Joseph Parker shifts strategy for pro bout

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012
Richard Tutaki, Joseph Parker
LAWRENCE SMITH / Fairfax NZ

Richard Tutaki, left, will fight Joseph Parker in the upcoming Fight For Life. He was today found guilty of escaping police custody.

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Promising New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker admits he's struggling to break his amateur habits as he makes his way into the demanding world of professional boxing.

The 20-year-old will fight for the third time in the money ranks when he takes on Richard Tutaki in the headline act at the latest Fight For Life extravaganza in Auckland on Saturday night.

Parker says putting aside the frenzied approach required for the short amateur fights and finding the patience needed in the longer pro fights has taken some adjusting.

He's doing well with his fitness needed to go six rounds but it's the fight strategy that he's still trying to get his head around.

"I've learnt that I'm still fighting as a bit of an amateur. I still have that amateur feeling in me," Parker said.

"I have to take my time, use my punches and use the ring.

"As an amateur there are three rounds and you have to give it all you have, throw as many punches as you can.

"Now it's about picking those shots that will get points and do more damage to your opponent.

"I have been practicing a lot of new techniques and styles."

Parker is expecting a real challenge from the rugged Tutaki, a 34-year-old with 43 pro fights to his name.

They are similarly big men with good reaches and plenty of power.

Parker expects Tutaki to be aggressive from the opening bell and realises this is a dangerous fight so early in his career after straightforward knockout victories in his first two pro fights.

"The public will see it as my first real test. I'm just trying to push the pressure away and concentrate on what I have to do.

"I'm just going to box and move and look for the right shots."

The other pro bout on the card features Australian super featherweight Lauryn Eagle (5 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw)  against New Zealand's former IBF world welterweight champion Daniella Smith (11 wins, 3 losses).

The amateur fights are: Willie Mason v Troy Flavell, Greg Bird v Rene Ranger, Manu Vatuvei v Eric Murray, Paul Gallen v Hika Elliot and Jarrod McCracken v Carlos Spencer.

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