Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi camp bans handshakes in big fight build-up

Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker in action. Photo credit: Photosport

Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has reportedly stopped shaking hands, as his camp prepares the WBO world champion for the biggest fight of his career.

Parker is in London, putting the finishing touches to his training for next week's showdown against Briton Anthony Joshua at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

The mouthwatering match-up is an opportunity for one of these unbeaten fighters to unify the three major heavyweight titles, with Joshua currently holding the WBA and IBF belts.

Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi camp bans handshakes in big fight build-up

Understandably, Parker's handers are taking no chances with his health and Stuff reports he has forsaken the traditional greeting for a more germ-free fist-bump.

"We're wrapping him up in cotton wool, making him wear gloves, not letting him shake hands with people," trainer Kevin Barry told Stuff. "He's doing the knuckles with everyone.

"I don't want any germs or bugs being passed around."

Parker has only recently moved from his Las Vegas training base to England and is wrapping up warm against the freezing temperatures.

He's not taking chances with his meals either. While he eats breakfast in the hotel restaurant, lunch and dinner are being brought in specially from an outside caterer.

"We have stayed at this hotel four times now," Barry told Stuff. "I think you can be a little over-paranoid, but we are not doing anything that is risky at all."

Join us for our live updates of the Parker vs Joshua fight on April 1.