Joseph Parker has a tough challenge ahead of him when he faces Deontay Wilder on December 23, and his former trainer has offered some advice ahead of fight night.
Parker once held the WBO world title having fought to a narrow points win over Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2016.
He lost that belt to Anthony Joshua in 2018 via a unanimous points decision, and has since been a perennial fringe contender who never shies away from a challenge. In the time since, Parker has fought entertaining bouts with the likes of Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora twice and Joe Joyce.
Next up for the New Zealander is the big-hitting former Olympic bronze medalist Wilder on the Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia, with the likes of Anthony Joshua versus Otto Wallin, Daniel Dubois versus Jarrell Miller and several more big time bouts featuring.
Speaking to Stuff NZ, Parker’s former coach Kevin Barry said the fight is ‘perfect.’
“It’s a great fight and at this particular stage of Joe’s career, this is the perfect fight. Joe is 10 or 11 years into his career now, so this is a good piece of business. There’s a lot to be gained here.”
“I like the fact that Joe is being very active in ’23. He had the one fight in 2022, a very tough fight with Joe Joyce, and he’s come back with three opponents – Jack Massey, [Faiga] Opelu and Simon Kean, all relatively easy fights for him. I think some of Joe’s best performances in the past have been when he’s stayed active.”
Wilder has been much less active with just one round in the last two years, but Barry noted that his power will remain.
“When you look at real, true punchers – and Deontay is one of the biggest ever of all time – when the reflexes lapse and slow down, when you lose a little bit of timing, when your legs aren’t as solid a base as they once were, the last thing that a fighter loses is his power.”
He then spoke of the best weight and tactics for Parker.
“I think it’s important that Joe comes in around 240lbs, because that is where he was the most mobile. And if Parker can get back to the movement he once displayed and uses his feints to make angles and can take Wilder into the later rounds, I believe that’s his best chance.”