By Ryan Burton
World class trainer Kevin Barry is no stranger to big events.
The New Zealander is currently preparing WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0) for his unification clash against WBA/IBF/IBO champion Anthony Joshua (20-0). The fight will air live in the United States on Showtime and on Sky Sports PPV in the UK.
The fight came together after Anthony Joshua stopped late replacement Carlos Takam in October. Joshua was scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev but he pulled out of the fight a couple weeks before the fight. After the fight was over, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told the media that he would like to match is fighter against Parker in the spring.
Barry said that Joshua's fight against Takam makes them even more confident that they have what it takes to take over the Olympic gold medal winner.
"That fight put a lot of things in perspective. When Joe fought Carlos Takam for the IBF mandatory Takam had three months to prepare for that fight. We got the very best of Carlos Takam. When Carlos Takam fought Anthony Joshua he took the fight on 12 days notice. He was riding his bicycle around. He never sparred one round and yet he went 10 rounds with Joshua and he had a very promoter friendly stoppage. I think that fight put a lot of things into perspective," Barry explained.
Barry trained former heavyweight challenger David Tua throughout much of his career and was in his corner on November 11th, 2000 when he lost against WBC/IBF/IBO world champion Lennox Lewis. The fight was the biggest in New Zealand boxing history but Barry believes this unification fight is even bigger in magnitude.
"It really is. Back in November of 2000 when David Tua fought Lennox Lewis the country came to a standstill. Over half the population of New Zealand watched that fight on television. It was the most watched event in New Zealand television history at the time. This fight because of the generation change and the world of social media - this fight is a lot bigger than that fight and in the country of New Zealand there is a bit of a media frenzy going on," Barry told BoxingScene.com.
"Everyday there is a new story out there. They cannot get enough of Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker. This fight will have huge interest in the country of New Zealand and in the country of Samoa. When I say that 50% of New Zealand watched the Tua-Lewis fight, 100% of Samoa watched the fight. Joe travels to Samoa every year and he has enormous support there. This fight will be huge there as well. Look this is a big fight, Joseph, myself, Taylor (Barry), are very excited to be part of such a big occasion. This is one of the biggest fights in world boxing this year."
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