Boxing promoters tend to tag their talent with silly names like The Brown Bomber (Joe Louis), Iron Mike (Tyson), The Real Deal (Evander Hollyfield), and perhaps the silliest, Tuaman, (New Zealand’s David Tua). Boxing is a jarring sport – our current brown hope, Joseph Parker, is about to find out just how jarring.
Parker does not have a big punch. Although officially sixth in line for a shot at the title he lacks both the punching power and defensive ability needed to perform at the top level. In my view he should not be put in the ring with the current (real) extremely powerful world champion, Anthony Joshua.
Parker is the latest New Zealand heavyweight being readied for the big money fight.
Years earlier, David Tua, who had such a powerful punch he could (with a lot of luck) have won a world crown. The hype then was understandable. But despite the constant claims of his manager/coach that Tua was becoming a more rounded boxer and that he had yet to put his ‘game together,’ Tua was unable to change his boxing style. This was painfully demonstrated when he fought Lennox Lewis for the world title and was outclassed in a one-sided contest.
The Parker -Joshua fight is not a hundred metre sprint or shot-put competition where failure means no more than going home to bed feeling disappointed; a mismatch at this level could mean spending the night in hospital in a coma, or worse.
Hype often vanishes in that cruel leveller – the ring. If Parker lasts three rounds I’ll be amazed. If he goes the distance I doubt if he will be fit to box again. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat my hat.