Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Parker justifies confidence

Trainer Kevin Barry says boxer followed game plan and shows how he has matured.

He entered the ring with a smile and Joseph Parker's demolition of Brian Minto ensured that confidence and positivity was well justified, his TKO victory on Saturday night over the tough American the most impressive display of his young and promising professional career.
Watch: Boxing: Parker 'Grateful victory'

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Minto, an experienced campaigner who left Shane Cameron bloodied and beaten seven months ago, had no answer to the speed and power of Parker's jab on Saturday night, a weapon which trainer Kevin Barry described as a "piston".

After being knocked down in the fifth round with a right hand behind the ear, Minto knew he was done for in the seventh when he was felled again. Sensibly, the 39-year-old, who was fighting with a broken nose, called it quits on his stool.

Now the 22-year-old Parker, who defended his WBO Oriental heavyweight belt and won Minto's WBA PABA title, will prepare for an extremely quick turnaround to fight on the east coast of the United States next month against an opponent likely to be announced over the next couple of days.

For the undefeated Parker, the future is bright. It was a mature and disciplined display, a testament not only to his willingness to follow a game plan to the letter but also his conditioning. He lost 6kg in the build-up but has never looked more powerful.

He said afterwards his smiling during his walk to the ring in front of a crowd of 2500 at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre was all about the faith he had in his ability.

For his trainer Barry there was no doubt about the significance of the victory. "I'm very proud of his performance - he followed our game plan perfectly," he said. "It was a clinical performance tonight and Joseph showed just how he has matured in the last 12 months and how he understands the sport of boxing a lot more now.

"He can think through a fight and he was in total control from the outset. It was only a matter of time before he caught Minto out.

"We know he [Minto] was in great condition, but he never won a round. I think Joseph silenced a lot of critics."

Minto, who looked wary of Parker's power in the first three rounds and did better in the fourth before his reverse in the fifth, said the decision to concede defeat was an easy one.

"I just said, 'hey, I don't have a chance of winning'. I've got a wife and kids to go home to. Some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you. Joseph is a young, fast kid. He's strong. I give him a lot of respect.

"He's a hell of a prospect; I just hope [promoters] Duco don't try to move him too fast and put him in something that maybe he's not ready for straight away. I think he needs to keep moving up, gradually fighting guys who have the experience to give him the experience he needs."

- APNZ

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