Parker's heavyweight ranking is set to rocket

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:04 13/07/2014
Joseph Parker
Getty Images
DONE IN SEVEN: Kiwi Joseph Parker celebrates after knocking out Brian Minto of USA.

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Joseph Parker's busy and successful schedule has seen him rewarded with a rapid rise in the heavyweight rankings.

Parker's seventh-round demolition of Brian Minto in south Auckland last weekend has seen him leap 40 places to No 30 on the BoxRec rankings.

In a sport with so many organisations meaning an alphabet soup of belts and rankings, the respected website offers an independent computerised approach based on a points system and activity.

Parker's promise is reflected in his age and experience.

At just 22 he is by far the youngest boxer in the top 30, and also the least experienced, with just nine fights as a professional - all of them wins, eight by knockout.

And Parker is set for more reward with the powerful WBO organisation. Minto is at No 14 on their rankings. By beating the American and claiming his Oriental title, Parker could make a move into the WBO's top 15 when their rankings are updated at the end of the month.

There's no respite for Parker, who fights a yet-to-be-declared opponent on a good card in Pennsylvania on August 10, and then finally gets to clash with Bahamas' Sherman Williams in west Auckland on October 16.

The prospect of three fights in four months certainly doesn't daunt Parker. Rather, he sees it as an opportunity to keep developing his game against different opponents.

And his experienced trainer Kevin Barry believes Parker will benefit from keeping busy.

"I think Joseph will thrive on this," Barry told Sunday News.

"We're really putting the foot down now. I felt when Joe waited six and a half months before his fight in Germany he was a little rusty. We saw the difference when he operated off a shorter time frame of nine weeks against Minto. He produced by far the best performance of his career.

"He's excited about what's going on, and you see that in his training and performance. Look, the first sign that I think he is getting tired and overworked I will pull him out. But right now, I think keeping busy is good for him."

Barry felt Parker's reduced weight against Minto - down from 108kg to 102.5kg - produced dividends in speed and mobility which are two of his obvious strengths.

"It's about continual development . . . there is a lot he still has to show." Barry has signed off on eight options for opponents in Pennsylvania, and it's a matter of getting the right contract for a fight promoted by the powerful Main Events outfit that will be televised live on NBC.

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"It's very good to be getting a fight in the United States, eventually that's where we need to be. Joseph's profile is really starting to lift."

Parker and Barry will train in Auckland this week before returning to their Las Vegas base for fine tuning.

With Parker in good shape and facing a short turnaround, sparring will be restricted to around 25 rounds.

"It will be more about cardiovascular work and maintaining his levels of fitness and sharpness."

- Sunday News

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