being healthy. It gives us motivation in training and we know what our focus is. Our focus is Anthony Joshua and putting on the best performance of our lives March 31.”

On occasion, fighters in Parker’s position do indeed turn in the performance of their lives. As much as the construct of boxing allows for arranging things perfectly, unless you’re criminally fixing fights, you can never account for every variable. Challengers in world title fighters are still world class fighters, and even if they’re a step below that, they’re still human beings with two fists.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that fight will happen. And there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll beat Wilder as well. This is where we’re heading. Fight after fight, my view on it is this,” said Joshua. “We reached out to Deontay Wilder’s team before the fight with Joseph Parker was made. And once that fight didn’t happen, I put Wilder aside and focused solely on Parker.

“While most mega fights have been made over the years, plans have been ruined by challengers in fights designed to set up bigger ones.

Perhaps the most famous example of this is also one of the most celebrated upsets in the history of sports, when Jim Braddock defeated Max Baer for the heavyweight championship of the world. The plan was for Baer to face Joe Louis for the title, but Cinderella Man ruined those plans. Baer did face Louis next anyway, and the bout did do big business even without the title on the line—84,000 were in attendance, and some suggest an additional 9,000 were there as well, for a million dollar gate. Without the title on the line however, it’s probably the biggest fight to never really be discussed in boxing circles.

Ray Mercer was the king of blowing chances at big fights in tune-up fights. In 1992, he vacated his WBO heavyweight title to face Larry Holmes in what he saw as an opportunity to gain notoriety leading into a bout with then-lineal champ Evander Holyfield. Instead, Holmes turned in one of the greatest old man performances ever, completely neutralizing Mercer en route to a decision victory. The very next year, Mercer would drop a decision to the 18-9 Jesse Ferguson in a bout bathed in controversy. Mercer was accused of attempting to bribe Ferguson to throw the fight, but was ultimately found not guilty. Nonetheless, the loss spoiled a planned bout against Riddick Bowe. After exacting revenge on Ferguson in a rematch, the very next year Mercer lost to trialhorse Marion Wilson, spoiling a big money fight with Frank Bruno in Hong Kong.

Even all-time greats slip up at the wrong time. In 1997, then-WBC super welterweight champ Terry Norris was matched against Keith Mullings on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya-Wilfredo Rivera. The plan was for both Norris and De La Hoya to win, and Norris to move down to 147 to face De La Hoya in a PPV clash. Norris couldn’t hold up his end of the bargain, as he was stopped my Mullings in the ninth round, leaving a $4.5 million dollar payday on the table.

This Saturday, Joseph Parker will either be the stepping stone to a fight we’ll always remember, or the road block causing an upset we’ll never forget.–126564?print_friendly=1

By Bryce Wilson –

With only a matter of weeks out from the biggest fight of his career caught up with WBO champion Joseph Parker to get his take on how camp has been progressing so far and how he is feeling as the clock winds down to April 1st and his meeting with British juggernaut Anthony Joshua.

Having interviewed Parker a number of times he always makes for an amiable and laid-back interview subject, nothing too much seems to phase him or raise his ire in any way. And in getting to know a fighter, you begin to notice the little things, subtle changes in demeanour, different energy levels that perhaps lend themselves to a small ‘tell’ as to what sort of camp the fighter is having.

In the past it hasn’t always been the easiest to get a hold of Parker. Sometimes he can be a little less than punctual to our prearranged catch-ups, sometimes its required a phonecall to trainer and mentor Kevin Barry to get Joseph on the line, with Parker good naturedly explaining that our pre-appointed interview had slipped his mind. However, with this camp, on every occasion a slot has been set up to talk, Joseph has been on time, ahead of time in fact, and very very relaxed and ebullient in his manner. The mind seems clear and organised and focussed with a purpose that we haven’t seen before.

Maybe it will amount to nothing in the ring, this is the heavyweights after all and as we know one huge right hand from Anthony Joshua could end the contest at any moment, but one does get the sense that Joseph Parker is ready to produce a career defining performance that will far surpass what many of his detractors believe him capable of.

