BIG-PUNCHING prospect Joseph Parker has been steadily making waves in the heavyweight division. Most recently in January, the 18-0 (16) New Zealander dispatched tough Pittsburgh southpaw Jason Bergman in eight rounds in Samoa, dropping the American three times along the way.

Following this eye-catching victory, 24-year-old Parker – who is next scheduled to compete in April in his home country – declared his intention to face the big names in the division in the near future, including fellow unbeaten prodigy Anthony Joshua.

Speaking exclusively to Boxing News in a wide-ranging interview, the Las Vegas-based Auckland native described how his past experience of sparring some top heavyweight talent will hold him in good stead ahead of the important fights to come.

“I sparred Wladimir Klitschko early last year in Florida, when he was still heavyweight champion of the world,” Parker recalls. “It was a great experience to see first-hand how a dominant champion prepares. I took great confidence from holding my own in the ring with him. I’ve also sparred Bermane Stiverne, who’s a former WBC champion, plus Any Ruiz Jnr, who’s a great prospect.”

For the full, four-page interview with Parker, check out this week’s issue of Boxing News, available to download on Tuesday February 9, and in stores on Thursday February 11.