Sheridan: Parker can be a real world-beater
One of world boxing's most high-profile identities has put his credibility on the line, saying Joseph Parker will become heavyweight champion of the world and the poster boy for New Zealand in the coming years.
Colonel Bob Sheridan has commentated more than 1000 title fights and more than 10,000 bouts all up, which included all Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson's fights.
Just last month he called the Floyd Mayweather- Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fight, which was top the all-time list as far as the money generated.
The legendary commentator is in New Zealand this week for the Parker-Afa Tatupu New Zealand heavyweight fight in Auckland tomorrow night and the American told Fairfax yesterday that he was eager to call Parker's fights because he felt Parker was a world champion in the making.
"You write this so that you can come back to me on this. I say this kid will definitely be the world heavyweight champion, he has all the qualities and I've seen them all," Sheridan said yesterday.
"I've broadcast some 200 heavyweight championship fights, it spans from Ali to Sonny Liston to the Klitschko brothers, who are the world heavyweight champions today.
"I know about heavyweight boxing and I'm telling you this kid has got it all, and I'm not saying that just because I'm in New Zealand.
"I was there when he was honoured by the Nevada boxing hall of fame as the prospect of the decade, not of the year, the prospect of the decade."
"I've seen all the great champions and I rank this man ahead of David Tua, so people can put it in perspective.
"I rank him ahead of Larry Holmes and, as a matter of fact, ahead of George Foreman. And at the same stage of his career, I rank him ahead of Muhammad Ali, that's what I think of him."
Sheridan believed that as Parker progressed through the ranks and gained more and more attention he will be a person New Zealand would be able to proud to call their own, similar to what boxer Manny Pacquiao had done in the Philippines.
"I don't think people in New Zealand realise how good this kid is," he said.
"I go along to the gym twice a week, at least three times a week [in Las Vegas] and I see the development in him. I can tell you Kevin [Barry] punishes him to the point your talking Marine Corps training, something very few athletes in other sports can do and there's very few professional boxers dedicated to do it and this kid gobbles it up like it's french toast in the morning."
"He's a dedicated athlete and he's a quality person. Outside the ring, he has all the qualities required as well.
"He's got character; you can't teach character."
- The Southland Times