EXCLUSIVE: ‘Enough of this pit-a-pat, now I’m going to bang’ – Joseph Parker vows to knock Derek Chisora out with his confidence building under trainer Andy Lee… as he opens up on his brotherly relationship with Tyson Fury
- Joseph Parker promises to beat Derek Chisora more decisively in their rematch
- The New Zealander claimed a split-decision victory over the Brit back in May
- That’s despite being knocked to the canvas just seven seconds into the fight
- Parker also opens up on changing trainers and his relationship with Tyson Fury
- Sign up here to watch Saturday’s fight exclusively on DAZN
Joseph Parker heads into his first-ever rematch with spiteful intentions in mind, with the growing-in-confidence heavyweight vowing to finally sit down on his punches and blast Derek Chisora aside.
The 29-year-old plans to leave no space for conjecture this time as he shares a ring with the British veteran in their eagerly-anticipated rematch – once again at the Manchester Arena – on December 18, having overcome a shock knockdown after just seven seconds to take the first fight by split decision.
Typically, both fighters believe they were the deserved winner; Chisora has even slammed the British Board of Control, requesting non-British judges in the rematch after claiming he was robbed of victory. But crucially, Parker was not contractually tied into another fight. Simply, this is an opportunity to showcase his development.
The first fight took place just a matter of weeks after Parker partnered up with new trainer Andy Lee, a decision made based on the recommendation of Tyson Fury. An exciting new chapter, but also one that introduced newfound trepidation: A new voice, new instructions, a new location.
Joseph Parker (right) and Derek Chisora (left) go to battle in their rematch on December 18
Parker was given the nod on points in the first bout, a decision that left Chisora incensed
‘There was uncertainty,’ Parker said of the first fight, speaking to Sportsmail. ‘I had a quick turnaround from the fight in New Zealand (against Junior Fa) and I think it was five or six weeks with Andy.
‘I was on a few phone calls with Andy, then all of a sudden I’m on a flight to Ireland to meet him for the first time and see if we click. (I had to) get over the jetlag, work on a new style with a new coach in a new country… the uncertainty comes from there.
‘You’re not quite sure if you’ll click with the coach, what he’s teaching you, if you’re doing enough training.
‘There were a lot of questions in the last camp where, now going into this camp, I’m putting my full trust in Andy. I know that what we’re doing is going to get me the best prepared Joseph Parker possible.’
Parker’s decision to change trainers was one of the hardest he’s had to make in his life. The New Zealander had been with former coach Kevin Barry since 2013, with the pair winning the WBO world title together with victory over Andy Ruiz Jr.
Their relationship wasn’t just a working one, however; it was personal. Just two of his last eight bouts have been held in New Zealand, and with that comes time on the road and, importantly, time away from the family.
Former WBO champion Parker enjoyed a succesful relationship with Kevin Barry (right)
Parker opted to train with Andy Lee (centre) on the recommendation of Tyson Fury (right)
‘I achieved a lot with Kevin,’ Parker recalls. ‘I was with him right from the beginning of my professional career. Kevin was more like another father figure because I was away from New Zealand for long periods of time.
‘I was with his family, his wife and kids, just hanging out and training. It was hard for me to leave him because of how close we were.’
A new journey now lies ahead. Under the guidance of Lee, Parker has been training alongside Fury and his brother Tommy – whose fight with Jake Paul has now been cancelled – in their home city of Morecambe.
Not for the first time, Parker and Lee have been given access to Fury’s gym. Prior to the first Chisora bout, Parker actually stayed at Tyson’s house, where he trained and used the Gypsy King’s sparring partners.
And though still keeping in contact with his old coach and mentor, even staying with the 62-year-old while watching Fury defeat Deontay Wilder in their stunning trilogy bout in Las Vegas, Parker admits the adjustment was paramount for the sake of his career.
