Zach Parker praises Billy Joe Saunders, open to Canelo clash
Super-Middleweight Zach Parker insists he will be more than up for the task of toppling Canelo when his shot comes around and says the Mexican superstar will never have been in with a ‘tank’ like him.
The 20-0 Derby banger burned the midnight oil in the early hours of Sunday morning taking in the unification battle between Canelo and British WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders, a clash which came to a close after eight rounds due to eye socket damage inflicted on the two-weight world champion.
The previously unbeaten Saunders was always going to have a big job on his hands against the supersized multi-weight champion and, as suspected, elusivity could not trump raw power in Texas.
However, Parker feels Saunders gave a good account of himself at the home of the Dallas Cowboys and exposed a few minor discomforts in his celebrated opponent.
“I thought it was a good fight and Billy did a lot better than I thought he would, but size was obviously against him at super middleweight,” considered the 26-year-old ranked at No.1 by the WBO. “He did show that Canelo still doesn’t like southpaws and movers.
“I had it at almost level before it was stopped. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.
“I said to a lot of people that it would be a better fight than the Callum Smith one because Smith hasn’t got the movement or slickness. He stands there in front of you where he can hit and be hit. He waited for punches and tried to come back but you can’t do that with Canelo because you’ve got to have that movement and make it awkward for him.”
Parker confirmed that he viewed the fight through professional eyes with a focus on what he would do if he gets to share a ring with the mighty Mexican. He insists he would bring size and power to the party.
“I watched closely and if Billy Joe had a bit more size on him and a bit more punching power he could have done even better. With extra power he could have kept him off a bit and made it a different fight.
“You need that power at this weight. You can box, but that won’t take you the whole way, you need to hurt and push him back a bit.
“Billy’s punching power wasn’t bothering him at all and he was just walking through it. He got him in the end.
“That is what I am looking at myself. I am a lot bigger than both of them at 6ft 2” and I am still growing as a lad. I am a tank at super middleweight and when I punch I make sure it hurts them, I’m not gonna be tip-tapping or nothing like that.
“I have said it to a lot of people because they don’t know what I’ve done with coming under the radar a little bit, but my trainer will tell you I hit like a heavyweight.
“I am just going to keep getting my wins up, keep getting my name out there more so I can get in with these bigger names. If people don’t know who you are they will not put a lot of money up for fights, so I need to keep pushing my case.”
So is the key to overcoming Canelo throwing bombs and being prepared to go to war?
“Yeah and be slick with it, but when you do hit him you have to make it count. Every shot counts when you are in with Canelo. You have to have that bit of spite behind you and not just tap him.
“I am more confident over my chances, especially after the other night. Most super middleweights are not as slick as me and I’ve got a really awkward style with being a switch-hitter. Watching that made me a lot more confident because I could see holes. He doesn’t like people moving and likes people to stay in front of him like Callum Smith did.
“I ain’t gonna stand there and just trade with him, I can box and then trade when I want to trade. Stick and move, that is what you’ve got to do. Tactical warfare.”
Parker knows that, despite his top of the charts status with the WBO, his name is not in the frame and he is likely not head of the queue for a tilt at the 30-year-old veteran of 59 professional fights, who weighed in at under 10 stone for his debut back in 2005.
The now WBC, WBA and WBO champion wants to complete the jigsaw by adding the IBF belt to finalise his domination of the division, so Parker will have to bide his time and top up his experience for if Canelo retains possession of his titles.
“Yeah he wants the Caleb Plant fight, which will be a hard one as he’s not going to just stand there either because he is a slick boxer. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, keep getting my resume up against top fighters and wait for my time.
“They don’t want to put it on the line for nothing, they want the big name fights, so I’ve got to get my name bigger and keep making noise here in Britain.”
And when his time does come, Parker knows just the place where he would like it to happen and intends to avoid being the eighth Brit to take an ‘L’ to the same man.
“It would be amazing if he wants to fight in England and, if he did want that, Frank is the man to make it happen. Pride Park would be filled out and they would love it.
“He has beaten seven already, but he ain’t boxed Zach Parker yet! A different sort of boxer.
“I wouldn’t be towing the line wherever we fight. People think you’ve got to go over there and thank him, whereas I would go over to take what I have been working for all my life. I would be the same as Billy in that I wouldn’t go over and give him all this respect.
“I would respect him as a boxer but that is where it stops and you’ve got to do your own thing. You can’t be thankful for the opportunity, you’ve got to take it for yourself.”