Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Parker camp to turn down Klitschko invitation

Joseph Parker is preparing to make waves on live television in the United States. Photo / Sarah Ivey.
Joseph Parker is preparing to make waves on live television in the United States. Photo / Sarah Ivey.

Joseph Parker is preparing to make waves on live television in the United States, his short-term plans considered so important his promoters Duco will turn down an invitation to train with the world's top heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko.

Parker will fight in Pennsylvania on August 10 on the undercard of a fight headlined by Vyacheslav Glazkov, rated by many as the fourth best heavyweight in the world behind Klitschko, Kubrat Pulev and Tyson Fury. Parker's opponent is yet to be determined but he is likely to be a prospect rather than a fading force.

Impressive fellow Kiwi light heavyweight Robert Berridge will also fight on the undercard at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem. After demolishing Brazilian Rogerio Damasco in the first round of their clash in Manukau on Saturday night, Berridge is up against undefeated Russian champion Vasily Lepikhin, who has a 15-0 record.

But it was the reference to Klitschko which raised eyebrows at this morning's press conference in Auckland, which included the announcement that Parker will fight Sherman Williams in the city on October 16.

"We had an email from Vladimir Klitschko's manager recently inviting Joseph to go to Austria to be a sparring partner for Klitschko for his shot at Kubrat Pulev," Duco's David Higgins said. "We probably won't accept his offer because we have our own plans, but I think it illustrates we're building connections globally."

Parker said he was happy with the short turnaround - just four weeks - between his next fight and his impressive TKO victory over American Brian Minto on Saturday.

"I'm pretty happy with the schedule - fighting often. I think it's important to fight often so you learn your craft in the ring. Fighting different opponents with the different styles they bring will only increase my skills and technique.

"Williams brings the same style [as Minto]. They're both short, Sherman The Tank Williams is a little bit bigger than Brian is, but I'll just have to work to keep my distance and box smartly again."

Parker was first matched against the durable Williams in Germany in April, but the Bahamian pulled out due to a dispute with Klitschko's promoters K2.

- APNZ

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