NEW ZEALAND heavyweight Joseph Parker has denied that he “wasted the opportunity” against Anthony Joshua in their heavyweight unification clash earlier this year.
“I feel I was just beaten by a better man but it is all just learning and getting experience,” Parker said today, after announcing his July 28 showdown with Dillian Whyte at the O2 Arena in London. “I learnt a lot from that fight and once I am back in camp I can bring all that into it and training will be even better.”
He believes he would perform better if he were to rematch Joshua. “I cannot turn back time and change things,” he said. “But if I was to fight him again then I think there are a few things I would change. Maybe I could throw more or put on a bit more pressure but a better man just won on the day, he boxed well and adjusted his style. He was good.”
Parker believes the winner of his clash with Dillian Whyte will be waiting in prime position to challenge Joshua or the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. “I feel the chance will come again, I feel once I beat Whyte the chance to fight for a world title will come again,” Parker said. “I feel this fight is just the best offer for right now. I love fighting here in the UK, everyone supports us and Eddie [Hearn] puts on great shows.
“It is a risky fight to take, look how good he [Whyte] was in his last fight, he looked tremendous and did a great job, Lucas Browne had never been knocked out before.”
Victory over Whyte though would establish Parker as the third best heavyweight in the world. “I still feel I belong at the top and if I beat him then that will just confirm that. It’s really important that I beat him and beat him in good fashion. A knockout would be nice but he’s a tough opponent,” Joseph said.
Meanwhile at the very top of the division, Parker reckons Anthony Joshua should fight Wilder next to unify all four major world titles. “I think he should fight Wilder but I am sure it is going to take time and it will take time to negotiate,” Parker said. “Each fighter will want certain things and the location will be an issue, it will take a bit of time. But I am sure it will happen because everyone wants to see who the best heavyweight in the world is.”
And he adds, “I am just a fan of the fight.”
“The best should always fight the best to see who is really at the top,” he continued. “I could have easily have gone and fought a guy that I was sure to beat but what is the point in that?”
“Was my performance against Joshua enough to beat Dillian? I feel I probably have to do more. It’s likely to be a totally different fight, Dillian likes to get in close and brawl but if he wants to brawl then we will brawl,” Parker mused.
“You go in to a tough training camp and you miss your family all for a fight you know you are already going to win. It doesn’t give you any drive or motivation…. But fighting someone like him is going to give me all the motivation to train hard.”