Parker v Winters: American Shawndell Winters eyes upset victory over Joseph Parker

American boxer Shawndell Winters feels his rough upbringing will serve him in good stead when he faces Kiwi Joseph Parker in the biggest bout of his career.  

The two heavyweights will square off at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Dallas, on Sunday (NZ time). 

Winters is relatively unknown in the heavyweight division, having turned professional only five years ago, and has gone onto fight 13 times for 11 victories. 

While Parker will be Winters' biggest test inside the ring, it is nothing compared to the tough challenges he's previously faced outside it. 

"This fight is relative to life for me," said Winters. "I've fought tougher opponents just in everyday life.

"You find a lot of things if you're not focused, and at the time I wasn't focused.

"I came up on the backside of the desert, if you will. No one gave me anything - that's why I'm appreciative of this opportunity.

"Coming up in Chicago, I was always the smallest guy that ran with the guys that I was with. But I never got bullied, I never took the short end of the stick and that says a lot about myself as well."

After a family member got him into boxing, Winters went onto have 50 amateur fights, before beginning his professional career in the cruiserweight division.

After a couple of losses, he stepped up to heavyweight where he's recorded wins against Oleksandr Teslenko and Sergiej Werwejko - fights he was expected to lose. 

The heavyweight division has seen some big upsets over the last year, including Andy Ruiz Jnr's win over Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury's recent stoppage over Deontay Wilder. 

Winters is hopeful of adding an upset win over Parker to that list.

Parker v Winters: American Shawndell Winters eyes upset victory over Joseph Parker

"He's a good fighter, he's pretty durable, he's been tested, he's fought at the world-class level for a bit, so that says a lot about him.

"In this sport, if history has taught us anything, it's that anybody can be hit and anybody can be hurt and anybody can be beat.

"I've got two losses, as good as I think I am, I have two losses, so anyone can be beat. 

"I' m confident because I've been through a lot and everything that I am has been forged in fire.

"Back in the day, it was about the best fighting the best. It wasn't about being protected… you just get in there and put your best against another man's best, and you live with the results."

Winters will be supported at the arena with his five and two daughters and five sons cheering him on. 

The bout will be Parker's first fight since last June, where he earned a TKO victory over Alex Leapai in Providence.

Join us on Sunday for live updates of the Joseph Parker v Shawndell Winters heavyweight fight