Parker vs Joshua: Former NZ champion Shane Cameron assesses Joseph Parker's chances

Only days out from the super-fight between Kiwi Joseph Parker and rival Anthony Joshua, all manner of differing predictions have been spouted forth, as everyday sports fans suddenly transform into boxing experts.

One man more qualified than most to offer an opinion is Shane Cameron, the former NZ heavyweight who helped pave the way for Parker's transition from promising young fighter to professional.

"I've done a bit of sparring with Joseph [Parker] and he made his pro debut at my fight night, when I fought Monte Barrett," Cameron told Newshub. "He had a good win that night and that was the start of his pro career."

Parker vs Joshua: Former NZ champion Shane Cameron assesses Joseph Parker's chances

It was a quick night at the office for the then-20-year-old, who starched compatriot Dean Garmonsway at the Sky City Theatre, with a second-round TKO to emphatically announce his arrival.

"His speed was just a stand-out back then, more than anything else," said fighter-turned-promoter Cameron. "He only turned pro about six years ago.

"That's massive, it took me 10 years as a pro to fight for a world title. He's come leaps and bounds in a short period of time.

"I have to give credit to Duco for capturing him and putting him on the right pathway, giving him massive opportunities and matching him right."

That speed gives Parker his biggest advantage over Joshua, the unbeaten English phenomenon, who's taken the boxing world by storm.

Plenty has been said about the Briton's power, but Cameron believes it's been somewhat overstated since his knockout win over previously immovable Russian Wladimir Klitschko.

"It's pushing power - it's not devastating power. He's big and he's strong, but he's not that fast.

"What's lethal is someone who's fast and has plenty of power behind him. Joshua, he's powerful, but he doesn't put people to sleep.

"I've heard from the boys sparring him, like Junior Fa, that he's so strong, when he jabs you, you fall backwards, which means he's pushing his power instead of snapping it."

Parker vs Joshua: Former NZ champion Shane Cameron assesses Joseph Parker's chances

When it comes to who combines those two factors the most effectively, Cameron gives the edge to the Kiwi.

"Parker's more polished in some ways. He moves well, he's got great balance.

"He can't really try to manhandle [Joshua] - he needs to get in and out, and deliver his punches. If [Joshua's] a bit uneasy on the inside, grab hold of him and let him feel your strength too."

Cameron rounded out his own professional career back in 2014, after accumulating an impressive pro record of 29-5. With 22 knockouts to his name, the Waiuku product delivered plenty of finishing blows through his 12-year career.

Now the proud owner of North Shore-based Shane Cameron Fitness, the 40-year-old has complete faith that his fellow South Aucklander won't be fazed by the bright lights of boxing's biggest stage.

"I don't think he'll be intimidated by it. I know people who would be, but not him.

"He's a cool relaxed sort of dude, always smiling when he's walking to the ring.

"One thing I know with him, he's a tough bugger - he doesn't mind digging deep and putting his kahunas on the line. He'll do whatever it takes."

Whatever the result, Cameron doesn't see Parker sticking around the heavyweight scene for long, insisting the 26-year-old is here for a good time, rather than a long time.

"There have been a couple of things mentioned, talking about early retirement.

"I'm like 'man, you're in your prime, you're just getting going'. He wants to be retired by the time he's 30.

"But hey, if you're getting paid those sorts of pay-cheques, you can do that, can't you?

"I wanted to do that too. Some guys talking about getting brain damage, I reckon I got brainier as my fights went on."

So, is the Kiwi capable of shocking the sporting world and overcoming the prodigious former Olympic champion in Cardiff? Cameron offers a cautious response.

"I've always said it's going to be a hard night for Joseph. He's not fighting in New Zealand, so if it goes the distance, he's up against it all in all aspects."

Eventually, the heart rules out.

"Can he win this fight? Of course he can, but he has to dig deep and find everything that he can, and everything has to peak on that night.

"He's up against it, but I'm not going to rule him out, as long as he has a good fight plan, uses the ring well and doesn't stay in front of [Joshua].

"Like I always say to young fighters, it's a simple sport. You do the basics right and the smartest person wins the fight, not the guys with the biggest muscles and best abs.

"Unless you get caught by a bloody, big sledgehammer left-hook from David Tua."