JOSEPH PARKER is taking his pursuit of glory to the UK. The New Zealander puts his WBO heavyweight title on the line against Hughie Fury in Manchester on Saturday (September 23). But he intends to continue to operate in Britain and look for further fights with big name heavyweights like Anthony Joshua, Tony Bellew or even David Haye.
“I want to spent a lot of time here, depending on how the fight goes. We can hopefully win and create some bigger fights. They heavyweight division is booming here and we want to be a part of it. There is no better way of being a part of it than to come here and start fighting,” he said. “All those heavyweights can be opponents in the future, I have just got to get part this guy first.
“I feel this is my coming out party. After we put on a great performance, people will know who we are.
“It’s so exciting being part of this heavyweight division, there are so many fights we can make. I’m young and champion of the world, I am looking forward to the future and what it brings – hopefully big fights.”
He is however expecting a testing fight against Fury. “He looked a little off in some of his fights, but I am happy that he is at his best. I want to fight the best Hughie there is. It makes it better for boxing when two warriors come here and do their best,” Parker said. “I expect it to be an awkward fight, he is very good at using the ring and I think I am going to be doing most of the chasing.
“There are a lot of fighters that haven’t been tested but when they do they step up to the plate. We’ve seen Tyson Fury and a lot of people said he wasn’t going to do it against Klitschko. He has a good team behind him.”
The week’s build up was marked by Parker’s team furious objections to Terry O’Connor being appointed referee. O’Connor has been replaced by Marcus McDonnell but will now be one of the judges. Parker hasn’t engaged with the dispute or been distracted. “I don’t deal with judges or the ref, that’s my team’s job, my job is to box and prepare well and keep focused. It’s not my concern because I am looking for a knockout, I don’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands,” he maintained.
“You can get stiffed anywhere in the world by judges or refs, but if you focus on your job and do it well and don’t worry about what happens after.”