The eyes of the boxing world have turned to New Zealand, as heavyweight world champion boxer Tyson Fury has praised New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker overnight.
British boxer Fury is currently preparing to defend his lineal, WBA (Super), WBO, IBO and The Ring magazine titles against former world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Manchester on July 9.
Speaking from his training camp in Belgium, Fury deviated from his usual belittling of opponents and other boxers, taking time to promote and praise the WBO Oriental and WBC OPBF regional heavyweight titleholder from New Zealand ahead of his IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator bout against Carlos Takam in Auckland tomorrow night.
"I like what I see with Joseph," Fury told Sky Sports UK.
"He's a really nice guy, I speak to him a lot on the internet, on Twitter, give him advice and that, and he takes it on board.
"Takam is not a pushover, but I think that Parker can just out box him and use his height and weight and his angles and get some much needed experience to move to the next level, and that would put him up the tree for the IBF, which I don't think there's a mandatory date until next January.
"He will have to get another couple of fights, 10-rounders in, and good fights, while he waits for his opportunity to fight as mandated challenger, but he can fight, and he's tough and ambitious.
"I like him, he's my type of fighter, Joseph, and I wish him well."
Parker has enjoyed an undeniably successful professional boxing career so far, winning all 18 of his bouts, 16 of which have been knock-out victories.
If Parker defeats Takam tomorrow night, the 24-year-old is a prime contender to challenge for the IBF world heavyweight title.
The current holder of that is the undefeated Anthony Joshua of Britain, who claimed the title last month after defeating American boxer Charles Martin, and is preparing for his first title defence against Dominic Breazeale in London next month.