Joseph Parker’s golden chance

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STUFF RE­PORTER

Box­ing Great Barry McGuigan ex­pects Joseph Parker to com­fort­ably beat Hughie Fury and ‘‘an­nounce him­self as a se­ri­ous player’’ in box­ing’s heavy­weight elite ranks.

Parker de­fends his WBO ti­tle for the first time when he takes on Fury in Auck­land on May 6.

It’s a chance for the un­beaten Kiwi to em­pha­sise his cre­den­tials to the mas­sive Bri­tish au­di­ence as the heavy­weight scene looks to sort out the top tier of tal­ent.

McGuigan, the Ir­ish feath­er­weight who held the WBA and Lineal ti­tles dur­ing a long pe­riod of dom­i­nance in the 1980s, al­ready has plenty of re­spect for Parker.

‘‘I ex­pect Joseph Parker’s de­fence of his WBO scrap against Hughie Fury in Auck­land to an­nounce him as a se­ri­ous player,’’ McGuigan, a Box­ing Hall of Fame mem­ber, wrote in The Mir­ror where he is the news­pa­per’s box­ing pun­dit.

‘‘The Parker fight has come too soon for Hughie, who is un­der­de­vel­oped and has yet to show he has the ex­pe­ri­ence or tools to com­pete at this level. He might prove me wrong, and I hope he does, but I’m see­ing a Parker win all day and a new name in an en­thralling mix.’’

McGuigan pre­dicts a ‘‘fas­ci­nat­ing time’’ for the di­vi­sion that has Parker one of the hold­ers of the four ma­jor belts along­side Amer­i­can Deon­tay Wilder (WBC) and Anthony Joshua (IBF), with Joshua fight­ing in late in April.

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