I catch Parker just as he is coming off 12 rounds of sparring, a session where he found his energy levels to be strong, the motor turning over nicely. And if recent video footage is anything to go by the weight seems to be melting off as well, the benefits of which Parker readily acknowledges.

‘I’m walking around at around 109kgs right now, I weighed 112kgs for the Hughie Fury fight. I’m now a lot leaner, I’ve got more energy, I’ve got more power and I’m moving a lot better. When you’re following the plan, when you’re eating well and you’re getting your rest everything just clicks and the mind is affected big time. When you don’t follow the plan one hundred percent you have this little bit of doubt in your mind, but for this fight I don’t feel any of that. I know I’ve done everything possible and now I’m just looking forward to fighting and handing out a whipping!’

I put it to Parker that it is most likely the challenge (and danger) of facing someone like Anthony Joshua that is bringing out the best him. Come in anything less than perfect shape and you could seriously hurt, it’s something he agrees with,

‘It’s certainly fair to say that this challenge of Joshua is bringing something out in me that I haven’t felt previously. I didn’t know if it was true before, that facing someone so dangerous changes something within you and takes you to a higher level, but I can definitely say that it does. Everyone knows I’ve got the ability to fight 12 rounds but now I want to show people that I can fight at a hard pace as well.’

It’s an interesting comment to make, because while much has been made of Parker and his team goading Joshua about his alleged glass chin perhaps the real key to this fight may actually lie in testing Joshua’s stamina, something which has looked a tad vulnerable in the past. It would appear that Joshua and his team have made a concession to this vulnerability in acknowledging they plan on coming in lighter than in previous fights. Parker agrees that it may be key to upsetting the odds,

‘Yes, I’d say that he is aware that he has some stamina issues, why else would they plan on coming in lighter for this fight? I’ve heard he is already weighing less than he did for his last fight which is good. It shows that he’s also training the house down and taking this fight very seriously.’

I wonder if as the fight now draws nearer Parker’s emotions are beginning to change but the answer is typical of the always relaxed Parker.

‘No not really, there is still work to be done, that’s all I’m concentrating on. The only real difference is my body is feeling fitter, I can work with more intensity, I feel like there is some magic that is going to happen.’

It’s interesting to compare the state of mind of Parker now, as opposed to when he faced Andy Ruiz and fighting for his first world title, a camp that trainer Kevin Barry informed me before the fight and off the record as being one of their worst.

‘Oh, the Andy Ruiz camp was horrible! Mentally that fight was very very tough, approaching what was the biggest fight of my career and knowing we had had such a bad camp. In some ways it had me in the frame of mind that I didn’t want to fight. This camp I have none of that, if I come into the fight and he beats me then it is because he was the better fighter. But trust me, he won’t beat me because I feel great!’

Earlier in the week footage appeared online of Joshua and Parker having their first proper sit-down, face-to-face meeting in an episode of The Gloves Are Off.

I asked Parker what he made of the event and what was it like being able to finally eyeball Joshua.

‘You can tell he’s confident but in some ways it felt a bit too respectful, which isn’t a bad thing, but I thought there might have been a bit more bite due to what we’d said about him previously. But he’s very professional, he’s done this a few times now and I respect that.’

It is certainly true that Joshua has been in this type of spotlight before, pretty much since winning Gold at the London Olympics. It’s also equally true that fighters coming to the UK shores have at times looked overwhelmed by the media, the hype and the audience size that follows Joshua’s every move. I ask Parker why he thinks he won’t fall victim to the same trap.

‘It’s a combination of things; you have to prepare for it, but I’m also very relaxed by nature. It’s the way I’ve been brought up, the way my parents have raised me. Church and faith also play a role. I’ve been through some dark moments in fights, the busted eardrum against Nascimento and a nasty gash from a headbutt in the Tatupu fight and come through the other side. It all gives me confidence that I can do this. Honestly I don’t care about the size of the crowd, I don’t care about anything else but me and him once the bell rings.’

