Parker still set to spar in Vegas, despite delays

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 17:17 30/07/2014
Joseph Parker
Getty Images
PLANS UNCHANGED: Despite passport issues delaying his departure to the US, Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker remains set to get some sparring under his belt in Las Vegas before his fight in Pennsylvania on Sunday week.

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Kevin Barry intends having Joseph Parker sparring in Las Vegas despite his partner still being stuck in New Zealand ahead of next week's fight in the United States.

Parker and Barry have had to delay their flight to America for a further day after the heavyweight's passport again failed to materialise from the United States consulate in Auckland today.

Parker had his work permit approved last Friday but his passport has been caught in a backlog of paperwork following a global computer glitch.

That has thrown a question mark over Parker's last minute training plans as he puts the finishing touches to his preparations to fight American Keith Thompson in Pennsylvania on Sunday week (NZ time).

Barry is happy with the condition of his charge but still wants to apply some polish at their Las Vegas base before switching coasts for the fight.

They are ''very hopeful'' they will be on a flight to Los Angeles tomorrow, allowing them to get in some sparring in Las Vegas over the weekend.

''I still want a couple of days in Las Vegas and I think that's going to be possible,'' said a frustrated Barry.

''We are certainly going to be doing everything we can to achieve that. I think it's going to be important for Joseph just to get his feet on the ground in Vegas for a couple of days. I also want him to do a some sparring there.

"It's not about the rounds, we've done that here, it's just about getting a couple of good sessions in.''

Parker has sparred 18 rounds with local opponents in Auckland over the last couple of weeks as he remained in New Zealand following his July 6 knockout win over American heavyweight Brian Minto.

Barry said Parker was in good shape and was handling the mental test of the repeated delays. He had maintained his 102kg fighting weight and his general fitness was where it needed to be.

''He has stayed very, very healthy. What we have been doing in the gym will more than carry him through six rounds.''

With the travel complications, Barry was pleased they had insisted on fighting the shorter distance.

''I was never keen on 10 rounds given Joseph's busy schedule. I would have been happy with eight rounds, but under the circumstances we'll take six.''

In reality, the Parker camp want this assignment finished much quicker.

With the fight being televised in the United States they are keen for Parker to display renowned hand speed to finish the fight early against a 33-year-old opponent who has just nine fights to his name, winning seven and losing two.

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