Boxing: Joseph Parker must drop 'nice guy' image - Peter Fury

Boxing trainer Peter Fury believes Joseph Parker must drop his 'nice guy' image, if he wants to compete with the best in the heavyweight division again.

The Kiwi will return to the ring on December 15 at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena, against an opponent yet to be named.

Parker has suffered back-to-back defeats in his last two fights, losing his WBO belt to Anthony Joshua in April and landing on the wrong end of another decision against Dillian Whyte in July.

The 26-year-old has admitted he needs a dominant display in December and win by knockout, which he has failed to do in his last five fights, including one against Fury's son, Hughie, in Manchester last year, which Parker won with a majority decision.

While the former WBO champion is preparing to face a likely low-ranked opponent, Hughie Fury is two weeks out from his fight against Kubrat Pulev in an IBF final eliminator on October 28 (NZ time).

A win for Fury would be regarded as the best of his career and could set up a world championship shot with Joshua next year.

Hughie and Peter Fury.
Hughie and Peter Fury. Photo credit: Reuters

If Parker wants to put himself back in that position, Peter Fury thinks the Kiwis' attitude has to change.

"Parker has to drop the ‘nice guy’ image," Fury told PSB Sports.

"He's got all the skills, he's a very nice young man and I think Parker has to get that mean streak in him.

"Once he does that, I think he can come back. He's young and he can do big things."

Parker is determined to climb back to the top, and fight the likes of Joshua and Whyte again in an attempt to make New Zealand and Samoa proud.

"There are lots of athletes or teams that go through ups or downs,” he told Newshub. "They're always going to have support and there will be those who doubt them.

"We're trying to achieve this to make New Zealand and Samoa proud, and we want to be two-time world champion like the greats.

"We're trying to represent and hopefully everyone can get on board.

"We haven't had a knockout in a while, but I've been competing at the top level, so that’s good for us. Hopefully, we can lock in an opponent who will bring a big challenge and who wants to fight."