Parker v Chisora: Kiwi heavyweight hope dismisses risk in back-to-back fights

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker isn't fazed by his quick turnaround to fight Briton Dereck Chisora this weekend in Manchester.

In his last outing, the former WBO world champion dismissed local rival Junior Fa in a 12-round unanimous decision battle at Auckland's Spark Arena.

With COVID-19 close many doors in international sport, the homegrown battle was necessary to keep Parker's career alive, but just nine weeks - and a coaching change - later, he will step back into the ring to again push his claims for higher honours.

Early in his career, back-to-back fights were a feature of Parker's fight schedule, but last time he attempted anything like this, it didn't end well, as he lost his world title to Anthony Joshua and then again to Dillian Whyte in quick succession in March and July 2018.

Since breaking into the bigtime, his average turnaround has been 4-6 months between fights. Joshua-Whyte were 17 weeks apart, the shortest since he captured the WBO title against Andy Ruiz in December 2016.

But before that, Parker would fight every couple of months and that victory over Ruiz came only 10 weeks after he knocked out German Alexander Dimitrenko in three rounds.

"I feel like it's good to have momentum," he says. "As a fighter, when you're training all you want to do is fight.

"I feel when you're having back-to-back training camps and fights, you're only going to get better and gain more experience, and improve your skill and technique.

"This will be more beneficial to finish a fight and then onto the next one." 

Before Fa, Parker had been idle for almost an entire year, so burnout probably shouldn't be a factor against Chisora.

But after switching from longtime trainer Kevin Barry to UK-based Andy Lee, he's had to adjust to different routines and surroundings - from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the more subdued environment of Dublin and Morecombe.

"When I met Andy for the first time and got to work... he started picking up a few things that I believe I was doing wrong and things that weren't flowing well," says Parker.

"He's not trying to change my whole style, because of the time we have - about 6-7 weeks together - but he just added a few things, corrected a few things and I feel he's made a big change in what I'm bringing out for this next fight."

Parker promises that technical approach will translate into more knockout power.

"When you're punching a certain way and you add technique, I feel like I'm punching a lot harder now.

"There's only one way to find out. I've felt great in the gym, I've felt great in all the training we've done - the most important part is making it happen and putting on a display on May 1."

Join us at 8am Sunday for live updates of the Parker v Chisora fight card