Counting down to the biggest fight of Joseph Parker's career when he meets Carlos Takam in Auckland tomorrow night. Trainer Kevin Barry has said that Carlos is a fighter 2 current world champs haven't fought nor anyone of his calibre. He says it is a mandatory fight most hopefuls would wish to avoid. Going on Takam's record and viewing some of his previous fights Kevin Barry is most likely right. Takam is a heavily built, heavy hitter who likes to be in front of his opponent going forward and throws a mean uppercut.
Reflecting on the last 3 years Parker has not only physically changed body wise, he is also a more accomplished and disciplined boxer. Most recently he has looked to dominate from the bell, a sure sign of confidence. I hope we see that confidence tomorrow night. Larry Holmes was interviewed about the fight, spoke of meeting Parker twice and how impressed he was with the young boxer's character and skill set. He advised that Parker needed to be dominating with that jab in this fight. Of course that is correct and no doubt the ideal, but it will be no surprise seeing Parker standing square punching and throwing the upper cut early so as to not only show dominance but make it difficult for Takam to adjust from a possible expectation that Parker would jab from the outset.
The chances are that Parker may get tagged big time, he hasn't been in with a big puncher who is in his prime before. Takam has the shots and the ability to absorb punishment, though his 10 round TKO against Povetkin showed him not to be invinicible. I think Parker will take that knowledge into the fight with him being confident that he can do the same to Takam, but earlier in the fight.
This fight is likely to be the premier heavy weight NZ fight of the current era, and perhaps before. This fight has worldwide attention. Parker is not only trained to the minute but he has 3 years of Kevin Barry discipline behind him, the relaxation and quick analysis. He has the chance to win well and will look to take it because he and his camp are single minded about where they want to go.
It will be a special night for me because the elder of the Samoan side of the family will visit to watch the fight, having flown back from Samoa tonight, an ex boxer himself and has for many years been an esteemed Matai whose wife, my motherinlaw is from a chiefly line in the same village as the family of Parker originate. Parker doesn't need luck, probably like me and most others doesn't think about it so much but if support equals luck he is in surplus all because of his own training and mental discipline. May the best man win.