Speaking of confidence, I note that while many of Joshua’s fans have been writing Parker off, he does have significant support from his peers, most notably, Deontay Wilder, Jarrell Miller and Tyson Fury all giving Parker a very real chance to win this fight. It’s a curious phenomenon with Parker, that in the age of smack talk most other heavyweights only ever have nice things to say about him.

‘With my fellow professionals, they know what to look for in the ring, so its certainly nice that they recognize this as a 50/50 fight. For some of the public to give me no chance, that’s fine too, they’re allowed their opinion.  As to why other fighters don’t bag me I honestly don’t know! (laughs) Maybe they recognize us as a real team. For instance, Tyson Fury has always been very supportive, we connected via social media, I’ve always respected him as a fighter, I’m excited to see him come back and bring a lot more excitement with him back to the division.’

Leaving nothing to chance, Parker’s team will arrive in London a full two weeks before the fight, acclimatising for the weather, training out of David Haye’s gym, sparring a few rounds to stay fresh and then taper off. Trainer Kevin Barry has made a point of saying that the Joseph Parker he sees in the gym is very different to the one we’ve seen in the last couple of fights. Now would be the perfect occasion for Parker to finally showcase to the public what his trainer swears he sees in private.

‘Well I don’t believe Joshua has ever seen a style like mine so yeah one hundred percent, now is the time to deliver my very best performance. Against an opponent like Joshua I’ll certainly need it. Right now I’m very happy in camp and you know the saying, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter. It’s also time to show everyone that Kevin isn’t talking crap. I want to back up what he says and show the public the fighter that he sees in the gym, otherwise they are going to think New Zealanders are crazy! (Laughs)

Moving off the topic of himself for a moment I ask purely as a boxing fan what he thought of Deontay Wilder’s dramatic win over Luis Ortiz. I also wonder what he made of both Klitschko and Ortiz as underdogs having a window to cause the upset in both fights against Joshua and Wilder respectfully, yet not being able to take it.

‘A lot of questions were answered with Wilders chin but I’m not sure that Ortiz had the power to finish him off. Wilder showed the heart of a champion to come through such a tough moment. Ortiz was very tricky; however I remember saying to Kevin at the end of the 7th when he couldn’t finish off Wilder, this is just going to be like the Klitschko/Joshua fight and it was. Rest assured if I get the chance to finish off Joshua I’ll make no such mistake. ‘

Which seems like a fitting place for us to leave it. Talk can be cheap, particularly when facing a fighting machine like Anthony Joshua, a spectacular knockout artist whose 20 previous opponents have all tried yet failed to see the final bell. Yet in Parker, Joshua is facing an adversary who also holds a world title, an adversary who maybe doesn’t punch with quite the same power yet also possesses some unique weapons of his own: Speed, stamina and a granite chin being chief among them. And perhaps most crucially is the self-belief; Joseph Parker will start his championship fight with Anthony Joshua a heavy underdog, yet all the indications are that he might just end up providing ‘AJ’ with his toughest test to date. This unification battle has the makings of an explosive type of fight, a fight where the winner has to walk through fire to get the win on the other side. Talking to Joseph Parker you get the sense that he wouldn’t want it any other way.–126257?print_friendly=1

Credit:  Photos by Hennessy Sports/Karen Priestley –

WBO heavyweight title challenger Hughie Fury has based himself at a spartan-style training camp at Lake Windermere as he heads into the biggest fight of his life against undefeated WBO champion Joseph Parker. Fury has set up camp in the mountains with his father and trainer Peter for his showdown with Parker on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena.

While thousands of tourists and holiday makers enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Lake District, Fury is experiencing the flip side and is putting his body and mind through hell in the rough and brutal surrounding terrain to become the first man to beat Parker.

The 22-year-old Manchester star is going through a daily grueling schedule of long mountain runs and sprints, log chopping, free climbing mountains and lake swimming sessions, alongside sparring and boxing gym session and believes that this will give him the extra edge to become the new WBO world champion.

“We’ve come up here just to do runs in the past and we’ve always said that this would be a fantastic place to set up a training camp and what better time than now for the world title fight against Parker,” said Fury, the undefeated WBO mandatory and number one ranked challenger.

