Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Boxing: Duco on hunt for another Parker

Joseph Parker and Kevin Barry. Photo / Photosport
Joseph Parker and Kevin Barry. Photo / Photosport

Kevin Barry is looking for the next Joseph Parker -- and is offering hopefuls from around New Zealand the chance to audition for their shot at stardom.

Barry and Duco Promotions are unveiling an unusual talent identification programme, which will give a young pugilist the chance to come under the Duco umbrella, with coaching, financial, logistical and management support.

The right candidate -- or candidates -- may also get the chance to eventually spend time training with Barry in the United States.

In what might be characterised as Boxing Idol, all-comers from across the nation -- regardless of their ring experience -- will be given the opportunity to put their case. It's a way for the boxing promoters to uncover their next fighter now, giving them a few years to prepare him (or her) to take on the world stage.

"If they have the talent and desire, we have the machinery to transform that person and make him the best he can be," said Barry.

"In the past, you had to travel overseas to make it, like David Tua and Jimmy Thunder. But we have shown with Joseph Parker you can do it from New Zealand. We have a gateway for fighters.

"Everyone has followed the journey of Joseph over the last few years but people forget that at 18-years-old, he was considering a building apprenticeship. A few years later and he is in line for a title shot. Joseph is a unique guy but we know there are a lot more out there."

Barry stresses the search won't be confined to Auckland, nor just the big cities. He wants potential contenders to send videos and photos of themselves, as well as an accompanying email detailing their background and goals and expects successful candidates to be aged 14-19.

"This could be a life changing opportunity and we are opening the door. We are looking for someone who believes they have the talent and desire, is self-driven and willing to work through the pain threshold.

"Whether they are already boxing, or from kick boxing, or rugby or basketball ... we are prepared to consider anyone. But talent is essential; I'd rather have talent without experience, than experience without talent," said Barry.

Anybody interested can send videos, photos and correspondence to boxing@duco.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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