'T-Man' pulled out of Joseph Parker fight

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012
Joseph Parker
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
CASHING IN: Joseph Parker has joined the professional boxing ranks.

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Joseph Parker's management was scurrying yesterday to find a new opponent for the talented New Zealand heavyweight after tomorrow night's showdown with Southland's Hiriwa ‘T-Man' Te Rangi was canned.

The veteran Southland fighter, who is more commonly known as a Mixed Martial Arts competitor, has a zero-and-13 record in the boxing ring which included going eight rounds with Shane Cameron early in Cameron's career.

He was initially viewed as a good opponent for 21-year-old Parker, who will take a gradual move up the professional ranks after earlier this year turning pro after missing out on Olympic selection.

Te Rangi was seen as a opponent who could take a punch but probably wouldn't have troubled Parker's win record.

The Parker-Te Rangi showdown was meant to be the main bout on a card which also features MMA and thai kickboxing contests, with the event to be held at The Trusts Stadium in Auckland.

However, this week organisers decided Te Rangi was not suitable to step in the ring with Parker with fears the Southlander, who started fighting before Parker was even born, had taken too many punches in his career.

Given Parker is set to be the headline act in December 15's Fight for Life, his promoters Duco Events understandably are eager to have him in the ring tomorrow night for a tuneup. His first and only professional fight was in July when he won a bout on the undercard to the Shane Cameron-Monte Barrett fight in Auckland.

Parker and his management were hoping to have the youngster in the ring every four to six weeks.

The South Aucklander just this week signed a six-year deal with Duco Events to set him up for the first stage of his boxing career.

Duco Events' David Higgins said yesterday afternoon that they were finalising a replacement opponent for Parker for tomorrow night and were hoping to have something to announce this morning.

Parker is understood to be in very good shape and is eager to spend some time in the ring.

"It will be good to get in there and see how much I've improved fitness wise and strength wise in the lead up to the Fight for Life."

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- The Southland Times

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