Joseph Parker v Joe Joyce: Parker vows to stop ‘hype train’

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Joyce v Parker: It should be a fun fight
Heavyweight Joseph Parker vowed to stop the Joe Joyce “hype train” in its tracks when they meet on Saturday.

The 30-year-old New Zealander is the underdog despite being a former world champion and says he is confident of a quick victory against the Briton, 37.

The pair will fight in Manchester for the WBO interim heavyweight title, with the winner in prime position to challenge champion Oleksandr Usyk.

“I see a lump, a big man,” Parker said at a media conference on Thursday.

“A man that’s confident, a man’s that ready, but a man who is going to be stopped in his tracks. Hype train.”

Joyce, who is unbeaten in his professional career and has 13 knockouts in 14 fights, did not respond to Parker’s taunts.

“This big lump is going to be coming at you on Saturday night,” he said.

Parker’s trainer Andy Lee explained why he expected an easy night for his fighter.

“Any fight can be an easy fight,” he said. “Joseph knows how to make this an easy fight, I know what he has to do.

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“Parker is leagues apart. Joyce has a big engine, is strong, punches hard himself. We know what we’re up against. This is elite. Joe’s reaching new levels every time.

“Forget what you saw from Parker before, you’ve only seen glimpses.”

Parker, who trains with WBC champion Tyson Fury, lost his WBO world title to Anthony Joshua in their unification fight in 2018.

The Kiwi lost his next bout to another British fighter, Dillian Whyte, but then went on a six-fight winning streak.

Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce face off
A meeting with WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk could be on the agenda for the winner on Saturday
Joyce and Parker is an exciting fight, although their trash talking leaves something to be desired.

The heavyweights cut sometimes awkward figures at a crowded top table during the media conference at a decked-out Hilton hotel in Manchester. Parker wished Joyce a happy birthday moments after calling him a “big lump”.

There was some bickering between promoters David Higgins and George Warren. Parker’s promoter Higgins used his speaking time to hint he was not happy with how the fight purses have been guarded before fight night.

Warren, the son of absent promoter Frank Warren, snapped back quickly at the accusation, saying the money was in escrow.

Discussion swiftly moved onto Joyce’s team members taking issue with Parker’s suggestion that it would be an easy night.

His coach Lee responded on behalf of the Parker team, but when it was the turn of the fighters to speak, any hope of fireworks rapidly fizzled out.

Joyce and the television company showing the bout have poked fun at his reluctance to trash talk, producing an amusing promo before his last fight where he was given a trash-talking coach.

Those lessons are yet to pay off, and neither men are renowned orators. Parker in particular is recognised as one of the nicest men in boxing; friendly and kind, but not a speech-maker.

Joyce and Parker are big punchers, however, and have taken a fight that neither really needed. Joyce is in the number one position in the WBO rankings, Parker sits one spot below him.

The winner will hope to be confirmed as the mandatory challenger to Usyk’s WBO title. The loser will have to start a world-title shot campaign all over again.

Joyce could have simply waited for his shot at Usyk to come rather than face Parker, who despite his position with the bookmakers, is one of the world’s best and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The fight represents a huge risk for Joyce and a massive chance for Parker to finally put himself in position to reclaim the world title he lost to Joshua four years ago.

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