Silencing the doubters
Joseph Parker and Kevin Barry are out to prove their doubters wrong.
Two consecutive losses to take his record to 24-2, a long 15 months since his last win, and with a knockout victory a distant memory from October, 2016 . . . it’s not hard to see why there are questions being raised about the Kiwi heavyweight boxer’s ability to stay in the mix of an increasingly competitive division.
But coach Barry brushes that aside like he does a Parker jab in training.
‘‘It’s funny out there at the moment, there are people doubting Joe and doubting me,’’ he says during a break in training in their latest Las Vegas camp where Parker is preparing for his comeback fight against Alexander Flores in Christchurch on December 15.
‘‘We know the doubters are out there saying we can’t make it back to the top. For us, that just adds extra motivation and edge to our preparations.
‘‘You have to remember that many people said Joe couldn’t win a world title fighting out of New Zealand and we proved them wrong.
‘‘Many people said that we couldn’t land a fight with Anthony Joshua on the terms that we got, and we proved them wrong.
‘‘Now many people are saying that Joe will never fight for a world title again and we really look forward to proving them wrong this time as well.’’
Barry has heard the criticism of his work and the calls for a change in trainers.
He wasn’t aware of the actual details of former world champion Lennox Lewis’ advice for Parker to sharpen up his defensive game and add something more to an attack the legendary Brit felt was limited to an increasingly telegraphed right hand.
But Barry says he’s not afraid of advice.
‘‘I spend many hours studying my sport. The learning is never complete and I have always believed you can learn from everyone,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m the sort of trainer that if Joe can get some advice or some guidance from a great champ like Lennox, I’d welcome it. He’s a very experienced ex-fighter.’’
Barry said they were constantly looking for changes and improvements.
‘‘We work very hard with our game plans and there’s a lot of thought and research and training that goes into them.’’
The goal of the current camp was to improve Parker’s strength and power, dedicating three sessions a week to this in the hope of rediscovering his knockout ability.
Joseph Parker is determined to prove his doubters wrong.