Joseph Parker preparing for big Botha challenge

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:35 13/04/2013

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Rising New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has a sense of excitement as he prepares to leave tomorrow for a seven-week training blitz in Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old was in Invercargill yesterday to speak with The Southland Times as part of the promotion for his next bout against 44-year-old South African heavyweight Francois Botha in Auckland on June 13.

For Parker, beating Botha is going to a be a huge challenge, the biggest in his short career to date.

Parker has had just the four fights against boxers well below what Botha can offer, while Botha has stepped into the ring against the world's best, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis to name two.

With Parker in Invercargill yesterday was his new trainer Kevin Barry.

Barry knows too well that Parker will need to be on top of his game to beat Botha and will take the young South Aucklander to Las Vegas, where he now lives, to prepare for the bout.

Barry thinks the stint in Las Vegas will be good for the youngster.

"Vegas is one of the world homes of boxing; there are a lot of fighters who come from all around the world to train in Vegas. There are a number of good sparring partners there for him and there will be no distractions there for him. Even though it's the fun capital of the world, he'll be there to do a job, he'll be living in my house with my family and we'll be training three times a day," Barry said.

Parker wasn't daunted by the fact he will be moving away from home for a bit, instead looking to getting there and into training.

"It's an exciting opportunity to go over there and train, It's the world of boxing there; everyone's there training. It's a great opportunity at the age I am at," he said.

Check out next Saturday's Southland Times as Logan Savory takes a closer look at Joseph Parker the boxer and where he has been and just where he could head.

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- The Southland Times

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