By Ryan Burton
On June 7th it was announced that former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-1) would face former title challenger Dillian Whyte at the O2 Arena in the UK. The fight takes place on July 28th and will be distributed by Sky Sports pay-per-view.
Both men were last in action March when Parker suffered his first career loss to WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO champion Anthony Joshua and Whyte scored a vicious highlight reel knockout of Lucas Browne.
Parker started his training camp last week and his trainer Kevin Barry admitted that he would have liked to have a little bit more time to prepare for the fight.
"Hey would I have liked a couple extra weeks in training camp? Yes I would have. We have got a 7 week camp. Joe has just flown 34 hours of flying in 3 days. He went from Auckland, New Zealand to London. He had one day in London announcing the fight and then flew here," Barry told BoxingScene.com during the first week of their training camp.
"He got off the plane and I brought him straight to the gym. I was just doing some interviews in the UK this morning and I said, 'Dillian Whyte and his team will be happy to hear that Joe has not got his legs under him at the moment.' He has had a horrible week. He hasn't slept properly. His body clock is a mess but I know next week will be so much better. The exciting thing and real pleasing thing for me as his coach is that after coming back from London after announcing the Anthony Joshua fight, Joseph Parker was 120 kilograms. We had 11 weeks in camp and he fought at 107 which was about 236.5 pounds. He arrived here getting off the plan on Friday weighing 110 kilograms which makes me very very happy. We would never ever have been able to take this 7 week challenge if he had came in at 120."
The stakes are high for both fighters as the winner will be in a great position to land a Joshua or Deontay Wilder fight while the loser will take a big step back in their career.
Barry said that this is exactly the type of fight that Parker was looking for and that he wasn't interested in any tune up fights.
"Joe is very hungry at the moment and very motivated for this fight. When this opportunity presented itself we addressed it with Joe and more or less immediately he said, 'I want this fight. I want the biggest fight with the biggest names. I know I could have taken a couple of easy fights after the Joshua fight but I don't want that.' We think Dillian Whyte is one of the biggest names in world boxing at the moment. He was sitting there in a very solid position. He was on an immediate list to fight Deontay Wilder and Eddie said they were very keen on him fighting Joshua again. We aim to take all of that moment way from him," Barry stated.
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