Joesph Parker's path so far: In his own words

Joseph Parker recalls his 18 professional fights to date ahead of fight number 19, a heavyweight eliminator against Carlos Takam on Saturday.

FIGHT 1



Dean Garmonsway (left) looks for cover during his fight against Joseph Parker. Photo / Greg Bowker

July 5, 2012 v Dean Garmonsway (New Zealand), Sky City, Auckland
Opponent's record: 2-1-0
Result: Round 2 TKO
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take:"A big fight for me. Coming out of the amateurs and with the aim of starting well, to win that fight was a good relief. I know people were thinking about whether I was good or not. It was a good starting point."

FIGHT 2

November 9, 2012 v Terry Tuteru (New Zealand), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 0-9-1
Result: Round 2 KO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: A straightforward victory for Parker, who quickly made his superior class evident. First of several fights at Trusts Arena.

FIGHT 3



Richard Tutaki, left, and Joseph Parker, right, during their weigh in at SkyCity. Photo / Brett Phibbs

December 15, 2012 v Richard Tutaki (New Zealand), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 20-22-1
Result: Round 2 TKO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Another comfortable victory, albeit one against a relatively experienced Kiwi fighter.

FIGHT 4

February 28, 2013 v Dontay Pati (New Zealand), Hornby Workingmen's Club, Christchurch
Opponent's record: 0-1-0
Result: Round 1 TKO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Parker would have had tougher sparring sessions than this as an amateur. Still, it was his first fight outside Auckland as a professional.

FIGHT 5

May 16, 2013 v Bryce Ritani Coe (New Zealand), Hyatt Regency Hotel, California
Opponent's record: 3-1-1
Result: Unanimous decision
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take: "It was my first fight under Kevin Barry. I had been with him for four weeks and this was a test. Brice was a tough guy who hadn't been stopped. He kept coming forward. I put my trust in Kev and during the fight, everything flowed nicely. Going the distance taught me more."

FIGHT 6



Francois Botha and Joseph Parker do battle. Photo / Sarah Ivey


June 13, 2013 v Francois Botha (South Africa), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 48-9-3
Result: Round 2 TKO
Importance: 4/5
Parker's take: "This was four weeks after the Coe fight. A lot changed for me. I lost a lot of weight. I trained hard and I was confident but a little nervous. Francois is an experienced guy. Finishing in two rounds felt like the turning point in my career. More people started taking an interest in me."

FIGHT 7


Joseph Parker in action during his fight with Afa Tatupu. Photo / Dean Purcell

October 10, 2013 v Afa Tatupu (New Zealand-Samoa), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 9-4-0
Result: Round 2 TKO
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take: "That was a war. A lot of people said my chin had never been tested. I wanted to show I could go to war and wouldn't back down."
Parker, who suffered a cut over an eye, the result of an accidental headbutt, was later admonished by Barry for getting carried away.

FIGHT 8

April 26, 2014 v Marcelo Luiz Nascimento (Brazil), Koenig Pilsner Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
Opponent's record: 17-5-0
Result: Round 7 TKO
Importance: 4/5
Parker's take: "The whole event was different. We were used to fighting in NZ. I dropped him in the first but he came back and I had to dig deep because he was gaining the whole time. He ruptured my left ear drum with a right in the fifth which caused a few problems but I was able to overcome it."

FIGHT 9



Joseph Parker on his way to beating Brian Minto by TKO. Photo / Peter Meecham

July 5, 2014 v Brian Minto (USA), Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau
Opponent's record: 39-7-0
Result: Round 7 Retired
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take: "He was a tough guy and in good shape. When he beat Shane Cameron, people thought he was the real deal and that I would have a big challenge but I hit a new level of focus in training and was able to overcome him."

FIGHT 10

August 9, 2014 v Keith Thompson (USA), Bethlehem Events Centre, Pennsylvania
Opponent's record: 7-2-0
Result: Round 3 TKO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Really an "add-on" fight, with Parker playing second fiddle on the card to then Duco stablemate, Kiwi Robbie Berridge, a light heavyweight comprehensively beaten by Vasily Lepikhin.

FIGHT 11



Joseph Parker faces off against Sherman "The Tank" Williams during the weigh-in. photo / Dean Purcell

October 16, 2014 v Sherman Williams (Bahamas), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 36-13-2
Result: Unanimous Decision
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take: "I landed more punches than he did, including some clever ones. He thought he won but we knew we had it in the bag. I would've loved the knockout, but sometimes you have to be tested. I landed big shots, threw combinations, and proved my endurance was good in going 10 rounds."

FIGHT 12

December 6, 2014 v Irineu Beato Costa Jnr (Brazil), Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
Opponent's record: 15-1-0
Result: Round 4 KO
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take: "That was a good end to the year, my final exam. In that fight, I executed correctly. Everything went to plan."
Brazilian champion Costa walked into a right hand from Parker and was unconscious before he hit the floor, proving Parker had power as well as speed.

FIGHT 13



Joseph Parker (R) knocks down Jason Pettaway. photo / Getty

March 5, 2015 v Jason Pettaway (USA), Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau
Opponent's record: 17-1-0
Result: Round 4 TKO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Parker wanted this fight over quickly and his impatience was clear. He was perhaps lucky not to be disqualified as he glanced Pettaway with a punch while the American had a knee on the canvas.

FIGHT 14

July 13, 2015 v Yakup Saglam (Germany) Manawatu Arena, Palmerston North
Opponent's record: 34-3-0
Result: Round 1 KO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Saglam, the German national champion, got an early taste of Parker's speed and power and wanted little more in front of a raucous crowd in Palmerston North.

FIGHT 15



Joseph Parker and Bowie Tupou weigh-in. photo / Getty

August 1, 2015 v Bowie Tupou (Australia) Stadium Southland, Invercargill
Opponent's record: 25-3-0
Result: Round 1 KO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: A similar result to his previous fight in front of a similarly enthusiastic crowd. A fight which solidified Parker's appeal around the country.

FIGHT 16



Joseph Parker (Black) in action against Kali Meehan. photo / Deaa Purcell

October 15, 2015 v Kali Meehan (New Zealand), Trusts Arena, Waitakere
Opponent's record: 42-5-0
Result: Round 3 TKO
Importance: 3/5
Parker's take:"There was a lot of hype around this fight because of Kali's record and experience and the fact he had beaten Shane Cameron. A lot of people thought this would be a big test for me, and it showed my continued development."

FIGHT 17

December 5, 2015 v Daniel Martz (USA), Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
Opponent's record:14-2-1
Result: Round 1 TKO
Importance: 1/5
Our take: Really, this was a "stay busy" fight for Parker before his trip to Samoa to fight the awkward Jason Bergman.

FIGHT 18

January 23, 2016 v Jason Bergman (USA), Faleata Sports Complex, Samoa
Opponent's record:25-11-2
Result: Round 8 TKO
Importance:3/5
Parker's take: "It was an amazing experience fighting in Samoa. It was special. Bergman was a good test. It's very different fighting a southpaw and someone always on the defensive." The humidity affected both men, and Parker was perhaps too keen to finish the fight spectacularly.

FIGHT 19

July 21, 2016 v Carlos Takam (Cameroon), Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau
Opponent's record: 33-2-1
Importance: 5/5
Our take: The biggest challenge of Parker's career. A win will push him to the brink of glory and riches - an IBF heavyweight world title fight likely against Anthony Joshua. A boxing insider told the Herald: "The Takam fight isn't one step up for Joseph, it's three or four."

- NZ Herald

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