By Ryan Burton
Joseph Parker (24-2) has been involved in two of the biggest heavyweight fights of 2018. Unfortunately neither went the way New Zealand native had hoped for.
In March he lost a unanimous decision to WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO champion Anthony Joshua and in July he traded knockdowns with top contender Dillian Whyte in another decision loss.
The 26-year-old will be back in the ring on December 15th against Alexander Flores (17-1-1). The bout will headline a card at the Hornecastle in Christchurch, New Zealand.
"There isn't a lot of footage out there on Flores but he has a good record and he is young. He is coming into this fight with not a challenger mindset but with a mindset where he is going to beat me and make his mark in the heavyweight division. His record is quite good with his high knockout percentage. I think he is the type of fighter to come forward and I heard he is going to try to knock me out. That makes it interesting and should make it a good challenge," Parker told BoxingScene.com.
This will be Parker's first fight at home since he defeated late replacement Rozvan Cojanu in May, 2017. His previous three fights have taken place in the United Kingdom.
Parker is happy to have a homecoming fight but understands the must lucrative and biggest events will take place thousands of miles away from home.
"It is always great to go back home. I got family back home, (head trainer) Kevin (Barry) has family go back home. For us it is important to go back and rebuild and also to give back to the fans in New Zealand for all of their great support of what we are trying to accomplish. I think if all goes well this will be the first and last time we fight in New Zealand for a while. Hopefully we get a victory and we fight back in the UK next year," Parker explained.
Prior to the Joshua and Whyte bouts, Parker outpointed Hughie Fury in the United Kingdom. He doesn't believe it will be long before he is back in the mix with the division's elite.
"If all goes well we will sit down as a team and discuss what is the best next step. But I think we won't take long to get back to the top if everything goes well. I would have loved to fight those guys now but as we know in boxing there are steps you have to take to get there," Parker told BoxingScene.com.
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