“This is absolutely perfect for me, I love the outdoors and the fresh air and the feeling of getting back-to-basics is getting the very best out of me. The greats of boxing like Ali, Dempsey and Louis all did it this way, in modern times we’ve all gone scientific with boxing training, but there’s a lot to be said about training the old way and I feel fitter and stronger than ever before.”

“I’m training at altitude with my some of the mountain runs leaving my lungs burning, I’m pulling tires attached to my back on uphill sprints, free climbing up the side of mountains that leave my arms and fingers burning and then I’m going for endurance swims and sprints in the freezing lakes.”

“Then there’s the log chopping, it used to be common place for boxers to do this in the past, but it seems to have died out with some boxers going all body beautiful with weights in the gym. It strengthens every muscle in your body from your hamstrings, calves, quads and gluts to your abs, lats, traps, deltoids and pecs while working my cardiovascular endurance,”

“When the hard training is done for the day, then I can just rest and look out at the stunning and peaceful scenery around me, but strangely focus my mind on smashing Parker to bits and tearing the world title away from him,”

“I know that wherever he is training now he’s putting himself through the same to keep hold of his title, but that is pushing me every day to train twice as hard and go through my physical and mental limits. I know that on the 23rd September he won’t have an answer to what I’ve got.”

 Photo: Hennessy Sports/Karen Priestley

Peter is overseeing his son’s training and implementing the fight strategy to defeat the fearsome puncher Parker who has 18 KOs from 23 fights. 

He masterfully guided his nephew Tyson to his stunning victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, who had not been defeated in nearly 11 years, to become the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion and believes Hughie can pull off a similar feat against Parker.

“Ali trained at Deer Lake and many of the greats trained at Big Bear in California, more recently Gennady Golovkin. The benefits are ten-fold training here in Lake Windermere. It’s the best way to train, it’s outdoor, non-polluted, rigorous mountain runs, quarries, tree and log chopping, lakes for swimming, it’s got everything we need. Then we’ve got tremendous indoor facilities as well with the local boxing gym in Windermere and Choices Spa and Health club in Troutbeck Bridge. Hughie will be in the best shape of his life against Parker and more than prepared. Everything thing we do is to win and he’ll be the new WBO World Champion.”

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs), 24 years old, is hoping to get in the ring with the other beltholders in the division to unify all of the titles.

At the moment, Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) holds the WBA, IBO, IBF world titles and Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) is the WBC champion.

Parker will return in September, when he heads to Manchester to face undefeated mandatory challenger Hughie Fury, who is the undefeated cousin of former world champion Tyson Fury.

Parker believes the upcoming contest, which takes place at the Manchester Arena in September 23, will help raise his profile in the division.

A big showcase on UK soil will certainly go a long way to building a potential 2018 showdown with Joshua, who right now is the biggest name in the heavyweight division.

“It’s alright. These other guys are fighting on that side of the world with all the exposure they get. New Zealand has got a small population to compare and for us to already have a world champion and now to start fighting, it’s a good step for us,” Parker said to Sport 360.

“It’s great to be a world champion, to achieve that goal that I set at a young age, but now I want to go on to do more, to create my own legacy. People don’t know me, but that’s all right. Hopefully they will soon. I want to show skills, bring excitement, pressure, be the fighter that everyone will remember.

“This is my chance in the UK to show what I can do. And I believe things happen when they are supposed to happen. Like every other heavyweight fighter I want to unify the belts, it’s a goal for me. It’s going to give me the motivation to train harder and focus. Just because you win one title, that’s not enough.”

Parker is very confident in his ability and is more than confident that he can topple both Joshua and Wilder – once he gets them the ring.

“I back myself to beat anyone. I don’t fear anyone and will fight anyone. The focus is of course on Hughie now and after that we will sit down and look to fight the other best fighters in the world,” Parker said.–118714?print_friendly=1

skysports-joseph-parker-razvan-cojanu-boxing_3946578Joseph Parker takes the initiative during the first defence of his world heavyweight title

Joseph Parker successfully defended his WBO world heavyweight title after labouring to a unanimous points win over Razvan Cojanu in Auckland.

