Joseph Parker feels he may have finally found the power that has been missing in his game.
The 29-year-old believes he is punching a lot harder as he prepares to take on Dereck Chisora in Britain this weekend (Sunday morning, NZT).
Parker, desperately needing a statement performance as he looks for a new promotional contract and route back to the heavyweight titles, senses some quick gains under his new coach Andy Lee.
The pair have been working on improving Parker’s punching technique and Parker claims there are promising signs.
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“When you are punching a certain way, and then you add better technique to how you are punching … I feel like I’m punching a lot harder now. There’s only one way to find out,” Parker said as he fronted the international media on a conference call on Wednesday.
Parker’s power factor has been questioned as he has stepped up in opposition, with many critics feeling he didn’t have the punch to damage the top fighters.
Parker would love nothing more than to prove his new theory against Chisora, a come forward fighter who could walk into trouble.
“If I throw correctly, how I know I can, it would be nice to catch him clean and knock him out,” the Kiwi said.
Parker, looking trim and confident, feels energised by his new environment.
“I feel a lot different compared to the last four or five fights. My body at the moment … I feel a lot fresher, I feel a lot better mentally and physically, I’m in better shape.
“There have only been positives since I’ve made the change.”
Lee, who came to Parker on the recommendation of Tyson Fury, confirms to impress his new pupil.
“Andy Lee is not only and trainer, but he is a teacher. There is a difference between people that train and teach. People can hold the pads and run through combinations but not many people can teach you about boxing. So there is a big difference. When Tyson asked me ‘what do you think of my recommendations – I said ‘I love it’.”
Parker and Lee have transferred from nearby Morecambe to the fight city Manchester, where Parker defended his WBO title against Hughie Fury in 2017.
He’s hoping the north of England can be the scene for his second coming after a couple of years where he has struggled for momentum.
Parker is ranked inside the top 10 with three of the four major organisations while Chisora’s best ranking is at No 15 with the WBC. Parker concedes he is expected to beat the 37-year-old Chisora, a vastly experienced fighter, and seems comfortable with the pressure that comes with those expectations.
“I’ve got youth on my side, I’ve got speed, I’ve got movement, so I should go in there and take care of business.
“I know Chisora is going to come ready because he knows it could be one of those big last fights for him if he gets it wrong.
“At this stage, I should be able to take care of business. I back myself and if I do lose, I’m not saying I will lose, but I will have to ask some serious questions of myself.”
Parker believes an exciting future awaits this next stage of his career if he can get past Chisora.
“A win over Dereck will open many doors. I feel there is a lot of opportunity to fight the other big names out there … there’s Andy Ruiz, there’s Dillian Whyte, there’s a lot of fights sitting there that we can make happen. I just have to get the job done.
“If I get the job done, I will fight anyone, I don’t care who it is, anyone who is free and willing.”