Is trainer Kevin Barry the right man to take Joseph Parker to the next level of world heavyweight boxing? There must be some doubts right now.

The Barry question is inevitable after Parker's lacklustre/horrible effort against the awkward Romanian Razvan Cojanu.

Simply put, the Joseph Parker we know right now is not world champion material, not a real world champion. He isn't good enough. All the talking in the world doesn't change that.

Great fighters of the past would have destroyed him. Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua would be unbackable favourites against him. Boxing's inevitable smoke and mirrors, the outlandish claims, the maneuvering, the multiple belts, won't change that.


I raise this question with all due respect to Barry: Is he too close to Parker? Is he the right man for his man? Would someone else be better able to unleash Parker at full strength?

Indeed, the loss of Hughie Fury as an opponent, the quick fire change to a smaller venue and low grade opponent has ended up casting serious doubt on Parker's credentials although everyone will want to fight him now. As for $50 a shot for the TV viewer, it was seriously over-priced.

What can Kevin Barry do to turn things around?

Until now, trainer Barry and protege Parker have been inseparable, and the whole Duco operation has deserved plaudits for getting Parker into the ring so to speak, as the heavyweight division rallies around its new spiritual home in Britain.

Parker is like one of the Barry family in Las Vegas, but it looks as though something different needs to happen, to freshen the situation up, if Parker wants a genuine shot at a genuine world title.

It is far too early in Parker's career for a dud performance like the Manukau Muddle, especially when you consider that Cojanu was smashed into oblivion by an unknown Donovan Dennis who has been knocked out in his subsequent two fights.

Parker has the belt, has the wins, but it feels as if he has been stagnating in recent fights.

Big Joe was certainly flat against the nutty Romanian, who put on some strange antics after the victory.

Parker won a very close decision over humble Mexican Andy Ruiz to take the WBO crown, and has now battled to beat a nobody in a south Auckland hall while the world marvels over the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko showdown.

Parker needed to knock Cojanu out, or at least rip him apart. So why didn't he?


A riddle: Could Kiwis coach David Kidwell be undone by another David Kidwell?

Confused, well think on this after the Kiwis' awful loss to Australia in Canberra in the last-ever Anzac test.

Back in 2008, it was Kidwell and then captain Roy Asotasi who led a fully justified revolt against Kiwis coach Gary Kemble who was about out of his depth as out of depth gets.

The problem now is that current Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich (along with fellow forward Kevin Proctor) is embroiled in a cocaine controversy, and is almost certain to lose the job. He's hardly in a position to lead anything.

But if the New Zealand Rugby League won't make a move, if Kidwell won't resign, then it may be up to the players to make it clear that Kidwell must go before the 2017 World Cup after disasters last year - notably a draw against Scotland - and this.

There is nothing on Kidwell's CV that says he is anything other than an NRL assistant coach. Cowboys coach Paul Green is apparently waiting in the wings, originally ear marked as a guiding force for Kidwell.

But the NZRL needs to wipe the slate clean, and re-think the whole situation.

And for a recap, this is what Kidwell told Radio Sport about Kemble in 2008, even hinting there could be a player boycott in the World Cup year.

"No we don't (have confidence in Kemble). People think we're just doing it for ourselves but we've got the best interests of the black and white jersey...and the players haven't got any confidence in Gary Kemble as coach," Kidwell told Radio Sport.

"Gary's a great bloke and we're not attacking his character. We've got a guy like Wayne Bennett who wants to coach us. Why wouldn't we want the best person?

Kidwell said Kemble was "out of his depth".

"We've got the backing of all the senior players in Australia, you can ring any of them and ask. We wouldn't come out and say this without the backing of them," Kidwell said.

Kemble was replaced by Steve Kearney, with Bennett assisting, as the Kiwis won the World Cup that year. If the current senior Kiwis are unhappy - some are interpreting comments from Jason Taumalolo as such - and want a lead on what to do, they need look no further than their own coach.