'I am going to fight May 6': Fired-up Joseph Parker confident Auckland bout will proceed
Joseph Parker says Hughie Fury's withdrawal hasn't affected his focus and is confident a suitable replacement will be lined up for his WBO title fight in Auckland.
British heavyweight Fury did an 11th hour u-turn on the May 6 fight, complaining of a back injury that has apparently affected his training and will need "three to four weeks" of treatment.
Having already been in camp for more than 12 weeks because of previous delays caused by the Furys, Parker is eager to brush off the latest disappointment and get into the ring.
His promoters are now trying to tie down a late but credible opponent from the WBO's top 15, having been given permission by the governing body for a voluntary defence of the title.
"You do what you have to do, which is train hard and prepare well," Parker said when asked how he is handling the situation.
"You have a great team around you and you want to defend the belt and keep it. So that's what keeps you focused and whatever comes you just have to adapt.
"Does it affect me mentally? Not at all. We prepare for whatever situations come our way."
Parker said they were "locking in things at the moment" and was confident the Auckland fight would go ahead with his belt at stake.
"Of course I am going to fight May 6th. I've been preparing for this day so whoever they bring, I will be prepared for it. I want an opponent which is going to put up a good fight, an opponent that's going to make everyone think it's a 50-50 fight."
Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry aren't surprised by the unwanted developments given the nature of this drawn out promotion.
"I guess the way I see it, it is probably an excuse. It might be an excuse, it might be legit ... I think we just have to adapt and prepare for what is coming our way," Parker said.
Barry added: "I hope the injury is not too serious and I wish Hughie a speedy recovery.
"I will say it didn't come as a total surprise to us.
"Just the way the whole Fury team have been conducting themselves in the last three months, it didn't at all surprise us for them to pull out at this last minute."
Barry backed Parker to deliver despite the disruption and the dangers of taking ona new opponent without specific preparation.
"This has been a long training camp for us and Joe is very well prepared, really wants to fight," Barry said.
"When you look at the last three years, he's fought five times a year. This is five months since Joe has had a fight, so he really wants to get in the ring and wants to fight."