Joseph Parker insists fans will see a more complete fighter when he faces Joe Joyce on Saturday at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
The former heavyweight title holder has fought trainer Andy Lee for the past two fights, a split decision over Derrick Chisora and then a unanimous decision in a rematch last year. He believes he is better than ever.
His last fight with Chisora took place in December, meaning he would be out of the ring for almost nine months.
“There are a lot of weapons in my arsenal now,” Parker told Stuff.co.nz. “Before I said I was a boxer, I was a boxer who was moving, defensive and friendly and didn’t really push the action.
“Now I want to push the move. I’m going to be there, standing toe to toe, going at it.”
Don’t get the wrong idea. The 30-year-old New Zealander, who is known for his attacking and striking power, will not stop his fight with the big man, from foot to foot. That wouldn’t be smart.
Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) plans to use his skill and superior athleticism while picking up spots to attack. The idea is to knock off the more experienced Joyce (14-0, 13 KOs) and wear down the 37-year-old Londoner.
If the Kiwi succeeds, it will become a mandatory challenger for Oleksandr Usyk’s WBO belt, although a rematch clause could result in a second fight with Joyce regardless of who wins.
“He gets frustrated because he can’t catch me,” Parker said. “I’ll be too good for him, too fast for him and have too much speed. I’m going to separate him, and when Andy tells me the time is right, I’m going to take him out of there if I can.
He is very strong and strong, but if he keeps hitting these punches, he will eventually fall.
This could be Parker’s toughest fight since a decision loss to Dillian Whyte in July 2018, which followed his title loss to Anthony Joshua.
This fact motivated him.
“I love the challenge, it’s what I live for,” he said.