Parker failed to send out a warning to the division’s biggest names such as Anthony Joshua, producing a workmanlike display against his former sparring partner and failing to land any telling blows.

The hulking Cojanu only took the fight at short notice, following the withdrawal of Hughie Fury, and seemingly enjoyed the bout, spending the 12 rounds goading Parker and playing up to the crowd.

But, while he took Parker’s punches well, Cojanu never posed a great threat himself and Romania will have to wait for a first heavyweight champion.

Parker was the man throwing the majority of the blows throughout and the judges scored the fight 119-108, 117-110, 117-110 in his favour.

The 25-year-old looked lively during the early stages while Cojanu began his showmanship, taunting Parker as the duo circled the ring.

That was one characteristic of the challenger’s display but another was the ease with which he shrugged off Parker’s blows, and he weathered a powerful combination from the champion towards the end of round one.

Parker began to look a little frustrated in round three and he was warned by the ref after pushing his glove into Cojanu’s face.

But Cojanu’s path to an upset win was made even harder when he was deducted a point in round four for reaching around Parker’s head.

The middle rounds followed a familiar pattern, with Parker doing the eye-catching work but struggling to make an impact on Cojanu, who pounded his own chest in delight when he landed a few blows of his own in round eight.

And, far from tiring, the gallant Romanian more than held his own in the closing stages, trading blows with Parker as the fight finally exploded into life in the closing stages of round 12.

Parker had done more than enough to win but the question of whether he is worthy of a place among the world’s top heavyweights remains unanswered.

“What a fight,” said Parker afterwards. “I guess you can all see why we bring Razvan into camp with us.

“We look for the best, to prepare for the fights we have.

“I’d like to thank Razvan for coming down and putting on a great fight. I’d like to thank you all for coming out and supporting us, throughout my career so far.”

Parker remains undefeated after 23 fights and, having made a successful first defence of his title, says he will now begin campaigning further afield.

“I have done my best to keep my fights here in New Zealand, I guess it is now time for us to move overseas,” he added.

Parker’s trainer, Kevin Barry, said: “I told everyone, when you wrote Razvan off, that this would be a harder fight than Hughie Fury.

“We have sparred 100 rounds with this guy, we know how tough he is, and he is a very proud man, as you can see today. We knew it would be a tough fight.

“When I realised it was going to take us a while to break him down, I said to Joe, ‘Just be patient. Raz is fighting the fight of his life, don’t help him get lucky.’

“It only takes one punch to change the championship.”

skysports-joseph-parker-azvan-cojanu-razvan-cojanu_3946537Joseph Parker remains unbeaten after 23 fights as a pro

  skysports-joseph-parker-razvan-cojanu-auckland_3946562Razvan Cojanu (red trunks) proved an awkward opponent for Joseph Parker

skysports-razvan-cojanu-boxing-auckland_3946584 Razvan Cojanu gesticulates during his world title showdown with Joseph Parker

skysports-joseph-parker-razvan-cojanu-boxing_3946578 Joseph Parker takes the initiative during the first defence of his world heavyweight title

Date:  Saturday, May 6, 2017

WBO Heavyweight  Title Bout

Location: Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand

Promoter:   Duco Events / David Higgins and Top Rank / Bob Arum

Supervisor:   Leon Panoncillo

Referee:   Mike Ortega

Judges:  Danrex Tapdasan (117-110), Gerardo Martinez (117-110), Deon Dwarte (119-108)

Results:    The Champion Joseph Parker successfully defended his WBO world heavyweight title and won by unanimous decision over Razvan Cojanu in Auckland.

TV: New Zealand Sky Arena, Australia FOX


The Director of Duco Events, David Higgins, has been left lamenting a double blow to the lead up to the Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury fight taking place in Auckland on May 6.

Hughie Fury’s father and trainer, Peter Fury, had his visa denied by New Zealand immigration on Wednesday morning due to a chequered past which saw him spend time in jail in the mid-nineties.

Higgins said it was a disappointment.

“We heard the news this morning, we’re a little disappointed of course but the fight’s going to go ahead as planned on May 6, Parker-Fury,” Higgins told Newshub.

