Joseph Parker (24-2-0, 18KO) vs Alexander Flores (17-1-1, 15KO)
12 Round Heavyweight Bout
It has been a rough road for former WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in 2018.
In April, Parker took his belt on the road to Cardiff to challenge Anthony Joshua only to suffer a loss on the cards that in his own honest assessment, he felt he gave away. That loss was followed by a battle with Dillian Whyte where Parker was put down twice but also sent Whyte to the canvas in the final round. Whyte was able to get to his feet to hold on to beat Parker by unanimous decision.
Parker returns home to his native New Zealand Saturday with the goal of beginning the rebuilding process of being a championship contender.
“I’ve given myself until the end of 2019. That’s when I want to be back fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world,” Parker said.
While he is on his way back Parker intends on adding an element he has never had, a mean streak. Parker has always been known as the consummate nice guy and gentleman of boxing, he and his team intend on adding a bit of an edge from this point forward, along with more power.
“It’s true, in this camp I’ve seen Joseph wrestle guys to ground, hit them low, hit them on the hip. Obviously, you can’t overdo it because the sparring partners haven’t been paid to be treated that way, but Joseph understands now that if he is to continue competing at the elite level it’s a part of his game he can’t neglect.”. Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said.
As to adding power to Parker’s arsenal Barry says, “Normally with fighters I’ve had in the past I’m trying to find ways to improve their hand speed. With Joe I have no such worries, in fact I’m asking him to slow down his hands a touch, so we can generate more heat on his punches.”
Standing in the way of the Kiwi fighter, will be Mexican-American Alexander Flores who is signed to Roy Jones Jr. Boxing and comes in with 15 knockouts in his 18 fights. Flores believes that he is being underestimated and overlooked in this matchup, and thinks that the lack of film available from any of his previous fights will make it hard for Parker and his team to prepare for him.
Flores has been very inactive, only two fights in the past three years, but he attributes this to a poor promotion team which is what led him to Roy Jones Jr. Boxing. His last fight was in June, an eight rounder in Tijuana, Mexico that ended in a first round stoppage.
Flores is expecting to deliver a knockout on Saturday.
“I feel like he thinks I’m a guy that he’ll walk through but it’s not going to happen, it’s going to be a lot harder than he thinks. Parker is flawed, I’ll knock him out.”
While Flores has been in New Zealand, he has become a big fan of coffee, which provided Parker with his response to Flores and his knockout prediction.
“After I knock him out I’ll buy him a coffee.” Parker said.