Joseph Parker will leave Auckland for his Las Vegas base on Sunday excited about the potential fights ahead and happy with his victory over Alexander Dimitrenko, but with one regret - his last punch against the 2.01m Ukrainian which he felt took the shine off the win.

Unfortunately for Parker, his final punch was a body shot thrown when Dimitrenko had a knee on the canvas and it sent his opponent rolling dramatically in the apparent hope of a disqualification.

The New Zealand heavyweight looked to his corner in disbelief at Dimitrenko's actions before later apologising to his opponent. "I said, 'I'm sorry, I'm not a dirty fighter, I didn't know you had a knee on the canvas', but he said 'why, why would you do that?'.

"I was disappointed. I wanted to finish it in the right fashion. When you're in the zone you're in there to win, but if I could take it back I would."


Thankfully for Parker, the dominance that he showed before the third-round knockout has been recognised around the world as the 24-year-old extended his unbeaten professional record to 21 victories, with 18 knockouts.

Parker's potential next opponents could include Andy Ruiz Jr, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, and he has already begun light training following the victory in Manukau last Saturday during which he didn't need to extend himself.

"I've been keeping in shape. I've been on three runs since the fight and have been doing some weights," Parker said. "I don't want to get too loose. With the big fights I could have coming up I'm excited about getting into training again.

"The hardest part of the last fight was all the training and sparring I did before it. That is always the case. The fight is the fun part. In training for Dimitrenko I did 93 rounds of sparring over eight weeks, and it was some of the best sparring I have done. The camp was perfect for me."

Laura talks with Dean about the future for Joseph Parker

Dimitrenko, Parker's tallest opponent so far, came into the ring with only two previous professional defeats but had no answer to Parker's speed, timing and power. Parker found his range immediately, something he put down to his quality sparring against big men, and that bodes well with tougher fights ahead against men with the size of Joshua and Klitschko.

Ruiz Jr, who is 5cm shorter than the 1.93m Parker, would also suit him. The Mexican-American, who generally carries more weight than he should, likes coming forward and will present several opportunities for a still improving fighter who has had success in sparring against Ruiz Jr.

Promoter Dean Lonergan is about to leave for a WBO conference in Puerto Rico where Tyson Fury's tenuous hold on the organisation's heavyweight belt will be discussed, and possibly in an open forum. A fight between Parker and Ruiz Jr would be for the WBO title.
"If it is I won't be wasting my opportunity to have a say because I want to push Joseph's case as No1 contender to fight for that title," Lonergan said.