The saying goes “a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter” and if that’s true, they’re not much more dangerous than Joseph Parker right now.
On Saturday night, Parker takes on Joe “The Juggernaut” Joyce in what is expected to be a heavyweight clash.
It’s nearly impossible to separate the two fighters, who are both known for their iron chins and powerful punches, so it may just depend on who worked the hardest in the build-up to the fight, and if the mood Inside Parker’s camp is something to do, this might be the best version we’ve seen of him yet.
“He’s in great shape, training is going really well,” Parker’s coach Andy Lee told talkSPORT. “That training camp, no injuries, no illness. Along with the challenge from Joe Joyce, I think it’s allowed Parker to elevate his level and it’s seen him reach new heights in the gym…
“He beat all his scores in terms of strength and conditioning, in terms of home runs and rounds against some really high quality fights. So, I see there is a different advantage for him in terms of mentality and determination with his formation.
“When I first started working with Joe,” Lee continued, “I could see from his previous fights that he was having big breaks in the rounds, lack of focus and concentration – he might win two minutes into the round, then he would leave his opponents to gain momentum and let them back into the fight.
“With Joe’s career he was world champion at 24, he was for a long time the highest rated amateur coming out of New Zealand and he turned professional, took on the biggest challenges he could and is became world champion at a young age.
“Then he fought Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte and he kind of hit a plateau. There was a lack of motivation for the fights he was in, because when you’ve been to such heights it’s understandable to go down a bit, but he realized and recognized that he needed of change…
“We have set up camp in Morecambe and it can only get better in that environment, with Tyson [Fury] and me identifying the things he needs to work on, so he’s thriving now and he’s more motivated than ever.
As Lee mentions, Parker has had the help of WBC heavyweight champion Fury in his camp and ‘The Gypsy King’ has nothing but good things to say about the man from New Zealand.
“Joe has been training here with me for about a year, 18 months,” Fury told BT Sport. “Joe had a bad spell in his career and he was in Vegas and he was in a really bad place so I told him he could come here and train with me if he wanted to get a new start and a new take to it.
“So he came and he froze and now he’s become ‘Gypsy Joe’ and everyone in Morecambe loves him, he’s a Lancashire boy now.”
Coming from New Zealand, it must have been a bit of a culture shock for Parker to move his whole life and training camp to Morecambe, but it looks like he’s found a home away from home in the North West. from England.
“I love it here in Morecambe,” Parker revealed, “First of all I’m so grateful to Tyson and what he’s done for me and not just me but everyone around him, he really cares about everyone and when you have someone like that who wants nothing but the best for you, it makes things so much easier.
“Then you have Andy Lee here, there’s a unity in the way we train and the way we operate and I’ve made Morecambe my home, I really like it here in Morecambe and I’ve made myself a lot of friends. “
It’s clear there’s a lot of camaraderie in Parker’s camp, as in BT Sport’s ‘Training Day with Joseph Parker’ YouTube video, Fury can be seen laughing with his camp mate.
“Joe took everything from me,” Fury joked, “He took my gym, he took my house, he took my trainer, he took my strength and conditioning trainer, he took my business of nutrition, he took my glove sponsor, he took my finished coffee.
Fury was then asked what Parker gave him in return and he replied with a smile on his face, “F*** all.”
That being said, Fury goes on to admit that Parker gave him motivation as a sparring partner, as well as friendship and brotherhood.
It looks like Parker has settled in well alongside Fury and Lee, but the real test to see if that change has worked will come Saturday night against Joyce.
“I became world heavyweight champion in 2016 against Andy Ruiz Jr and lost it to Joshua in a unification fight,” he said. .
“I felt I needed a change and it was that change that gave me that spark. Before the first fight with Chisora was the first time Andy and I met and got to know each other and I felt that even in that short time he had a huge impact.
“The second camp for the second Chisora fight, we saw big improvements, now we have the third camp.
“The first camp was good, the second camp was better, this one is going to be great. I’m going to make this camp the best I’ve ever had.
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