Irish boxing great Barry McGuigan backs Joseph Parker to beat Hughie Fury

Joseph Parker with Barry McGuigan  and Kevin Barry.
Joseph Parker with Barry McGuigan and Kevin Barry. Photo credit: Photosport

Irish boxing great Barry McGuigan has labelled Joseph Parker as "one of the finest talents in the heavyweight division".

Parker is currently in England, preparing for his WBO title defence against Hughie Fury on September 24 (NZ time), and McGuigan decided to pay the Kiwi a visit.

During his career, McGuigan fought 35 fights in the featherweight division, winning 32 of them - 28 by knockout. He also won gold as the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth games in Canada.

After an illustrious career, McGuigan is now in boxing's Hall of Fame, and the 56-year-old was full of praise about Parker's skills in the ring.

"It's pretty obvious he's one of the finest talents in the heavyweight division, if not the finest," said McGuigan.

"He's really coming on in leaps and bounds. I really wish I had a hold of Joseph Parker. I wish I could get my son to train him because he is a really special talent, no question about it." 

The fight against Fury will be Parker's bout in England where as he looks to show the boxing world he is worthy of his status as heavyweight champion.

The 25-year-old is unbeaten in his 23-fight professional career and is looking to knock Fury out, and that is what McGuigan believes will happen.

"I think Hughie Fury is a decent heavyweight, he does everything reasonably well. He's got sound fundamentals.

"I think he could give most heavyweights trouble but I think Parker's due for a good performance and I think he's coming over here to [Anthony] Joshua's country to make a statement.

"I'm a purist and I watch all the talent in the country, in the world and obviously it starts here, watching what is happening in the UK and Ireland, but when you get heavyweights that are sort of a breed of their own, he stands out for me - and I know he's got a bit of criticism of late, but I genuinely believe he's going to be very special."