Sparring partner backs Parker to put on show
One thing I can say about Joseph is he’s extremely concentrated, he’s a man about his business.
Joseph Parker’s sparring partner Malik Scott, a man who has trained with Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko, is expecting a “spectacular” victory for the New Zealand heavyweight in his world title defence against Hughie Fury.
Scott, a 36-year-old American who has a 38-win, 3-loss professional record, said Parker was more than ready to beat Fury in Manchester on September 23, adding the Englishman has never been in the ring with a fighter of Parker’s quality.
“In my opinion, he was ready last week some time,” Scott said of Parker. “Obviously we have a few more weeks for preparation. The interesting thing about this fight is I’ve never seen Hughie Fury in with a guy like Joe Parker. I’m looking for Joe Parker to be victorious and we are having a great camp.
“As far as my comparisons, because that’s what I do a lot of times, I compare opponents, I compare camps, out of the Wladimir camp, the Deontay camp, the Joseph Parker camp, one thing I can say about Joseph is he’s extremely concentrated, he’s a man about his business, he comes, he’s training, he’s respectful and I’m looking for him to be very victorious and spectacular.”
Parker is nearing the end of his eight-week camp ahead of his fight against Fury, his first in the United Kingdom. While his visit to Manchester in July to promote the fight with the undefeated Fury was marked by mutual respect between the pair, an edge has since developed.
The 25-year-old Kiwi has mocked Fury’s “old-school” training techniques of chopping wood and punching animal carcasses, preferring to focus on more scientific methods. There will also be resentment from the Parker camp about the way Fury withdrew from their scheduled fight in Auckland in May at the last moment because of a back injury.
A victory over Fury in the second defence of his WBO title will allow Parker to look at more lucrative fights in Britain as early as December. Parker's promoters Duco will be confident of victory, but there will be some anxiety should he not start well.
Parker and his camp will leave for London in just over a fortnight to put the final touches on their preparations before travelling to Manchester on the Wednesday before the fight, and trainer Kevin Barry is happy with his man’s preparations.
“Joe is right where I need him to be,” Barry said. “His strength levels are very, very good, fitness is good, we are over halfway through our sparring phase, and he’s looking better every single week.”
One of the benefits of Parker basing himself in Las Vegas is the access to quality sparring partners and the experienced Scott, who went 12 rounds with renowned Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz in his last fight last year, appears to fit the bill.
His long reach (2.06m) should help Parker prepare for the awkward style of Fury, who is likely to fight on the back foot and use the ring rather than wanting to engage on the inside.
Joseph Parker (left) has a fan in American Malik Scott.