Boxing: Joseph Parker to link with Irish trainer Andy Lee, cousin of Tyson Fury

Joseph Parker is heading to the UK on Wednesday to work with his new trainer, former WBO middleweight champion, Andy Lee.

Kiwi Parker cut ties with long-time trainer Kevin Barry last week following his decision win over Junior Fa, at Auckland's Spark Arena.

Despite being linked to Auckland's famed City Kickboxing gym and Brit Ben Davison, Parker and his team have opted for the relatively unknown Lee. 

Andy Lee
Andy Lee Photo credit: Getty

Newshub understands the Irishman came on the recommendation of current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who is Lee's second cousin.

Lee finished his career in 2017 with a 35-3-1 record across 11 years, losing to Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012 and current WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.

Newshub understands Lee has been employed on a trial basis, as Parker readies himself for a fight with fellow heavyweight contender, Derek Chisora, later this year. 

Under Barry, Parker won 26 from 28 fights, lifting the WBO heavyweight title in 2016 with a decision win over Andy Ruiz in Auckland.

The 29-year-old had a shot at unifying his WBO strap with the WBA and IBF in 2018, but lost a decision to Brit Anthony Joshua in Cardiff.

Parker has slowly rebuilt his heavyweight stock in the last three years, winning four straight bouts and is now a step away from another world title shot.

Manager David Higgins tells Newshub the decision to go with Lee was Parker's to make, and after a discussion with Fury, he made the call quickly.

"Joe took a bit of advice around his decision and he's appointed Andy Lee on a trial basis for his next fight," Higgins says.

"Joe respects Tyson's [Fury] opinion - they are friends and they communicate quite regularly so I'm sure that played a role.

"Andy was in Tyson Fury's corner against Deontay Wilder and I believe Tyson rates Andy very highly.

"Andy is young and hungry and keen to make a name for himself as a trainer. He will give 100 percent of his focus on Joe. He's stepped up for this opportunity and we hope it works out."

Ranked 3rd in the WBO, a win over Chisora could earn the Aucklander a title eliminator at the end of the year.

Parker is ranked the 10th best heavyweight by renowned boxing publication Ring Magazine, while he is 6th in the IBF and 7th in the WBC.