Having made a stir in Dublin, where fans are asking for photographs on the street on a daily basis, New Zealander Joseph Parker is joining up with fellow heavyweight Tyson Fury, a man whose star power is in a different galaxy.
Parker and new coach Andy Lee were yesterday due to arrive at Fury's camp in Morecambe, a coastal town in the north west of England, after a positive two-week start to their partnership in Ireland.
In an exclusive interview with the Herald, Lee confirmed that Parker would use Fury's gym and possibly do some light sparring with the WBC world champion over the next five weeks.
The arrangement, as Parker prepares for his fight against Dereck Chisora in London on May 2, was dependent on Fury's all-British unification blockbuster against Anthony Joshua this northern summer being finally confirmed.
Parker linked with Lee on the advice of his friend Fury, who rates the Irishman among the top three coaches he has worked with along with the late Emanuel Steward and Steward's nephew Sugar Hill, Fury's current trainer.
"There might be some downsides because you're in Tyson's world," Lee said of joining Fury's camp.
"But we're going to stick to our schedule. There are huge benefits to being around Tyson. Mentally he's one of the strongest and most competitive people I've been around. Joseph will feed off that. They might do some body sparring together but they won't do proper sparring because the style of Chisora is completely different."
Lee said apart from the potential to be inspired by Fury's skill in the ring and magnetism out of it, the access to quality sparring partners for Parker would be far greater than if they had remained in Dublin.
And Parker has plenty to work on. While unwilling to criticise Parker's former trainer Kevin Barry – the pair split after Parker's recent unanimous decision victory over fellow Kiwi Junior Fa - Lee said he wasn't convinced that Parker had been fighting to his potential.
"You take notice because there aren't many heavyweights coming from New Zealand," he said. "I watched him and I thought he had a lot of talent but I was never overly impressed with him to be honest with you. I thought he had fast hands and lot of ability."
With time in short supply, Lee was working with Parker on the basics; the way he distributes his weight – he said Parker "fell over" his front foot too often as he threw a punch – and striking techniques which made the most of his power. An issue of mentally switching off during rounds was also being addressed.
"There's no laziness and no mental breaks. He had this habit of taking breaks – he'd do something really good and just move off and take a lazy walk. What this signifies to your opponent is – attack, he's not ready.
"The best fighters in the world concentrate and stay present for every second of every round. I could see Joseph having lapses at different times so we're ironing that out."
Lee added: "He's had to make adjustments and he's doing things he's never done before. He's taken on a lot. We have a short period of time to make these changes. If he was to fight Dereck Chisora without me being involved, I would be very confident Joseph would beat him. Chisora is a handful with the pace he fights at and his physicality, but if you can deal with that you go a long way to winning the fight.
"He's a come-forward, heavy, aggressive hooker and swinger so we have to train to combat those things and Joe is responding and taking everything on board. Everything I say to him he's doing and he's a very quick learner."
Lee, a former middleweight world champion, said he had been impressed with Parker's hand speed in the gym. "You forget that he's a heavyweight. While he's been here, he's been training with a middleweight I train – Jason Quigley – and there's no difference in hand speed.
"You have to prepare for 12 hard rounds. Everything else is just a bonus. With his hand speed, Joe could catch him with something he doesn't see coming and hurt him and get him out early, but we'll be ready for 12 rounds."
Lee said Parker, a 29-year-old former world champion who will be on the brink of another title challenge should he beat Chisora, had been making good use of his time.
"I've lent him a guitar and there's a piano [at his apartment]. He's got plenty of time to read his books and watch movies. That will continue. That's how it should be - from what I've learned from him, it hasn't always been like that. He hasn't always prepared correctly for fights."
Lee added: "You couldn't meet a nicer person. He's really humble, a gentleman, and he's charismatic as well – people are drawn to him. I guess he stands out a bit because he's six foot four and doesn't look like many people walking around Dublin. He's a good-looking fella – you see everyone looking at him on the streets and he's getting recognised loads. We've been out jogging and there are people pulling over and jumping out of cars getting photographs. He's a pleasure to be around."
• The Joseph Parker v Dereck Chisora fight in London on May 2 will be broadcast live on Spark Sport.