Trainer Andy Lee is confident the fans will enjoy Saturday in Manchester when heavyweight contenders Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker meet.
The interim WBO title match and Lee, Parker’s trainer, believes Parker has become a better fighter since they’ve been working together.
“I think Joseph has gotten a lot better, he’s probably gotten better at everything he does,” Lee said. “The most important thing for Joseph is concentration and staying focused for three minutes each round… staying distant, in his form. We’ve worked on various combinations for when he’s in different positions, whether it’s with his back to the ropes, he’s in the center of the ring… how to initiate attacks, land attacks, and then move.”
The neutrals expect fireworks, but Lee’s concentration talk leads one to believe that Parker will try to fight his way to victory and not get involved.
“It’s more about focus,” Lee continued. “To be clear in your thinking and your thoughts, to be disciplined, not to become too greedy, not to panic when you are in a difficult situation, to be calm, collected, clear but also cold and spiteful at the same time.”
However, there is also the danger of Joyce cutting the ring and at points Parker will have to get up and fight.
“Joyce is going to come,” acknowledged the Irishman. “They think Joseph Parker takes too many breaks and has too many breaks and fades, so he’s set up well for both fighters… There’s no way you can’t make it a fun fight, because Joe Joyce is going to show up, right? the? He will have to go ahead and try to attack, but Parker will not go away. I think if you run you hit it [Joyce] too much momentum, it will keep coming and run you over. He’s a giant, so Parker has to earn his respect and he has to respect the distance and Joyce has to respect the distance. Parker is hitting really hard, so I think it’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Much is made of Joyce’s ruthless nature, her aggressiveness, her power and her ability to shoot. Not much is said about his ability, but Lee refuses to see him as the one-dimensional fighter he often portrays.
“It might be different when you go in there with him,” Lee said. “I’m sure when you look at it from the outside it’s very raw and predictable. He is a big man and wears what he was born with. He has an extremely high work rate and obviously that’s something he works on but in terms of his strength and his size he uses that to his advantage but when you’re in there with him he probably does little things I know he leans backward. , he moves in different ways to avoid hits, but I don’t know if he is underestimated. He is an Olympic silver medalist boxer and you don’t get that without some kind of qualification, but he has never fought someone like Joseph in a professional fight. Joseph has a lot more experience and he is a proven 12-round fighter, so all of those things work in our favor.”
The winner will be in pole position to make an assault on the biggest names in the division. Parker has already had a taste of the big time, with fights against Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, but Lee believes Parker is unlikely to face campmate Tyson Fury, so he will look for other avenues in his quest to become a two-timer. . world heavyweight champion. Deontay Wilder meets Robert Helenius next month, Joshua could look to rebuild and if he’s looking for a world tour, as promoter Eddie Hearn suggested, a Parker rematch could lure Down Under. Then there is multiple belt champion Oleksandr Usyk.
“The [Parker]I’m probably not going to fight Fury,” agreed Lee. “But there are some big fights out there. Money is not a problem for him, he is fighting because he wants it and he loves it and he wants to be a two-time world champion. When he became champion, I think he feels like he let himself down and he never got to the next level and I think he wants to do that. I think he can see how close he is to doing it, he’s close to being in the top four or five heavyweights in the world and he wants people to talk about him in those terms.”