Parker has been on the comeback trail following defeats to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte
‘In terms of boxing, it’s definitely what I needed,’ he said. ‘It didn’t have to be major but just a change in trainer – and all of a sudden the change in country, team and environment – it’s definitely given me a spark.
‘I wake up in the morning, get out of bed and I’m happy and looking forward to going to the gym, to running, to putting in the work.’
High on Parker’s list of motivations is proving that he does in fact belong at elite level in the heavyweight division. Performances have been sub-par since his defeats by Joshua and Whyte, particularly against fellow New Zealander Fa, who felt hard done by after losing their domestic bust-up on points.
But in partnering with Lee and getting that spark back, Parker assures a different fighter will now be on show.
‘I still have a lot to offer,’ he said. ‘I’ve said many times before that I’m going to go out there, perform well, do this and that – and I’ve underperformed as of late.
‘But I know exactly what I’ve got to do and what Andy’s teaching. I’m going to be fit, ready and I’m going to put on a great fight. I’m just so excited because this is the first rematch of my career. The first fight was close, but after watching it back I know I won it. This time I want to make it a lot more decisive.
‘I’ve just got to sit on my shots and have the confidence to back my power. Every heavyweight – every fighter – has power, you’ve just got to back it. I’ve got to sit down on my punches and make them count. Enough of this pit-a-pat, now I’m going to go bang!’
Chisora is once again working with trainer Dave Coldwell (right) ahead of the fight
Chisora has revealed he and Coldwell plan to take the judges out of the equation this time
While Parker has been honing his craft under Lee, Chisora has opted for a change himself, partnering once again with Dave Coldwell, who was in the Londoner’s corner for his second-round stoppage win over Artur Szpilka in 2019.
Parker admits the change will only benefit his opponent but believes it will ultimately prove futile.
‘I’m anticipating a very similar fight,’ Parker said. ‘He’s going to be a lot fitter. He’s going to try some new moves, and obviously with Coldwell and the team they have, he’s got a great environment to be in.
‘I don’t think there’s a lot he can change with his style as he’s done it for years and years, but it only takes little adjustments to make a big difference in a fight.’
He continued: ‘I’m confident I’m going to win. I’m confident I can beat him up and I’m confident I can knock him out, I just need to land at the right time, pick my shots, listen to my trainer and go out and perform.
‘I know I can perform better than I have in the past, I’m just going to go out and prove that.’
The winner of the fight will put themselves in contention for a mega-money bout in 2022, with Parker already well placed across the board, currently ranked second by the WBO, third by the IBF and fourth by the WBC.
While Parker looks to once again compete with the top heavyweights, the lay of the land in the division remains somewhat clear.
Anthony Joshua will most likely take on recent conqueror Oleksandr Usyk once more next year
Parker admits he’d love to fight Fury, but insists their close friendship would get in the way
Anthony Joshua will likely take a rematch against unified champion Oleksandr Usyk in spring of next year, though he has hinted at a potential step aside is on the cards.
Both Fury and Usyk have confirmed their interest in jumping straight into an undisputed showdown, a prospect now less likely after the WBC ordered the Gypsy King to take on Dillian Whyte.
Parker admits he’d like to challenge himself against the division’s No 1, but concedes he’s not in the champion’s plans, while acknowledging their close relationship would also complicate things.
‘I’ve always said it would be great to fight him because I see him as the best heavyweight there is at the moment,’ he said. ‘I’m not really part of his plans, he’s got plans to fight this person or that person, he might retire or carry on for another 10 years. No one really knows.
‘He looks after me, treats me like a younger brother and helps me with my career, my fight that’s coming up. He’s been very generous so I don’t think it’s a fight that will ever happen. But I’m always supporting him, always there to watch his fights and cheer him on.’
He continued: ‘A good win will give me a great start to 2022. I just want to be involved in big fights and fight the best out there, to prove I am the best, one of the best.
‘If I lose this fight, I’m not sure where I’d go after that. So I’ve got to be fully focused on who’s in front of me.’
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