Joseph Parker confident in his ‘power and speed’ ahead of Derek Chisora rematch

The New Zealander has the advantage in height, weight and reach for Saturday’s fight in Manchester.

By Press Association Published: 17 December 2021 - 5.37pm

Joseph Parker tipped the scales at a career-high 251lbs ahead of his heavyweight rematch against Derek Chisora as the New Zealander promised to leave no room for doubt this time around.

Parker, the former WBO champion, recovered from being knocked down inside the opening 10 seconds by Chisora’s overhand right in their first bout in May to claim a paper-thin split decision following a hard-fought contest.

With a second world title shot not forthcoming, Parker plumped for a return fight against Chisora and, as he seeks to take the judges out of the equation, the New Zealander has come in nearly 10lbs heavier than the first meeting.

As well as a 3lb weight advantage at the AO Arena in Manchester, Parker (29-2, 21KOs) has the edge in height and reach and is bullish that he will beat the eccentric British veteran in more emphatic fashion on Saturday night.

Parker told the PA news agency: “I back myself with my power and speed, I have confidence going into this fight and it will be a different fight. I just feel like I’m going to break him down, get him tired and knock him out.

“As an opponent, Derek is as tough as they come. He comes forward, puts on a lot of pressure, he’s probably the best pressure fighter I’ve fought. He comes and just throws big bombs and he does that from round one to round 12.

“In the last fight, he came out fast and strong and I started the fight negative and defensive, I was just trying to counter everything. I picked up the pace before the middle of the fight and towards the end.

“I thought I won the fight but it was a close fight and this time I want to make it a lot clearer. I know he’s going to bring a similar game plan and I’m prepared for it.”

A more comprehensive victory over Chisora (32-11, 23KOs), who opted to play music at the final press conference on Thursday rather than speak, is unlikely to open the door to another world title tilt for Parker any time soon.

Joseph Parker came in at a career-heavy 251lbs (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Joseph Parker came in at a career-high 251lbs (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, is slated to next take on Dillian Whyte, who has beaten both Parker and Chisora, while Oleksandr Usyk is contractually obliged to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Anthony Joshua.

Parker said: “I’m taking it fight by fight, I don’t care who it is after, but I just want to focus on Derek. The world title’s there, later on if I can fight for it, but I just want to take it fight by fight and enjoy it.”

Parker believes he will reap the benefits of a longer training camp with Andy Lee, having turned to Tyson Fury’s coach following his split with Kevin Barry the month before his first fight against Chisora.

Parker added: “I’ve done everything in camp with Andy. I’m a lot more improved. That first camp was a short camp with Andy and to get the win was great but this time a long camp has been very beneficial and I feel way different.

“Footwork, defence, countering, being aggressive, being on the front foot, the whole package. I feel like I’ve improved a little bit in each aspect, that’s going to be very helpful in the fight.”

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