Joseph Parker’s father Dempsey is confident his son is fighting fit for his showdown with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff.
Anthony Joshua’s trainer has insisted they aren’t underestimating Joseph Parker, fearing they would “come unstuck” if they did.
Rob McCracken, the man who guided Joshua to 2012 Olympic glory and has been in his corner for a run of 20 consecutive knockout wins, paid a compliment to Parker ahead of their world heavyweight unification fight.
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“He’s busy, he’s unbeaten, he’s got quite quick hands, he believes in himself and he’s got a decent game,” McCracken said about Parker.
“If you underestimate boxers like Joseph Parker, you could come unstuck, but there’s none of that going on here – Anthony will take it deadly serious and get the win against Parker and then in the future, potentially box Wilder.“But all that matters now is his next fight [against Parker].”
Meanwhile, Johnny Nelson, the former British cruiserweight star who will help call the fight in Cardiff, emphasised the lack of complacency in the Joshua camp.
While Nelson still questions Parker’s skills, he has no doubt Joshua won’t be taking this fight lightly on the back of his last appearance in Cardiff when he laboured to a late TKO against Carlos Takam.
Nelson believes it was a wake-up call for Joshua and Parker may be on the receiving end of that.
“Anthony Joshua and Robert McCracken have learned a harsh lesson from the Takam fight by thinking ‘it’s a late substitute’ so you drop your guard a little bit,” Nelson.
“The thing with this fight is, they will have done their homework no matter what.”
He doubted they will have taken too much from Parker’s sloppy 2017 when he was far from impressive in defending his belt against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury.
“Yes, they will look at the Hughie Fury fight and the other fights and think ‘well, these guys messed him about’. But if you get in the ring with a fighter that is hard to hit then that is how it is. Up to a certain point, fighters have been there for Parker to hit,” Nelson said.
“So he has shown that he’s not unbelievably fast, he’s not unbelievably clever to be able to cut a fighter off and get rid of him – I think Hughie Fury could actually make cruiserweight.
“To me, it shows the vulnerability or inexperience on Parker’s side at a certain level. You’ve got to go through all shapes and sizes to become a fully-rounded fighter.
“Anthony Joshua himself says, ‘I’m not perfect, I’m not the finished article’ because he is constantly learning.”