Boxing: Parker and Haumono all smiles at weigh-in

By Kris Shannon

Joseph Parker will fight Solomon Haumono on Thursday night. Photo / Getty Images
Joseph Parker will fight Solomon Haumono on Thursday night. Photo / Getty Images

Smiles rather than scowls were the prevailing feature as Joseph Parker and Solomon Haumono weighed in for tomorrow night's bout in Christchurch.

Rather than the pre-fighting posturing that accompanies many boxing promotions, there was a clear mutual respect between the pair ahead of their clash at Horncastle Arena.

Parker, who weighed in at 106.4 kilograms and ceded a 2.6kg advantage to his opponent, had to stifle laughter after the pair had hugged and were asked to stare down.

The Kiwi eventually acquired his game face but there was certainly nothing approaching antagonism ahead of the transtasman battle.

Part of the friendly feeling was undoubtedly due to the apparent one-sided nature of the match-up - Parker is an unbackable $1.01 favourite to win the fight - and part was due to Haumono's reputation as a nice guy out of the ring.

The Australian veteran has struck a placid tone throughout the pre-fight preparations, taking time to thank the people of Christchurch for welcoming him warmly. And while the pleasantries are unlikely to extend to tomorrow night, Parker wasn't exactly unleashing a torrent of trash talk today.

"We're two great guys who have trained the house down for this fight," he said. "You don't have to be a bad guy to be a fighter. We're two humbled guys who have prepared for tomorrow night and we're going to go out there and do our best."

Parker's motivation for the fight is unquestionable - he must win to maintain his tag as the mandatory challenger for the IBF world heavyweight title.

"We're in a great position now but there's a target on our back," he said. "Everyone we fight now wants what we have. But we've trained hard and we're motivated to keep it."

And Haumono, who says he wants to play the role of Rocky and cause an upset tomorrow night, certainly also appears driven, weighing in five kilograms lighter than his last fight.

His weight advantage will be countered by Parker's edge in height and reach, and despite his heavy favouritism, Parker was wary when asked about the stakes.

"This is boxing," he said. "If we don't get this right, we're not going to get our world title. So this is our world title fight."​

*Kris Shannon is in Christchurch with assistance from Duco

- NZ Herald

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