Alexander Flores watch out - Joseph Parker wants to become more "devastating" in the ring and is concentrating on his power punching in a bid to finish his next opponent quickly.

The two heavyweights will meet in Christchurch on December 15 in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds but which is unlikely to go the distance as New Zealander Parker rebounds from his back-to-back losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte.

Increasing Parker's power is a key area of improvement because his last five fights have gone the full 12 rounds, his last knockout coming against Alexander Dimitrenko in Auckland in October, 2016.

The 26-year-old dropped Whyte in the last round in London in July but ran out of time to finish the Englishman off. The former WBO world champion didn't hurt Joshua in Cardiff, although Parker himself wasn't hurt either.


There has never been any doubt about Parker's hand speed or ability to throw combinations and, while timing is important, fellow heavyweights Joshua and Deontay Wilder have shown there is no substitute for brute power and explosiveness in this division.

Other improvements, as suggested by former undisputed heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis, such as Parker's evasiveness and ability to throw a more discrete overhand right, are also necessary - and almost certainly being worked on out of the public eye.

"In other camps I've worked on my speed and movement but we all think I need to develop my power to be more devastating," Parker told the Herald. "If we want a good win and to throw some big punches then we need to work on things… power is one of those. Strength and explosiveness are the other things we are working on in this camp.

"I know I've got fast hands, but we're making sure that every shot means something rather than throwing for the sake of it."

Parker has worked on power before but not to this extent. In a video released by his camp in the build-up to the fight at Horncastle Arena, Parker shows impressive power and strength as Taylor Barry, son of trainer Kevin, holds the pad. Each punch he throws appears to be a potential rib-breaker.

"We hadn't really done that power-punching pad work before," Parker said. "When Taylor holds the pad I try my best to smash it with everything I have. We're also doing a lot more strength work.

"Taylor is young and he has some good size on him; it's better for him to hold the pad [rather than Kevin]. For me, when you throw big shots like that in training it's good for your power and accuracy but also for your fitness."

The key, as ever in this sport, is to hit and not be hit in return. A boxer planting his or her feet in a bid to generate more power in their punches can be an easier target, but Parker said he and his team were mitigating against that.


"The good thing about what Kev is teaching me is that I'm throwing the shots but getting in a position afterwards to continue if I want to or move away and create distance; making sure if you throw power shots you're not there to be hit."

Parker, who spoke to the Herald from his Las Vegas base after finishing an eight-round sparring session, is five weeks into training and has just concluded his second week of sparring.

"I'm happy with where I am and I think Kev is happy," he said. "By fight time we'll be ready and peaking."

Parker and his team will attend the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury fight in Los Angeles on December 1 before travelling to New Zealand.

He should arrive mentally and physically ready for his fourth and final fight of the year and in possession of a hunger for a new sport: golf. Parker said he caught the golf bug after playing in the Steven Adams Invitational at Windross Farm in Papakura in August.

"I didn't know how to hit the ball but after taking lessons I'm hitting the ball well all the time," Parker said. "It's good to get away and shut the mind off from boxing for a while.

"Today we were warming up for sparring and I was practising my golf swing. Kev was like, 'I knew this was going to happen - boxing is going to become secondary'."