Matured Joseph Parker ready to take back his boxing heavyweight crown

A matured Joseph Parker is ready to take his career to the next level and that's a scary proposition for his fellow heavyweight title contenders.

The former WBO champion had a disruptive 2019, with injury and lack of viable opponents hindering his quest to climb back to the top of boxing's mountain. 

Parker spent the early part of the year chasing a fight with brash Brit Dereck Chisora, which hit roadblock after roadblock. 

The Kiwi then inked a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing, before stopping Australian Alex Leapai in June. 

Chisora was back on the table for an October fight, but a spider bite ruled Parker out and Chisora decimated Welshman David Price who stepped in on short notice. 

Parker had lobbied Hearn to fight on the Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jnr rematch in Saudi Arabia in December, but nothing eventuated. 

Speaking to Newshub a frustrated Parker wants to put a messy 2019 behind him and show the boxing world he is ready to reclaim former glory.

"I'll fight anyone," Parker said.

"I'm at the stage now where I don't care who I fight - I know I can beat everyone. 

"Now that I'm taking my career a lot more seriously than I did in the past, I'll beat anyone." 

Parker admitted that in the past, his motivation may have been skewed by outside voices, but those days are behind him.

The 27-year-old is desperate to prove that his new focused mindset is more than positive talk. 

"I'm eager to train, I'm eager to keep in shape, eager to improve, get better, get more power, and I know now I'm doing these things that I'll beat anyone. I can feel it.

"Before it used to be for my dad, my coach, country - Samoa, New Zealand. But now I'm doing it for me. 

"I want to do it now. Before I did want to do it, but a lot of other people were wanting me to achieve this and that in boxing, but now I've taken it on myself that I want to do it now. 

"It's been a very slow year. one of the slowest years. I want to prove a point next year. I want to keep busy. next year.

"I want three or four fights a year because when I'm busy I'm better," he told Newshub.  

Parker's eagerness to reinvent himself comes at a time when heavyweight boxing is as strong as ever. Contenders are lining up for the four major titles, three of which are held by Mexican American Ruiz - who Parker beat in 2016.

Former champion Joshua has a chance to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO titles next month while WBC champion Deontay Wilder fights Luiz Ortiz next weekend. 

And with the likes of Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Daniel Dubois, Kubrat Pulev and Chisora all circling, Parker must make an impact in his next fight or he could face another 12 months in the heavyweight wilderness.

But don't expect Parker to spend the next decade as a former champion who acts as a division gatekeeper.

Parker wants out of the sport before he hits his mid-30's.

"I've given myself another three or four years and then I'm out. 

But in that time, I know I can be a two-time world champion or unified champion. "

"I need to put in a devastating performance in the ring. 

"I need to knock people out and I need to make a statement. 

"Everyone I fight I need to smash, simple as that. 

"You can't go in there and box and move and win on points - you've got to look good doing it. and if that means I have to throw a lot of punches and knock them out and that's what I'll do.  


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