Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2) just began camp for his December 11th clash against Junior Fa (19-0). The domestic showdown takes place at the Spark Arena in Auckland and has generated a huge amount of interest in the region. They fought 4 times in the amateurs with each fighter winning twice. (photo by photosport)
His trainer Kevin Barry, who is based in the United States, arrived in his native New Zealand 2 weeks ago and has now completed a government mandated 14 day quarantine and has reunited with Parker and begun training camp.
For many, such a long quarantine would be bothersome but for Barry he was able to stick to his routine that helps him stay sharp for his responsibilities during training camp.
"Quarantine has been okay. It is very important when going into a 14 day managed isolation that you get yourself in the right mindset, that you are doing your part to allow the country of New Zealand to have the freedom to live the lifestyle that other countries are very envious of," Barry stated.
"I was fortunate that I was able to keep pretty busy throughout this time. For me it was also very beneficial to be able to workout each day. I had an Exercycle delivered to the hotel along with some light weights for trainer shoulder strengthening work. I am used to a set routine and during this 14 day period I stayed on my routine and just completed 1 day at a time."
Parker and Barry normally hold their training camps in the Las Vegas area where Barry resides. It is easy to bring in quality sparring to the fight capital of the world but for this fight it wasn't feasible to train in the US. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the United States much harder than New Zealand and with so many travel restrictions it only made sense to hold camp in Auckland.
February 29th was the last time Parker fought when he stopped Shawndell Winters in 5 rounds. They haven't been in a training camp since then so Barry has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to get Parker ready for his rival Fa.
"In the 8 years that Joe and I have been together we have never had a full training camp in NZ. It is also the longest Joe and I have been apart from the gym. After the Shawndell Winters fight in Texas on February 29, Joe went back to New Zealand and during the pandemic has been forced to implement new training systems while waiting to secure another fight," Barry told BoxingScene.com.
"I am very grateful that the country of NZ and their leader Jacinda Adern were able to take control of the borders early and implement strict travel restrictions. These quick actions are the reason that we are able to be in NZ now conducting a 7 week training camp and being able to compete in front of full crowds."
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