Peter Fury is also trainer of nephew and former world champion Tyson Fury and while Higgins said his absence would be a blow to the Fury camp, it would ultimately make little difference into how Hughie performed in the fight.

“Hughie is unbeaten and an English amateur champion and he was trained by Peter Fury so he’s got those skills that Tyson Fury has. Peter Fury is the second best trainer in the world so you can’t underestimate what Hughie will bring. Hughie has fought without Peter in his corner before in New York, so we’ll see what happens.”

In addition to Wednesday’s developments, Higgins also revealed that the New Zealand Government had rejected Duco’s requests for sponsorship assistance.

“We did put in an application in quite comprehensive to look for some sponsorship support and in return the benefits of global promotion and everything that comes with it, we received a letter advising that no there would not be any support.”

The same situation occurred before the Andy Ruiz fight in December with the New Zealand Government refusing to offer assistance. Subsequently, Duco Events had to seek help from the Samoan Government.

And Higgins said the decision could maybe be put down to New Zealand not used to having a stronghold in a non-traditional sports market.

“I think what Joseph Parker’s achieved is pretty ground-breaking and its bringing viewership from countries that never knew New Zealand existed.

“New Zealand’s traditionally been strong in quite traditional Commonwealth sports like rugby and cricket but boxing is massive in other parts of the world; Eastern Europe, Latin America, parts of Asia as well as those traditional economies.

“It’s an Olympic sports, 150+ countries compete in it so it offers something quite different, maybe it’ll take more time for New Zealand to get used to what that means.”–114841?print_friendly=1

Parker Fury Complaint


WBO World Heavyweight mandatory title challenger Hughie Fury will face the champion Joe Parker in Auckland, New Zealand, at the Vector Arena on Saturday 6th May, it was confirmed last night.

Undefeated Fury, from Manchester, will travel to the other side of the world as he looks to cause a massive upset against the similarly unbeaten and big-hitting Parker who is a superstar in his native homeland.

Fury aims to emulate cousin Tyson’s amazing feat of ending the reign of then division king Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 when he travelled to Germany and tore all the belts from the seemingly invincible Ukrainian.

The hard-hitting and highly-skilled 22-year-old, trained by father Peter, has a perfect record of 20 wins with 10 knockouts in a four-year career and captured the WBO Intercontinental title in his last fight against Fred Kassi. Fury had a glittering amateur career that culminated in winning Gold at the 2012 World Youth Championships – England’s first ever at super-heavyweight.

Parker became New Zealand’s inaugural World Heavyweight Champion when he won the WBO crown in December, defeating the previously unbeaten Andy Ruiz Jr for the vacant title at the Vector Arena with a very tight points decision. The 25-year-old is certainly heavy-handed after winning 18 of his 22 fights by knockout in a near five-year career.

It will be the first time in history that a recognised world heavyweight title has been defended in New Zealand and Parker versus Fury is expected to become the biggest boxing event ever staged in the country, with an expected global audience of over 100m.

Fury is not bothered with the hype and is fully focused on shaking the world up – just like Tyson – by defeating Parker, “I’m really looking forward to it and I just can’t wait! I feel great and I’ll be in the best shape my of life come fight night and you’ll see something special. It doesn’t matter what country the fight’s in, a boxing ring is a boxing ring to me, no matter where in the world. The result will be the same, a Hughie Fury victory and on May 6th you’ll be looking at the new WBO World champion.”

Despite the enormity of the event, Peter is confident that his son will rise against the odds and cause an upset. He said, “I see it as a very competitive fight between two of the best young heavyweights in the world today and the fans and media are certainly going to relish this one. Parker’s the World Champion and we’re going into his territory, but we’re fighting people through and through and this does not bother us. I see my son coming back home with the World Title.”

Mick Hennessy, CEO of Hennessy Sports, is backing his man to return home crowned the new WBO World Champion. He said, “Hughie is an exceptional talent who has been underestimated in his career. I know that the bigger the fight and the bigger the occasion, Hughie will rise to that challenge and Parker will bring out the very best in him. We’re under no illusions, this is a very hard test for Hughie, but I believe he will shine through.”

