21 May 2016

Sport: Joseph Parker one fight from world title shot

12:09 pm on 21 May 2016

The New Zealand-Samoan heavyweight boxer, Joseph Parker, stands just one fight away from a crack at a world title.

Joseph Parker (right) and Carlos Takam

Joseph Parker (right) and Carlos Takam Photo: Photosport

The 24 year-old faces the French-Cameroon boxer, Carlos Takam tonight in South Auckland.

The 35 year-old Takam boasts an impressive record of 33 wins, two losses and a draw, while Parker is undefeated in his 18 fights, 16 by way of knockout.

Parkers' coach, Kevin Barry said Takam was a considerable step up from his previous opponents.

"I consider Carlos the bogeyman of heavyweight boxing, he's the guy that other elite heavyweights just simply don't ask to fight. His aggressive fighting, his stamina, the way he comes forward, I think all those things will test Joe like he's never (been) tested before, but I also believe it will bring the very best of Joseph Parker out"

Joseph Parker (R) with trainer Kevin Barry

Joseph Parker (R) with trainer Kevin Barry Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Joseph Parker said getting past Takam is a lot easier said than done.

"If you have a guy like Carlos Takam, he's prepared, he's here to give me a good fight, he's confident in himself and he's trained the house down, you're definitely going to take some punches but the goal is not to get hit."

"I'm just excited to be challenging someone like Carlos, who's going to be a good name on my record if I do beat him," he said.

Takam has been sparing with the last person to beat Joseph Parker in his amateur career, Junior Fa, proving he's not taking the hometown favourite lightly.

But he's still confident he'll come out on top, firing off some pre fight warning shots.

"Before this fight, I didn't know too much about Joseph Parker but having done my research I do think that he is a great young boxer, he's had a great career, however, he is in my path and I'm here to win. I think with time he's going to be one of the best but right now I'm here to win."

The winner of tonight's million dollar fight gets a mandatory challenge for the International Boxing Federation's heavyweight title, which is currently held by Britain's Anthony Joshua.