By Tris Dixon
DILLIAN WHYTE and Joseph Parker exchanged their last words before they exchange punches in London on Saturday.
New Zealander Parker landed in the UK around a week ago following a brief camp in Las Vegas.
Trainer Kevin Barry said their time together had been reduced by almost a week with Parker having to fly for 24 hours to the UK for the opening press conference and a further 10 hours onto Las Vegas.
Yet both trainer and fighter say their time has been productive.
“It was a short camp but it was probably the best we’ve had in the five or six years we’ve been together,” Parker said. “There’s no ‘hopefully [I’m going to…]’ here, I’m here to do damage. I’m here to punch with bad intentions. I’m here to break him down. He’s been talking a lot of smack and that’s a sign of doubt.
He thinks I can’t go to war. Wait and see. Less movement, more punches.”
Whyte was not buying into the promise of violence.
“This is boxing, people say one thing and the do something different,” he said. “If he wants it long and rangy or short it is what it is. I’m ready to rock. Whatever they want. If he comes to fight he gets knocked out. I always try to bring the pain and I always try to end the fight in bad fashion.”
Derek Chisora, who meets Carlos Takam on the London show, encouraged promoters Eddie Hearn and David Higgins to wager £20,000 on the outcome. The promoters briefly talked to one another, and then shook hands.
Higgins predicted a fight of the year and reckons there could be a few knockdowns.
He said there were three reasons why it made for pay-per-view, that it was evenly matched and could go either way, that they will provide entertainment and because there is a lot at stake. He predicted his man would win in seven rounds.
Trainer Barry added that Parker, who has sparred 102 rounds in four weeks, was “Hungry, powerful and dangerous.”
“I know the guy has hunger,” Kevin said. “I know he wants to get to the top and to do that he has to go through Dillian Whyte. There is something burning in Joseph Parker’s belly. I think this fight ends by knockout. I don’t see it going 12 rounds.”
Mark Tibbs, Whyte’s coach, countered, saying, “It’s going to be a rough, tough night. Dillian Whyte is going to take Joseph Parker to depths he’s never been before before. We are going to box-fight our way to a brutal victory.”