Joseph Parker wants bout in Kevin Barry’s home
Joseph Parker is so keen to fight in Christchurch, the home town of his trainer Kevin Barry, he says he'll push for it personally with promoters Duco.
Parker, 22, holds a bit more sway now; the 10-0 heavyweight's stock continues to rise internationally and he's the company's biggest boxing asset.
Gone are the days of the naive boy from South Auckland who some feared could be taken in by slick-talking promoters. Parker says he now has more say and the relationship is a partnership.
And he wants to come to Christchurch.
Parker has fought in Christchurch, though that was a shambles. He fought in the Hornby Working Men's Club, against the brother of the man he was meant to fight after the initial opponent pulled out scared, on the undercard for Christchurch's Reece Papuni.
He won in a doddle in easily the most mismatched fight of his 10-bout career.
Parker would now be likely to fight at Horncastle Arena, the former CBS Canterbury Arena, and if the prices weren't astronomical, he could sell it out.
''It would mean heaps to me to come and fight here,'' Parker said yesterday, on a promotional tour for his October 16 fight with Bahamas' Sherman Williams.
''It's like a second home to me. Kevin's family are here and they've taken me in as part of their family. We've got heaps of supporters here and friends and family so I really want to fight here.''
Parker is a clever man and has said he'd like to fight everywhere in New Zealand, but Christchurch holds a special place.
''We want to do it right too. I want to put on a show here. I don't want to come here just for the sake of it and have some easy fight, we need to get the right opponent and really make a great night of it.''
When asked about the possibility, a Duco spokesperson said ''it will happen''.
''It's not a matter of if, but when. With the support down here, we think we owe it to this city to have Joseph fight in Christchurch.''
There's no date or plan for it to happen in the near future, but it will happen.
There are other reasons; the Auckland corporate market is bled for money constantly and with several organisations trying to copy Duco's lead and promote fight night's of differing standards, the City of Sails could be seen as the City of Stale.
Christchurch on the other hand is still light on top class sporting events and would probably support the event well.
''I'd love to do it for Kevin too,'' Parker added.
''He's an amazing trainer and he's been like a second dad to me.
''It would mean a lot to him, I think. His dad had a boxing gym here, his brother's now got a boxing gym here and his whole family is into boxing.
''He's done so well in boxing too and is so highly regarded by people in the business, it would be nice to have a big night for him in his home town so the people of Christchurch can celebrate him. Because he's world class."