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing –

David Higgins of Duco Events, who is the co-promoter of WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, will be at WBO Head Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 1 when the purse bid for Parker’s mandatory defense against WBO#2 Hughie Fury will be decided. Frank Warren, who is the promoter of Fury, is expected to be in Puerto Rico also when the envelopes are opened.

“The stakes are very high and it’s a nervous situation,” Higgins said. “You have to try and predict what the revenues are going to be and then bid the most you can. If you bid too much you could lose a lot of money very quickly. And if we don’t bid enough, we lose control. We want to fight in New Zealand because we want home advantage. Last year was an Olympic year and Joseph Parker was the most Googled of any New Zealander.

“I’d like to think there’s a better understanding now of how big it is especially now Joseph is world champion. That last fight was watched in 100 television markets. Nearly every sport you can name receives government support and given the fight would attract international visitors and profile you’d like to think it would be seriously considered. I don’t want to pre-empt anything but we probably will prepare a proposal and see if there’s a willingness to make it happen here in New Zealand.

“If he were to beat Hughie Fury his stocks in the UK go through the roof. That sets up a juicy unification bout with the winner of [Wladimir] Klitschko and Joshua. If Joe fought Joshua it would sell out Wembley – you’re talking 100,000 people and millions globally. That could be as soon as June.

“Alternatively you could have Tyson, Hughie’s cousin, calling for his belt back. Another option would be Wilder. That’s another possible unification. So by the end of this year, provided Joseph keeps winning, he could have been in two worldwide events and be a global superstar. But winning is the key in boxing.”

duco Photo: Dave Cameron

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing –

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will likely be ringside on April 29 at the Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko IBF, WBA heavyweight title bout in London to call out the winner and unify the titles. “That’s what we want – to unify the belts and we are willing to lose trying,” said David Higgins of Duco Events. “If the other belt holders shared our views it would fix the heavyweight division. Any heavyweight worth their salt should be looking to unify the division and hold all the belts. When the belts aren’t unified, the public are confused about who is the champion.”
Parker, who is promoted by Duco Events and Top Rank, captured the WBO championship on December 10 in Auckland, New Zealand, with a twelve round majority decision over Andy Ruiz.


Date:   Saturday, December 10, 2016


Location: Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand

Promoter:  Duco Events / David Higgins, Dean Lonergan

Supervisor:  Richard De Cuir

Referee:  Tony Weeks

Judges:  Ramon Cerdan (115-113), Salven Lugumbay (114-114), Ingo Barrabas (115-113)

Results: Joseph Parker wins by Mayority Decision

TV:  New Zealand Sky Arena, USA HBO, Australia FOX

parkertupoupresser1  parkertupoupresser2

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

Photos: Dave Cameron –

WBO #8, WBA #10 Joseph Parker (14-0, 12 KOs) will clash with WBO #13 Bowie Tupou (25-3, 17 KOs) over twelve rounds on Saturday at the Southlands Stadium in Invercargill, New Zealand, with PABA and WBO regional titles up for grabs. Tupou is trained by former three-time world champion Jeff Fenech, who is confident his charge can defeat New Zealand’s pride and joy inside the distance.

“I believe Bowie will take Joseph Parker somewhere he hasn’t been before,” a confident Fenech declared as the fighters squared off at a media conference in Auckland on Tuesday. “He will do something to Joseph, especially over those first six rounds, that Joseph has never experienced before. I believe the only way that Bowie can win the fight is by knockout so we have trained to knock Joseph Parker out.”

Fenech said he had been impressed by Tupou’s work and attitude during their six-week training camp.

“Bowie has caused a lot of damage in the gym. He has knocked out opponents, he has dropped opponents with body shots.”

Fenech had assembled Australia’s best heavyweight talent, including Kali Meehan, Lucas Browne, and Solomon Haumono to help Tupou’s preparations for an opponent he clearly respects.

“Bowie sparred with all the best [Australian] heavyweights out there and had no problems whatsoever. He has come through unscathed. He will give Joseph Parker the real test that he needs finally.”