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Joseph Parker set to face Kali Meehan on October 15th

Fast rising heavyweight contender Joseph Parker 15(13)-0 has just announced his next opponent as fellow countryman Kali Meehan 42(32)-5. Parker in keeping with the busy schedule laid down by his team last year is lining up the well respected Meehan as his 4th opponent of 2015 with another fight set to follow in December as well as a potential bout in Samoa tentatively pencilled in for late January next year.

Meehan an 18 year veteran and former world title challenger, who still commands a respectable Boxrec ranking of twenty nine, marks a jump in competition for Parker who will be looking to see if he can keep his recent impressive knockout streak going. Continue reading

Joseph Parker Interview: Winning fights and feeding his fans

Joseph Parker is back in town preparing to face hard hitting Tongan Bowie Tupou on August 1st at Stadium Southland, Invercargill. While comparisons are often odious it isn’t until our interview has concluded and we have reached the training gym that one begins to see the results of all the hard work Parker has been putting in with Kevin Barry over the past 24 months and the difference in how he now physically looks from the fleshy fresh faced rookie who began his tutelage with Barry back in 2013.

While always being a decent sized heavyweight, Parker’s physique now resembles that, to use the English vernacular, of a brick outhouse. The shoulders are noticeably broader, the chest and arms now filling out as Parker continues to grow into his frame. And just in case anyone is wondering, if watching him hit the mitts is any indication, he hasn’t lost any of his trademark speed. Continue reading

Joseph Parker destroys Saglam in 2

Highly touted heavyweight Joseph Parker 14(12)-0 destroyed German heavyweight Yakup Saglam 34(31)-4 in just over 1 brutal round of action. Measuring the German in the 1st round with a stiff jab and right and left hands to the body Parker landed a HUGE right hand at just at the beginning of the 2nd round to signal the end to the fight. It once again served to illustrate the growing one punch power of the fats emerging heavyweight. After a brief rest Parker and his team are looking at a quick turnaround fighting again on August 1st. read full report

Izu Ugonoh – Exclusive Interview

Joseph Parker’s stable mate and chief sparring partner has had a busy couple of months. Having fought in New Zealand in March he accompanied Parker to Wladimir Klitschko’s Florida training camp where he sparred numerous sessions with the champion giving him some of his best work. He is now once again down under to fight in his first 8 rounder against familiar veteran Julius Long.

Being part of a Joseph Parker fight in New Zealand means the inevitable press tour, which in the middle of winter may not necessarily be an ideal preparation for a fight. Still I assume it is nowhere as cold as Poland his country of birth.

ESB: Doing a press tour throughout the country you must have had an opportunity to see a bit of New Zealand. It’s cold right now but I assume you are used to that being born in Poland. Where were you born in Poland and how could did it get down there? Continue reading

Joseph Parker Interview: In the Pursuit of Happiness

Boxing is often referred to as ‘the hurt business’ and over time the sport has been littered with many casualties, oftentimes angry young men whose star burned brightly but then faded just as fast, the dark energy that propels them to the top inevitably proving unsustainable over the long term. Sitting down with Joseph Parker you sense none of that. Instead you find a young man at ease with himself and the environment around him.

Talk which starts with boxing soon moves on to family and friends, a subject that is never far from Joseph’s mind. But it is a deceptive energy because make no mistake; once the opening bell rings, as he has proven in recent fights, he is all business.

ESB: You must be excited to be back on home soil fighting in front of your family and friends. I understand that your parents have been able to watch you fight overseas as well? Continue reading

Jeff Horn Interview: The Hornet plots his next move

On June 13th at Manawatu Arena, Palmerston North, world ranked heavyweight Joseph Parker takes on Yakup Saglam in a fight that looks to have knockout written all over it. However, an equally exciting battles looms on the undercard in a match-up that is worthy of co-main event status.

Up-and-coming Australian welterweight Jeff Horn, 9 (7)-0-1 takes on the WBA 11th ranked Ghanaian Richmond Djarbeng, 19(15)-2-1 in a fight that you sense both fighters are not just coming to win, but win in impressive fashion.

For those in the know Jeff Horn has been tabbed as the most talented Australian fighter to emerge in the last decade and with a year that has so far been slowed with hand surgery the likeable yet destructive fighter is keen to make up for lost time. We caught up with Jeff to talk about his upcoming fight with Djarbeng and to also hear his thoughts on where the welterweight division is heading over the next 12 months and his role in it. Continue reading

Interview: Joseph Parker on his upcoming fight with Jason Pettaway

….his relationship with trainer Kevin Barry and his upcoming sparring with Wladimir Klitschko in April

The lobby of the Pullman Hotel, Joseph Parker’s home away from home when he is in Auckland preparing for a fight, is a lot busier than usual. Cricket World Cup fever has hit the country and New Zealand’s national team are also staying at the inner city hotel as they prepare for their upcoming grudge match against fierce rivals Australia. Only the day before Joseph and Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum have done a TV news piece, Parker and Coach Kevin Barry putting the cricketer through his paces in the boxing gym.

When we meet Joseph is downstairs hitting the mitts with Kevin, during which McCullum and several other teammates drift in to take a look at the action, emitting low whistles at the power and precision with which Joseph hits his heavily padded trainer. Continue reading

Interview: Izu Ugonoh on the success of his unusual working arrangement and his career ahead

It is rare to see 2 contenders fighting in the same division being coached by the same trainer at the same time. But that is exactly where unbeaten Polish heavyweight Izu Ugonoh finds himself ahead of his fight with Thomas Peato at Auckland’s Vodafone Arena on Thursday night.

In an old school tradition echoing some past greats like Cus D’Amato and Manny Steward, Coach Kevin Barry has both protégés Joseph Parker and Izu Ugonoh not just training with him but also living under his roof. ‘The only nightclub they see is the one in my living room’ quips Kevin of the situation.

It is borne from the idea that when it comes to the 5am training runs and the brutal gym sessions it is better working environment for Joseph and Izu to endure them together, working as a team. It also means an improved quality of sparring, Kevin also adding that ‘due to the very high respect they have for each other the sparring is always very intense and competitive.’ Continue reading

Australia’s brightest prospect: Meet Jeff ‘the Hornet’ Horn

As all of boxing once again hangs in limbo, waiting as its two biggest stars continue to indulge in their continuing dance of ‘will they or won’t they’ we look across the landscape of what has always been boxing’s deepest division, the welterweights, to see what future talent lies ahead assuming that if the Mayweather/Pacquiao match-up actually ever happens it will probably be fought with the aid of Zimmer frames and walking sticks. Continue reading

Interview: ESB catches up with Bermane Stiverne sparring partner Izu Ugonoh

This Saturday at the MGM, Las Vegas finds boxing in an unusual place that it hasn’t occupied in quite some time, a heavyweight title fight that has the fans talking and polarizing opinion.

Practically every man and his dog has had a crack at calling the outcome for this fight so we thought we’d get some feedback from someone close to the action, undefeated Polish heavyweight Izu Ugonoh (10-0, 8KO’s.) Izu has served as one of Bermane Stiverne’s chief sparring partners for this fight and ESB took the opportunity to ask him how the camp has gone for Bermane and who he thinks will win the fight and why. Continue reading