Joseph Parker’s new trainer Andy Lee has sent a message to the heavyweight division, believing they have 50 per cent more improvement in their blossoming partnership.
Parker showed the benefits of a full training camp with Lee as he stormed to an impressive unanimous points win over Britain’s Derek Chisora in Manchester on Sunday.
More power was on display as Parker mixed up his combinations, his movement was good, and there was a return of the speed that was the trademark of his rise to be WBO champion before a flat three years.
Parker’s rejuvenated form has turned heads. His victory over Chisora and drawn acclaim and sparked plenty of positive chatter as title talk starts to build.
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But Lee believes there is much more to come.
“There’s still a lot to improve on, that’s exciting,” Lee said as he and Parker soaked up their second win, a far more convincing performance than May’s struggling decision over Chisora at the same venue.
“I would say we are about 50 per cent in our journey, there’s still a lot more to come.”
Parker feels as if he’s reborn as the benefits of his decision to split from long-term trainer Kevin Barry and freshen his game under Lee start to seed.
“That’s what I needed, and I’m a lot more excited about what’s to come,” Parker said of how things are developing with Lee.
“I just want to keep busy now, keep fighting.”
Parker, 29, certainly impressed one of the men who matters most in his career, UK promoter Eddie Hearn.
Parker has been on Hearn’s books since mid-2019, but the Kiwi has produced some lacklustre wins, belying his abilities.
Hearn senses a change in the 29-year-old who is determined to make a second push for a world title with his career at 30-2.
Asked if this was the best he had seen Parker, Hearn didn’t hesitate: “I think so. Even when he fought AJ (Anthony Joshua), he didn’t kind of have that belief.
“You have got to believe in yourself. Tyson Fury is probably the best example of that in the division, he truly believes in his ability and himself.
“Now Joseph is believing in himself and with that confidence, he’s a much better fighter and a more spiteful fighter.”
In looking at possible options moving forward for Parker, Hearn’s DAZN outfit tweeted a teaser featuring unbeaten Cuban Frank Sanchez, Mexican foe and former world champion Andy Ruiz Jr, and former WBC title holder Deontay Wilder.
Hearn also continued to talk up a possible IBF eliminator with Croatian Filip Hrgovic.
”I like the Hrgovic fight, I think that’s a really good fight with the winner getting a chance to fight the winner of AJ and Usyk,” Hearn said.
“There’s Wilder, a Andy Ruiz rematch, Ortiz … there are loads of fights for Joseph Parker and he has put himself right back in the mix.”
Parker is remaining in Britain with his family for the Christmas-New Year period, hoping his next fight can be sorted out.
Parker’s New Zealand manager David Higgins attended the Manchester fight and will be involved in those discussions.
If that is done quickly, it’s likely Parker will stay in the UK to continue his training with Lee, immersed in the wider Fury clan, living and breathing boxing.