New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has split with long-time trainer Kevin Barry by mutual consent.
The pair met on Thursday to review Parker's unanimous points victory over Junior Fa at Auckland's Spark Arena and concluded that now was the right time for a change, after eight years together.
"Without Kevin, I wouldn't be where I am today," Parker says. "Together, we made it to the very top and Kevin was with me every step of the way, guiding my progress inside and outside of the ring.
"So it is with genuine sadness that I confirm our partnership has come to an end, but the time just feels right.
"It's fitting that we closed this chapter of my career with a win in front of a great home crowd in Auckland and with bigger things just on the horizon.
"I know Kevin will always be in my corner."
The 29-year-old sees Barry as a father figure and lived in his Las Vegas home, while the pair prepared for any upcoming fights.
The duo have achieved remarkable success, since the partnership began with a victory over Brice Ritani-Coe in Irving, California in May 2013.
Parker became the first Kiwi to win the WBO world heavyweight belt, beating Andy Ruiz Jr in 2016 and Barry is proud of their time together.
"I have been in New Zealand for five months now, away from my family and my other fighters," Barry says. "I have three guys fighting for world titles this year, and have responsibilities with them and a few new guys.
"It's not possible for me to stay in New Zealand any longer and for Joe, he has a wife and three young girls in New Zealand, and he wishes to spend more time here.
"I totally understand this, and will always be in his corner and support him. We have always had a very close bond and I want nothing but the best for him.
"We have achieved so much together. It has been one heck of an amazing journey."
Parker's manager, David Higgins, confirms the split was by mutual agreement.
"With Kevin based in Las Vegas and Joseph keen to spend more time in New Zealand - and not to mention the restrictions on travel created by COVID-19 - this was a natural time for one of New Zealand's most successful sporting partnerships to come to a close," Higgins says.
"I'd personally like to pay tribute to Kevin. He worked tirelessly to make sure Joseph capitalised on his natural talent and the results have been there for all to see.
"Kevin's place in history as New Zealand's finest boxing trainer is well and truly secure."
But Auckland native's progress has stalled since claiming the world title, with his greatest attribute - his hand speed - diminishing.
A decision will have to be made quickly on a new trainer, with Parker in line to be back in the ring against Englishmen Dereck Chisora in London as early as May.