NZ boxing star Joseph Parker reveals plan to shift base to London
Joseph Parker wants to make London his home base as he looks to unify the heavyweight division.
The WBO world heavyweight champion defends his title against Hughie Fury in Manchester on September 24 (NZT) in his UK debut.
The 25-year-old is in London tapering his preparations before moving north to the fight venue in the middle of next week.
Parker did the media rounds in the British capital on Wednesday (NZT) and made it clear he believes he has a future there if he can keep his unbeaten run going.
Asked by Sky Sports UK if they could expect to see more of Parker, he replied: "I'm going to make this my home base. Yeah London, the heavyweight division is booming over here at the moment so I want to be part of it, I want to fight all the heavyweights out there. Heavyweight boxing is exciting again so it's great to be part of it."
Parker currently splits his time between Auckland and Las Vegas with his training done in the United States under the guidance of Kevin Barry.
But there is a desire to be closer to the action and Parker reiterated his aim to try to add more belts to his name.
"That's my goal and I believe I have the ability to do it. I have a great team that's helping me trying to achieve my goal so I think I can," Parker said, emphasising he wasn't getting ahead of himself and had his full focus on Fury.
"This bout is very important and we wanted to come to the UK and fight. I feel like this is the fight we're going to establish ourselves here ... that we're going to come here and establish ourselves here and look at fighting other bigger names that are here.
"I've got to get past this next fight and then hopefully see what makes sense you know. I feel like Tony Bellew and David Haye could be other options for me to fight in the future."
Parker said he was eager to take on British star Anthony Joshua who defends his IBF, IBO and WBA titles against Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff next month.
"Of course, I think everyone wants to fight him I feel like I want to fight anyone that's available, anyone that's keen. I'm not scared of anyone and lets make it happen with any fighter who wants to fight.
"The heavyweight division is exciting at the moment. It was a bit dull and a bit boring not long ago but now it's pretty exciting. I feel like that fight with Pulev, Joshua will come out on top. He's young, hungry, a champion for a reason. He showed in his last fight he has a lot of heart so I feel he will come out on top.
"The reason its so exciting is [there are] so many options. There's this one, there's this one, there's that one. Get this done, knock him [Fury] out and then look forward."
Parker believes he will have solid support at the Manchester Arena though he's motivated by doing the business in Fury's back yard.
"I think he'll have a lot of support because he's from here. But I think there are a lot of New Zealanders over here. We've got some good support since we've been here.
"You know, I'm excited because I'm used to fighting back home, fans back home, I've got a good structure back home, I think this is more exciting because it's something new. I feel like I've got more focus and more motivation."
Parker had a chance meeting with former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick, a long-time London resident now, while in the Sky Sports studios.
Fitzpatrick said he had followed Parker's career and was delighted to meet him.
I'm like a kid in a candy shop!' Fitzpatrick told 1 NEWS as he got to hold the WBO belt.
"It's great to see New Zealanders on the map like this, it's wonderful."
Parker hopes to meet All Whites captain and West Ham star Winston Reid while he is in London.