Boxing: Joseph Parker's camp left unsatisfied, underwhelmed despite comeback victory over Jack Massey

Joseph Parker's trainer Andy Lee is hopeful his performance in Manchester on Sunday (NZ time) will attract a big name next - because it was so poor. 

Parker made tough work of his win over first-time heavyweight Jack Massey - leaving Lee less than impressed.

Lee attributed the lacklustre performance to "terrible" refereeing, and a "self-conscious" Parker still fighting demons from his last fight in the AO Arena. 

In the eyes of Parker's young daughters, dad's performance is judged on the state of his face at the end of it. 

Joseph Parker against Jack Massey.
Joseph Parker against Jack Massey. Photo credit: Getty Images

"They look at my face and say 'daddy, your eye is all good, not like last time,'" Parker joked.

His coach isn't so easily impressed, though. Back at the same arena and in the same dressing room as his September knockout by Joe Joyce.

Parker wasn't just staring down Massey - he was staring down redemption.

"[There was] a lot of old ghosts being revisited coming back here," said Lee.

Despite Parker landing some early big hits, Massey clung on. And soon enough - those old ghosts were howling. 

"You do your best, but we're all human, and sometimes you do drift," said Parker. "I was just reminded every time in between rounds, don't get bored of it, use your jab.

"I did my best to listen."

The 31-year-old was the heavy favourite - and the heavier fighter with 14 kilograms on Massey - a career cruiserweight. 

"He was getting self-conscious," added Lee. "In his mind, he should be getting Jack Massey out of there, and he's worried about how he's looking."

Parker was awarded the win unanimously, but it wasn't pretty. A bout that featured more holding than fighting.

"The referee was inexperienced," Lee continued. "The ref was terrible.

"[Massey] holded all night, held Joe all night, broke Joe's rhythm. The ref only gave him one warning and it was long overdue." 

A win is good for Parker, but this fight was always about more than a win. Parker wanted to put on a big show, chasing a bigger name and a bigger contest next. 

"Maybe someone will fight him now because he didn't look that good," added Lee.

Underwhelming on the undercard, it's going to be a hard fought journey - back to the top.