Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

Hughie Fury's trainer: Joseph Parker one of the best

New Zealand Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker. Photo / Photosport
New Zealand Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker. Photo / Photosport

The location of the Joseph Parker v Hughie Fury fight apparently remains in the balance but there is little doubt about the respect the English fighter's camp has for the Kiwi heavyweight world champion.

Fury's trainer and father Peter has said in an interview with BoxNation that he rates 25-year-old Parker extremely highly and that while Hughie, 22, has improved greatly since recovering from a skin condition, he will have to be at his best to win.

The fight, slated for April 1 after Parker's promoters Duco Events won the purse bid against Fury's promoter Frank Warren, will probably be held at Auckland's Vector Arena, but Singapore and even Manchester remain options.

A Duco spokesman said there was unlikely to be an announcement this week.

Holding the fight offshore would be more lucrative for Duco, but it would take away home advantage for Parker and he and his trainer Kevin Barry are unlikely to agree to that unless the financial argument was compelling.

Peter Fury, working on the assumption the fight would be in New Zealand, said Parker was formidable.

"I can't say what's going to happen because we're not fighting a stiff are we?" he said. "People say, 'Parker in his last few fights [hasn't impressed]' -- I'm not interested in what the public's got to say. I'm a professional boxing analyst. Parker is no mug, Parker is one of the best heavyweights out there. He's a major talent.

"It's a major step up ... Parker will be the best heavyweight Hughie has ever boxed. I would like to say the same applies -- this is the best fighter Parker has ever fought."

Fury said he thought Parker was "measured" in winning the WBO world title with a majority decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr at Vector Arena in November, adding that Ruiz Jr was a quality opponent.

Significantly, he said if the fight between his son and Parker was close, then Parker deserved to keep his title. "If it's close the world champion deserves to keep it."

- NZ Herald

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