Boxer Joseph Parker chases Olympic wildcard

Last updated 05:00 12/05/2012
Joseph Parker
LONG SHOT: Rising New Zealand boxing talent Joseph Parker is making a last ditch effort to revive his Olympic dream.

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Rising New Zealand boxing talent Joseph Parker is making a last ditch effort to revive his Olympic dream, but admits his chances are slim.

The Auckland-based super heavyweight missed Olympic qualification in March when he failed to win the Oceania Championships.

Oceania had just one Olympic spot available and that went to Australian Johan Linde.

However, Parker has presented a case to the New Zealand Olympic Committee and AIBA – the world governing body for amateur boxing – to allow him to compete at the Olympics.

His case is a strong one after he won an international event in Serbia last week which included beating Linde.

Parker also defeated world championship bronze medallist Erick Pfeifer from Germany in the semifinals in Serbia.

The youngster held hope that that result last week could see him granted a wildcard entry to line up in London.

"I called Keith Walker who's looking after boxing in Oceania and he said it was a slim chance, because the only way I could get in now is by wildcard and they normally give that to the poorer countries," Parker said yesterday.

Parker concedes it is a longshot but is not content giving up on his Olympic dream just yet.

"It would be a dream come true if something happened, it would be amazing," Parker said.

If his appeal is turned down he will turn professional, with an announcement expected as early as next week.

The South Aucklander could well have had his last bout as an amateur boxer and if that is the case he will eye a potential professional debut on the undercard to the Shane Cameron-Monte Barrett fight in July.

Whether it is a shot at the Olympics or a professional debut, Parker has plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

"Whatever happens it will be exciting. I'm looking forward to whatever happens. I'll be ready to turn pro or go to the Olympics."

The win in Serbia against some of the best amateurs in the world is a huge confidence boost for Parker as he tries to carve out a career in the world heavyweight ranks.

"I feel all right. I know that I still need to push to get that extra fitness I need. It's coming along well, I know with more training and eating well, and if everything works together, I'll be ready to go anytime."

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- The Southland Times

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