An Olympic theme is beginning to run through the build-up to the massive heavyweight unification between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker on March 31.
Parker, trained by Olympic silver medallist Kevin Barry, will be training opposite Tony Yoka – the boxer who claimed gold at the Rio Games in 2016.
Yoka defeated Parker in the 2010 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and will bid to help the New Zealander defeat the 2012 champion from London in Joshua.
Speaking to Sky Sports regarding his appointment, Yoka said: “Yes, in two or three weeks to prepare him for his championship [fight] against Joshua
“Actually my teammate in the gym, Marlo Moore, went to Joshua’s training camp in Sheffield. I’m going to the other side,” he added confirming one of Joshua’s camp weapons.
Tyson Fury had initially offered to be part of Parker’s preparations, although the ex-unified king wasn’t needed as the WBO ruler was heading in a different direction.
“Tyson Fury’s a great guy, but with all due respect to him, I don’t think it’s the right person to spar because he moves around well for a big guy and he doesn’t come forward, and he’s a lot taller,” Parker told RadioLIVE.
“So I think Kev and our team have done some research and we found guys that we think that doesn’t have everything Joshua has, but each of them have bits that we can see or help us prepare for what he brings.
“We want guys to come forward and we can just smash them, and for them to throw everything at us – the kitchen sink – and just try and knock us out.
“But with Fury, as the fighter he is, he’s a smart fighter who doesn’t stand there, who doesn’t absorb a lot of punches and likes to move,” he added.