Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has amicably parted ways with trainer Kevin Barry after an eight-year stint working together.

Parker, who was steered to world title glory under the guidance of Barry against Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2016, won a closely-contested unanimous decision verdict over Kiwi rival Junior Fa in Auckland last weekend.

The pair decided to bring their working relationship to an end due to family commitments, with Parker hoping to spend more time in New Zealand as opposed to Las Vegas, where Barry’s gym is based.

“Without Kevin I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Parker said. “Together we made it to the very top. Kevin was with me every step of the way, guiding my progress inside and outside of the ring. So it is with genuine sadness that I confirm our partnership has come to an end.

“But the time just feels right. It’s fitting that we closed this chapter of my career with a win in front of a great home crowd in Auckland, and with bigger things just on the horizon. I know Kevin will always be in my corner.”

“I’m hugely proud to have played a part in New Zealand and Samoa crowning their first heavyweight world champion,” Barry said. It has been an amazing journey with Joseph and Team Parker. But all journeys must come to an end, and the time is right for myself and Joseph to go in our own directions.

“I have been in New Zealand for five months now, away from my family and my other fighters. I have three guys fighting for world titles this year and have responsibilities with them and a few new guys. It’s not possible for me to stay in New Zealand any longer. For Joe, he has a wife and three young girls in New Zealand, and he wishes to spend more time here.

“I totally understand this and will always be in his corner and support him. We have always had a very close bond and I want nothing but the best for him. We have achieved so much together. It has been one heck of an amazing journey.”