EXCLUSIVE: Coach Barry on Parker WEIGHT LOSS, Joshua’s CHIN and HYPE after beating old Klitschko

Joe Hewlett 28/03/2018

Lawrence Lustig

Trainer Kevin Barry has issued a warning towards the British public ahead of the highly anticipated unification fight between Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua.

The colossal heavyweights are just days away from meeting at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Joshua is a massive favourite with the bookies to add the WBO strap to his mantelpiece – something that has left the Kiwi bemused.

“The British public have really brought into the Anthony Joshua hype, especially after the Wladimir Klitschko fight,” Barry exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Let’s be honest, Klitschko was coming towards the end of his career, he was 41 and floored Joshua. Joe’s a young man, he isn’t on old legs. They’ve made Joshua sound unbeatable, but it puts all the pressure on him to deliver so we’ve been able to go about our work as the underdog.

“Let’s remember, Joe is also undefeated, also a world champion and is two years younger than him. I’ve always thought he has a better skill level than Joshua, it amazes us just how much of an overwhelming favourite AJ is for this fight,” he added.

Parker is set to weigh-in considerably lighter compared to his previous fight with Hughie Fury, a tactic that has been applied intentionally.

Speaking about Parker’s condition ahead of the fight, he added: “We’ve had a relaxed training camp, one of the better camps we’ve had in the last couple of years. We’ve come here in really good shape, a lot of confidence and I’m happy as a coach because it is by far the biggest fight of our career. It’s give me huge optimism.

“I’ll tell you one thing we looked at, last year we bulked him up a little bit and what actually happened was that the additional weight slowed his feet down and ultimately slowed down his hand speed. We sat down and decided we need to be more mobile, throw more punches and train that weight down for Joshua. He’s a lot leaner than what he was for the last two fights he had in 2017.

“Anything can happen in a heavyweight fight, history shows that. It only takes one punch to turn it around, it’s very possible both chins will be tested.

“I don’t believe Joshua has a glass jaw, I’ve seen him get hit clean flush many times and believe he has pretty good durability. A lot was made about his chin in the early negotiations and marketing strategy by our team before the fight was signed. That was to help build the brand of Joseph Parker here in the UK and we were successful in doing so.”

And Barry is adamant his fighter will deliver on the big stage this Saturday.

“One of the strengths of Parker is the way he controls his emotions; his mental strength is his biggest attribute,” said Barry.

“All the way through this, Eddie Hearn was very vocal about Joe going to pieces in front of 80,000 people but let me tell you this, it doesn’t matter if there is 800 or 80,000 people, it’s going to be the same guy that enters the ring.

“Two guys are going to come forward and there’s going to be an explosion Saturday night,” he added.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95