Boxing: Joseph Parker - I could have title fight this year

By Cameron McMillan

Joseph Parker unleashes in his win over Kali Meehan. Photo/Dean Purcell NZ Herald
Joseph Parker unleashes in his win over Kali Meehan. Photo/Dean Purcell NZ Herald

It was a pretty quiet New Year's Eve for Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker but says he's set to make some "big noise" in 2016 confident he can beat any other fighter in the world.

Parker had an impressive year in 2015 notching up five victories to improve his record to 17-0 but with another fight on the horizon he was up early yesterday morning is Las Vegas to take part in training.

Ahead of his next fight against American Jason Bergman in Apia later this month, Parker told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch that he's definitely going to step up the opponents over the next 12 months.

"I know a lot of people that watch my fights are frustrated that the fights end quickly but I can promise you this year we're definitely going to step up the opponents and it's going to be a lot more interesting fights. We're getting closer to that goal of being champion of the world and I think this year we can make some big noise around the world."

Parker said things have changed over the last year where the boxing world, including current heavyweight champions Tyson Fury, is starting to pay attention to the 23-year-old from South Auckland.

"A lot of the big boxing writers, the big boxing network channels, they're definitely taking notice of what we're doing. Tyson Fury, the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, messaged us before and after the fight wishing us luck. We're definitely keeping in touch with those big names.

"Before I looked at myself as a sparring partner for these big names but now we're looking at our team as contenders and we can contend for that title."

Listen to Tony Veitch's full interview with Joseph Parker:

Parker told Veitch he's confident he could beat any other fighter in the world.

"I'm getting more confident in what I can do in the ring and that just comes with hard work and training. I believe it when I say I can beat anyone if I have a great training camp. I can beat Tyson Fury, [Wladimir] Klitschko, I can beat [Deontay] Wilder. I just need a great training camp and I know I can do the job."

Parker said the amount of support he has received from fans over the last 12 months has been humbling as his popularity continues to grow.

"When I first started off, a lot of people didn't know who we were or what we're doing but now you can see a big difference and everyone is behind us...it's amazing."

"Walking down the street it's a humbling feeling. Everyone stopping you for photos and autographs, it's real humbling. It's a weird feeling but I'm slowly getting used to it."

It's a feeling he better get used to. A successful world title fight in 2016 and he'll have a lot more photos and autograph requests.

- NZ Herald

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