Joseph Parker will need to think big

By Michael Brown

As Alexander Dimitrenko was wheeled out at the offices of Duco Events this morning, he stood next to a diminutive translator who wasn't wearing any shoes.

Whether it was done to accentuate his size is difficult to ascertain but, if it was, they needn't have bothered. It was obvious - Dimitrenko is big, very big.

In fact, think Brodie Retallick. Dimitrenko and the All Blacks lock have been chiselled from the same granite. Retallick might be 3cm taller at 2.04m but you get the picture.

Parker has already indicated he will use his speed against the big Russian and try to batter his body to wear him down.

Dimitrenko, who has 38 wins (24 by knockout) in his 40 professional fights, isn't concerned. He says he's pretty quick of both mind and body.

"A lot of people think this way [that I am slower than Parker]," he said. "I am fast, too, and I am looking forward to winning this fight."

Dimitrenko might have won his last 29 fights, but his career has rather stalled since a 2009 defeat to Eddie Chambers, who fought for the IBF, WBO and IBO titles against Wladimir Klitschko in 2010. It's in contrast to Parker, who has been on a significant upward trajectory and who is due to fight IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua either at the end of the year or in March.

In short, Parker has a lot to lose should he get caught by Dimitrenko in Manukau on October 1.

"I feel like there's no pressure on me," the 34-year-old said. "The pressure is on Parker. I've got nothing to lose. It will be a big opportunity for me and I will be looking to make the most of that opportunity. Parker should be nervous, not me.

"I have probably met the same or better [than Parker]. When I was fighting in Germany, I met people who were a lot higher at that point. There shouldn't be any problems."

Dimitrenko has been picked by the Parker camp specifically for his size - it has been billed as Joe versus the Giant - because those at the top of the rankings, like Tyson Fury (2.06m), Joshua (1.98m), and Wladimir Klitschko (1.98m) are all of the taller variety.

Dimitrenko represents a different challenge for Parker and one he needs to find answers to but the Russian is not one to talk a big game.

"This is a problem for many American fighters," he said. "They talk too much.

"I will let my fists do the talking."

Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, thinks October's fight could go deep into the schdeuled 12 rounds. Interestingly, Dimitrenko has fought only twice outside of Germany but he doesn't see it as a major challenge to take on Parker in Auckland.

"It might be tough for someone else but not for me. The ring is the same everywhere. If you put a ring on the moon, it's going to be a ring."

And he would still fill it up with his bulk.

- NZ Herald

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