Heavyweight’s need for US work permit holding up his Vegas preparation for fight
Heavyweight's need for US work permit holding up his Vegas preparation for fight
Joseph Parker's camp is keen to maintain momentum after his stunning performance against Brian Minto (left) in Manukau a fortnight ago. Picture / Peter Meecham
Aproblem securing a United States visa is severely hindering Joseph Parker's build-up to his next fight, which is just over three weeks away.
Parker and trainer Kevin Barry were expecting to travel back to their Las Vegas base last week the 22-year-old heavyweight usually enters the US on a visitors' visa but because he is set to earn a purse from his fight in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 10, a working visa is required.
Barry, suffering from flu and having to wear a surgical mask while training Parker, is frustrated at the hold-up which has meant the pair haven't been able to quickly build on the South Aucklander's stunning performance against Brian Minto in Manukau a fortnight ago.
The Parker camp, and promoters Duco Events, are keen to not only take advantage of Parker's excellent fitness, which would have been helped by a longer stay in Las Vegas and quality sparring opponents, they are also aware that this is an excellent chance to make a splash in the US.
The fight against an unconfirmed opponent the respected Boxrec website is listing him as American Keith Thompson, but neither Barry nor Duco's Dean Lonergan would confirm that yesterday will be screened live on television there.
"With such a fast turnaround it's definitely not the preparation that I wanted for this next fight," Barry said. "We're trying to keep that momentum going. It's a tremendous opportunity to fight on NBC, one that we definitely want to make the most of, but to be stuck here in the middle of flu season and the cold weather ... we have a very good base in Las Vegas that works for us.
"My biggest concern is not knowing when this visa is coming through.
"I'm a little bit disappointed that this issue wasn't resolved a long time ago, but we're getting on with it. Who knows, we could be here for the next two weeks. We might even be leaving here for Pennsylvania, now that would really be terrible."
Barry said he was considering asking for the fight to be shortened from 10 rounds to eight because of Parker's limited preparation.
If Parker who with fellow Kiwi Robert Berridge will fight on the undercard of a main event featuring the highly ranked Vyacheslav Glazkov does fight Thompson he is unlikely to have too much difficulty. Like Parker, the American has fought nine professional bouts, but has suffered two defeats after first fighting as a pro in 2005.
The undefeated Parker has fought reasonably often since turning pro almost exactly two years ago.