Joseph Parker cancelled Christmas, New Year’s and his birthday in pursuit of a spectacular performance against Jack Massey in Manchester.

It is only four months since the former WBO heavyweight champion was stopped Joe Joyce in the 11th round of their heavyweight clash at the Manchester Arena.

And Parker returns to the same venue this weekend in a curious fight against Massey, a former British title challenger at cruiserweight, who has made the move up in weight.

Unsurprisingly, Parker is an overwhelming favorite against the 20-1(11) Brit but the New Zealander’s trainer Andy Lee insists no stone has been left unturned in his preparation.

Lee said: “He’s missed Christmas, new year’s and he also turned 31 years old on January 10. All of those have been spent in training camp preparing.

“There was no need to lift the spirits after the Joyce defeat, he is as motivated as I’ve ever seen him.

“He was owed a fight before the end of last year so they’ve got him out quickly in 2023. We were offered a few fights, some of them didn’t make much sense to us because of the risk/reward factor but we decided to go with Jack Massey.

“Joseph is a favorite but we are aware of the dangers and will be taking nothing for granted. He has to look spectacular in this fight.

“We have made sure everything in this camp is perfect. And I don’t just mean in the gym but outside it as well. It has been train, go home, eat sleep, get up, train again. 

“I don’t want to take anything away from Joe Joyce’s victory but Joseph wasn’t well in the lead up to that fight and that was because he had been out and about, interacting with people. Just things like cinema, haircuts, grocery shopping, all of that.”

The defeat to Joyce has left Parker now very much on the outside looking in on the major players at heavyweight, with Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in talks about a unification while the likes of Joyce and Anthony Joshua are also hoping to be busy this year.

But Lee insists Parker will be well set to build towards another world title shot if he gets the job done against Massey.

“Joseph wants to be busy this year,” Lee added. 

“He wants to look fantastic against Massey, get people talking about him again and get back in that picture. There are loads of fights for him - Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua and also Michael Hunter who has had a few things to say about him.

“So it’s about getting the job done in style on Saturday and then moving onwards and upwards.”