Exclusive: Joe Parker trainer Kevin Barry talks Anthony Joshua clash
As heavyweight contender Joseph Parker prepares for his 20th pro bout next month, trainer and manager Kevin Barry took time out to give his views to WBN on a future fight with Anthony Joshua.
Undefeated Parker, 24, won the chance to face Joshua for his IBF title as the mandatory challenger when defeating the experienced Carlos Takam last month and will head to the UK soon to battle the Olympic gold medallist.
In the meantime, Parker and Barry have decided to stay busy by taking a tough fight on July 21 against compatriot Solomon Haumono and the latter says waiting around for the Joshua fight was never an option.
Fellow unbeaten puncher Joshua defends his belt on June 25 as American Dominic Breazeale makes the trip to London, whilst Parker should be given his chance to do the same by the end of the calendar year.
“We chose to stay on the same schedule that we have had Joseph fighting on for the past three years,” Barry exclusively explained to World Boxing News.
“In 2015, he fought five times and we are currently planning a similar schedule for 2016. Activity has helped with Joe’s development. We will be ready for our opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua whenever it comes but are well aware mandatory challengers often have to wait for the champion, which is the case now.
“Joe is scheduled for the Haumono fight on July 21 in Christchurch NZ but then our plan is for him to go again in mid-September (If Joshua isn’t ready).”
Asked whether talk of Joshua possibly battling Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder in a unification – which would take precedent over Parker – was a cause for concern, Barry stated that the timescale for a meeting with ‘AJ’ was not an issue.
“It’s pointless our team being concerned about what Anthony and his team decide to do. When our mandatory challenge is scheduled we will be ready,” he said.
“This decision of what we do is one that is made by our promoters, Dean Lonergan and David Higgins at Duco Events, but we are currently the mandatory to fight the IBF champion and although champions sometimes change, we will still be the mandatory until we fight.”
On a possible trip to the UK in order to introduce Parker to Joshua’s fans, Barry added: “We have a lot of options of the table now, but again this is a decision that would be made by our promoters.
“Joshua has a deal with Showtime and they are well aware of who Joseph Parker is. I’m sure that they wish we had campaigned Joe more in the US (and UK). However, that wasn’t the path that we decided to take.
“Anthony is a very good athlete and a fighter that is developing in skill every time we see him fight. Every fighter has strengths and weaknesses but I am impressed with what Anthony Joshua has been showing of late.
“The fight with Joe will be a great fight.”