A sense of familiarity accompanies Joseph Parker's rematch with Derek Chisora. Aside from the same venue and opponent, Parker will again fight for his future after signing a one-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.
Seven months after securing a contentious split decision victory Parker (29-2) is intent on delivering a vastly improved display in his second crack at British veteran Chisora (32-11) when they headline the Manchester Arena, Europe's largest indoor venue, on December 18.
"If I put on the same performance I did last time then what's the point? There's no real chance to get to the top if I do that so it has to be better. It has to be more devastating," Parker told the Herald on Friday. "I've got that in the back of my mind so I've got to let my hands go."
Parker signed a three-fight promotional deal with Matchroom in 2019 - worth up to $6 million - that expired in his last outing.
While he remains well established in the UK where a rematch against Dillian Whyte or taking on unbeaten prospect Joe Joyce are highly marketable future fights, Parker knows a loss to the 37-year-old Chisora would severely dent his rankings – third with the WBO - and promotional appeal.
"Everything relies on this fight and how I perform. If I perform how we know I can then there's other options out there but Matchroom have always delivered. They are the best promotional team so it would be great to continue working with them because we have a good relationship.
"There were other options but this one made the most sense so we got a deal done. Hopefully we get a more convincing win than last time and move on to bigger fights.
"If I lost the last fight it would have been hard, same with Junior Fa. This is another one where I know there's a lot of pressure. In this fight I'm fighting for my future so I have to look better and let my hands go. There's no question about it.
"I watched the last fight back and I know I won it. A lot of people thought it was close and you can argue but I know I won."
Parker's manager David Higgins suggested other promotional companies were interested in luring the 29-year-old to their stable for his third fight this year, but would not elaborate on who had reached out.
"We've entered into a one-off deal," Higgins said. "So much is changing and in boxing upset wins and injuries can scramble the rankings.
"In terms of Joseph's activity and where he's ranked it's quite good to have options. There was a meeting of minds around doing a shorter arrangement."
Higgins admits the rematch with Chisora, who, while predictable in his come forward approach has the ability to land knockout blows, carries a high degree of risk for Parker's aspirations.
"The stakes are high in boxing. Every fight you're fighting for your life. If he wins he'll hold the cards. The shorter arrangement means he can talk to multiple parties. I had a few talking to us. I'm not going to get into detail.
"If you're selling a house and there's one bidder, you're not going to maximise the value.
"That's the upside of a shorter deal but you have to keep winning because there's more risk.
"An emphatic win against Chisora would put Joseph back in pole position early next year to hopefully gun for a world title shot.
"It would be nice to close that Chisora chapter emphatically and put the old warhorse into retirement."
Parker has kept in shape by training twice a day during lockdown and chasing after his three young daughters. Leaving them next week – and due to the MIQ logjam having no idea when he can return home - forms the difficult part of the Chisora equation.
"I'm leaving New Zealand and my family knowing there's a big chance I can't come back," Parker said. "This opportunity presents itself and you've got to do what it takes to keep getting closer. The goal is to fight for the world title again, win it, and that's it then I can retire in three or four years.
"Hopefully when I'm overseas they can come up with a system where you can self-isolate at home."
Parker plans to attend Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder's trilogy fight in Las Vegas on October 9 en route to Fury's hometown in Morecambe, a small coastal town in Lancashire, where he will link with Irish trainer Andy Lee for a 10-week camp.
After a short window for his first fight under Lee's guidance, Parker is confident the extra lead in time will help him flourish this time around.
"I didn't have a long time to work with Andy and pick up things but I saw big improvements and a lot of positive changes. I feel with this longer camp if I keep absorbing and then back my speed and power I can do the damage and be more devastating."
Chisora recently split with manager David Haye and signed to Anthony Joshua's management team but Parker doesn't expect to confront anything new.
"For years and years he's had the same style and for the fight we had he came in with the same style to come forward and throw big bombs. We can have the same game plan but be way more effective and punch with more intent."