During his time in boxing, trainer and former pro Justin Fortune has tasted, either in a real fight or in sparring, the power of Lennox Lewis, Tommy Morrison and, arguably the freakishly strongest puncher of them all, George Foreman. Fortune, speaking before the media in Sydney this week ahead of his fighter Solomon Haumono’s clash with unbeaten IBF number-one contender Joseph Parker, said Haumono has power to match all three.
This of course is quite a statement, one a number of fans may want to disagree with. But Haumono certainly does have punching power and he could be described as an odd choice of opponent for Parker to take. Parker of course will get his earned shot at IBF heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua, and he could have either remained idle until getting his mandatory shot, or faced “safe” and not too hard-hitting opposition in his wish to keep himself sharp. But Haumono, with that brute power, cannot be classed as a safe opponent; even if it would be a big upset if the 40-year-old were to stun Parker to defeat on July 21 in New Zealand.
But Parker’s downfall is what Fortune has been plotting in working with “Sol,” and he believes in his fighter’s sheer power.
“He’s up there, man. He’s f*****g strong,” Fortune said of Haumono, as quoted by Stuff.co.nz. “I sparred Morrison and Foreman, all of those guys and he’s up there with that, he’s got that sort of strength. They’re big punches. We’re looking for the trigger [against Parker]. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. If we can pull it off and make him angry, he can demolish people. He’s got that stupid power. This is the hurt business.”
Again, as big a favourite to win the fight next Thursday (Jul 21) as he is, Parker could have taken a far easier fight, easier on paper, anyway. Parker should be commended for not sitting around waiting for his big chance against A.J, and his taking on such a big hitter – albeit a somewhat crude and often vulnerable big-hitter – as a “tune-up” opponent shows he means business. Haumono has the proverbial puncher’s chance against Parker, that’s for sure.
This fight could be lively, and fun, for as long as it lasts. And we might just get to find out a little bit more about 24-year-old Parker’s chin during the action.