Boxing: Joseph Parker out to make personal sacrifices pay off in comeback bout against Jack Massey

Kiwi Joseph Parker is hoping to see his personal sacrifices pay off in full when he steps into the ring in his comeback bout against Jack Massey on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Parker, 31, squares off against Brit Massey in Manchester this weekend, in his return to the heavyweight ranks for the first time since losing to Joe Joyce in September.

Nothing but a convincing win will do for the Kiwi, who now has three defeats on his CV, if he wants to ever contend for another heavyweight title after losing his WBO belt to Anthony Joshua in 2018.

Joseph Parker and Jack Massey.
Joseph Parker and Jack Massey. Photo credit: Supplied

He'll be up against a fighter making his heavyweight debut in Massey, who's stepping up a weight class after a 20-1 record fighting as a cruiserweight.

Up against an opponent who'll almost certainly be smaller and faster than what he's used to, Parker himself will be entering the ring lighter after tipping the scales at a career-high in his loss to Joyce.

And after his training camp saw Parker spend the festive period away from his family, Parker asserts his personal sacrifices will pay off on Sunday. 

"I've been putting in some great work with [trainer] Andy Lee," Parker said. "I've been working very hard.

"I've made a lot of sacrifices, being away from home for Christmas and new year. But these sacrifices are going to make it worth it.

"What we've been seeing in the gym and sparring has been very good, if I can execute the plan and go out there and have some fun while doing so, everything's going to come.

"I'm going to go out there and be dominant and show him what a real heavyweight can do."

Despite any perceived advantage over his opponent, Parker is refusing to take Massey lightly.

The 29-year-old hasn't been handed any favours in his step up to the heavyweight division, fighting one of few active fighters to have held a world title.

Parker, though, outlines that while he isn't taking his opponent lightly, he won't hold anything back.

"I met Jack once, when he came up to Tyson's [Fury] gym for sparring," said Parker.

"We know how tough he is. Now that he's stepped up into the heavyweight division, he's got a lot of confidence in himself, his team has a lot of confidence.

"I'm going to give him a very warm welcome - punching his face.

"I haven't overlooked him, I haven't underestimated Jack. I'm treating Jack like he's the champion of the world. 

"Firstly [I'm going to] beat up Jack on Saturday night. There's a lot of fights out there, but first thing's first, I'm going to take care of Jack."

Watch Parker v Massey live on free-to-air on Three and ThreeNow, or join Newshub for live updates from 7am Sunday