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Joseph Parker to face Solomon Haumono on Thursday

Fighters Network
New Zealander and undefeated heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (left) and trainer Kevin Barry during a photoshoot at The Wreckroom, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday, May 9, 2016. Copyright Photo credit: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

New Zealander and undefeated heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (left) and trainer Kevin Barry during a photoshoot at The Wreckroom, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday, May 9, 2016. Photo credit: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

Joseph Parker makes a quick return to action – following a career-best win over Carlos Takam in May – when he faces Solomon Haumono on Thursday. The fight will take place at the Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, the third biggest city in New Zealand and is configured for around 7,000 patrons.
Interestingly, when Parker (19-0, 16 knockouts) made his debut four years ago, Haumono (24-2-2, 21 KOs) was also on the card. Parker got a chance to see his opponent up close and personal.
The New Zealander isn’t taking Haumono lightly and is keen to maintain his status as the IBF mandatory to heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua.
“Everyone I fight wants what I have; they want the position that I have, the mandatory to fight for the world title,” Parker told RingTV.com. “The danger (Haumono) presents is he’s the type of fighter likes to pick his shots and, when he does, he gives it everything. He’s got a lot of power, as you can probably tell from his record.
“He’s actually moved his camp from Australia to LA; that shows he’s really serious about this opportunity.”
Although Parker was unable to get a stoppage in the Takam fight, he was able to get some good, competitive rounds under his belt, going the 12-round championship distance for the first time.
It was a learning curve, one Parker feels has benefited him hugely.
“The way I see this fight, and from the last fight and from what I experienced in the Takam fight, is it’s given me an extra focus on what I have to do in the ring,” said the 24-year-old. “I have to go back to basics; I have to be smart what I’m doing in the ring.
“There’s a lot of times I got hit with punches I could have avoided if I had actually used the good movement I have.
“I never go into a fight looking for a knockout, even though I know I have the power to do so. I’m going into this fight with the focus I can actually move around and not get hit as much as I did in the last fight and to box smartly with the tools that I have.”
Potentially, if successful, this could be Parker’s last fight before challenging Joshua for the IBF title.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to fight Joshua,” he admitted. “Like me, he’s a nice guy. He’s always improving and getting better. When I’m back in New Zealand sitting down with the team, we’ll decide what we want to do.
“I would love the opportunity to fight Joshua when they’re ready and accept the fight. It’ll be a great fight and I know it’ll be a fight that everyone will be interested in and hopefully we can put on a great show.”
“I actually thought, before the fight, Joshua was going to knock him out in the early rounds,” he said. “Breazeale showed he could take a punch. The way I saw it, it wasn’t as though Joshua fought someone who didn’t really throw a lot back. (He was) someone who was defending and sometimes threw a punch but Joshua had more speed, more power and better movement. I’m actually surprised it went seven rounds.”

Parker did see a few things he feels he could capitalize on but prefers to keep his cards close to his chest.

“I saw things; I’m not going to mention them,” he said before explaining, “but I saw Joshua did a lot of great things but there’s things he has to work on but that’s how it is. When I look at myself, there’s some good things that I do and there’s some things I need to work on. Probably when he watched my fight, he picked up on that as well. As young fighters, we’re always learning and know we have to improve on other things that we’re weak at.”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright

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