JOSEPH PARKER – THE UNDISPUTED LOCKDOWN CHAMPION
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As far as news goes, not a lot of good has gone on since lockdown started. Infection rates aren’t going down as we’d hoped, Donald Trump doesn’t seem too concerned about the goings-on of Covid-19 and the British Prime Minister seems to have hired the Labour party leader to write his speech explaining the relaxed lockdown restrictions.
On top of this, all sport is off and we’re left watching everything Netflix has made in the past 5 years and wondering how much ice cream we can put on cereal before it’s no longer considered breakfast. But, recently a hero emerged to fight our boredom.
Parker’s approval rating in the UK has come a long way since he weighed-in against Anthony Joshua on March 30th, 2018, when we pretty rudely booed the Haka and continued as he walked to the scales. We’ve since put that behind us, welcoming Parker to our boxing family since he joined Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable.
Parker has shown himself to be an incredibly likable, down-to-earth, and entertaining personality. Using interviews, weigh-ins and now his social media to reveal the side of him that has helped him to become such a star in his native New Zealand.
While Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are our champions, Fury is the only one we’d call entertaining outside of the ring. His over the top call outs and unapologetic self-appreciation are great to watch. Over in the U.S, Deontay Wilder does little to keep us interested when he’s not fighting. All in all, the most charismatic Twitter account in boxing might come courtesy of Eddie Hearn, specifically @nocontexthearn.
That was until Joseph Parker decided he was going to single-handedly remake scenes from Hollywood classics from the comfort and safety of his own property, playing all the characters himself. So far, he’s covered Anchorman, Back to the Future, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Grease, and Stepbrothers. He’s also managed to collab with Tyson Fury to bring us a Heavyweight lip-sync to Build Me Up Buttercup, and something tells us it wasn’t hard to get Fury onboard.
If you haven’t already started following Joseph Parker, @joeboxerparker, we suggest you do. Not only because he’s taken it upon himself to keep his fans sane during the lockdown, but because he’s a great boxer sitting between #2 and #7 in most of the Heavyweight rankings, and you’ll want to be keeping an eye on him.
His last fight ended in an emphatic TKO win against the seasoned veteran Shawndell Winters. He’s put on great performances against Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua in the only two losses on his 27-2 record. He has also been showing improvements to his defensive game recently which, if he continues, could see him in title contention in the next few years.
Parker’s next fight is yet to be confirmed, but there have been a number of options floated by his management team. All the options make financial, promotional, and ranking sense too. Since his New Zealand matchup with Junior Fa fell through due to extortionate monetary demands, Parker has proposed a rematch with Whyte, a fight with Australia’s Lucas Browne, and a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
The fight that makes the most sense, logistically, is Lucas Browne. Given the closeness of the two nations, staging a fight with Browne in New Zealand represents the safest situation in current conditions. Browne is the standout Australian Heavyweight and has fought top boxers in Dillian Whyte and Ruslan Chagaev, beating Chagaev in 2016 to take the WBA Heavyweight title. Given the history of rivalry between NZ and Aus, about between Parker and Browne would sell very well locally. Plus, as it’s proposed for as early August it might be one of the only international fights available to watch at that time, giving it 100% of the boxing community’s attention.
Regardless of what happens in his next fight, Joseph Parker has shown himself to be a true champion of the people.
Let us know what you think of his acting skills in the comments below.