By Duncan Johnstone
A fired-up Joseph Parker has accused his giant Russian opponent of being "disrespectful" and plans to make him pay in the ring.
Alexander Dimitrenko said on Tuesday he doesn't believe Kiwi heavyweight Parker beat Carlos Takam and that he would probably have to deliver a knockout on October 1 to secure victory in New Zealand.
Parker is usually a relaxed athlete in his fight build-ups and rarely has an angry word about his opponents.
"I just find that disrespectful," Parker said when asked about Dimitrenko's claims of the unanimous points victory over Takam in a crucial IBF eliminator last May.
"This is my home, my country and he hasn't shown respect for me. I respect every fighter I get in the ring with. If I went to his country I would respect him," Parker said.
"Takam was a hard fight, it was a close fight, but our team knew that we won. For him to say that, I don't like it. With boxing people should respect each other. He didn't say that to my face, maybe saying it gives confidence to himself."
Parker wasn't impressed with Dimitrenko questioning the judging in New Zealand either and felt he could be looking for excuses.
"Maybe [that's] an excuse, maybe it's one of his strategies."
Parker said he intended to make the point with Dimitrenko when they come face to face next week in a fight promotion on Wednesday.
He didn't know if that would result in "fireworks" but he wanted to offer his own opinion to the Russian.
"I will tell him to be more respectful and to respect me in my country."
Parker said his annoyance would simply add to his motivation for a fight he has to win to retain his IBF mandatory position and stay in line to challenge challenge Anthony Joshua for the world title.
"My focus is fully on him [Dimitrenko] now. I've been training really hard, everyone in my team has been putting in the work. I'm here to get the win."
Parker's trainer Kevin Barry felt the controversy had resulted in a lift in intensity in Parker at this late stage of his fight build-up.
Barry felt Parker's reaction was uncharacteristic, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing for a fight with such a risk factor to it.
"I've seen him be a little bit annoyed this week which is unusual for Joe. Things like that are usually water off a duck's back," Barry said.
"But I think he took it a little bit personal. The Carlos Takam fight was a fight where he was very proud of the result. Everybody knows he won the Takam fight, including Takam.
"So for Dimitrenko to come to New Zealand and disrespect Joe like that, it has got under his skin a little bit.
"It's surprised me. I haven't seen it before. But this fight means a lot to him. We all know now that the target on Joe's back is bigger than it's ever been."
Barry said there had been a bit of extra sting in Parker's punches as they tapered off his training with all the heavy work done in their Las Vegas camp.