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Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 9
Joseph Parker has caught the eye of
the former heavyweight champion,
who hopes to be ringside for a fight
in New Zealand.
A good nickname is essential
in boxing. There have been many
memorable monikers through the
years, some better than others, such
as ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, Thomas ‘The
Hitman’ Hearns, Oscar ‘The Golden
Boy’ De La Hoya, and ‘Mar vellous’
Mar vin Hagler.
Curiously, a colourful and catchy
pseudonym has been missing from
the early stages of Joseph Parker’s
career. If Evander Holyfield has
any influence, it might be ‘The
New Deal’. That is Holyfield, the
only four-time world heavyweight
champion who goes by the nickname
‘The Real Deal’.
Holyfield anointed Parker ‘The
New Deal’ after witnessing him
maintain his unbeaten record (16
wins, 14 knockouts) by disposing of
the imposing Kali Meehan inside
three rounds last week.
He has become such a big fan he
is hoping to be ringside for one of
Parker’s upcoming fights. Duco
Events has invited Holyfield to New
Zealand and the 53-year-old is eager
“If they invite me, I’m sure I will
come,” Holyfield said down the
phone line from Atlanta, Georgia.
“S hoot, he’s the real deal. I like to see
people who know how to fight and
he knows how to fight.
“He’s a very skilful big guy and
he’s got the bang. He’s got good
punching power and, because he’s
got damn quick hands, he throws a
lot of punches.
“After all the people I’ve seen, I’ve
seen all the recent fights, and I think
he looks better to me than anybody
I’ve seen. ”
Duco has been successful in luring
big-name boxers Downunder in
the past, with Sugar Ray Leonard
making a promotional visit in the
lead-up to the 2009 David Tua-
Shane Cameron bout. He enjoyed
his time here so much that he
returned the following year.
“ We’d love to have Evander
Holyfield here,” says Duco director
David Higgins. “ He’s one of the
all-time greats in boxing and was
involved in some of the most
memorable fights in history.
“ It will be wonderful to have him
here and we’re pleased to hear he has
a favourable view of Joseph and New
Zealand, and hopefully we can make
it happen. ”
Once the glamour division, the
past 15 years has seen heavyweight
boxing stuck in decline, with many
fans ranking Holyfield’s two fights
against Lennox Lewis in the late-
1990s as the sport’s last meaningful
Holyfield’s infamous Bite Fight
against Tyson in 1997 gained
notoriety as one of the most bizarre
bouts in history, but that level of
scandal and intrigue and the huge
worldwide audiences it attracted,
along with much of the sport ’s
credibility, disappeared long ago.
Fans are crying out for a fighter to
emerge with the speed, power and
charisma needed to give the division
some spark and counter the dour
personalities and sluggish styles of
the likes of current heavyweight
champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Holyfield believes Parker has
the potential to lead in a new era
of heavyweights possessing those
qualities and the skill and endurance
to give the division the shake-up it
“That ’s what the world is looking
for in heavyweights these days,” he
says. “Someone who can box, and
not try to grab and hold.
“ By the end of this year, the new
guys, they ’re coming in and taking
over. With him and Anthony Joshua
and WBC champion Deontay
Wilder, they throw punches. They ’re
going to change a lot of things once
Klitschko gets out of there.
“They are not trying to hold you,
they ’re trying to knock you out. And
that ’s what the people are looking
for, they’re looking for action.
“They want to see real boxing.
None of the current guys, they ain’t
going to be able to hang with them.
They may have the strength but they
don’t have the energy.”
Holyfield already has a link
with the Parker camp, having
controversially been disqualified
from his semifinal against Kevin
Barry — now Parker’s trainer and
mentor — at the 1984 Los Angeles
“Our relationship is grand.
He realised that I didn’t hit him
with a cheap shot but it wasn’t
his call, it was the referee’s call.
And we all suffered from that. He
raised my hand in a show of true
sportsmanship, so I’ve never had a
problem with Kevin whatsoever.”
What separates Parker from the
rest, Holyfield says, is the relentless
variation in his punch selection
and his agility. He also dismisses
concerns over the 23-year-old’s
height (1.93m) and is backing him
to match it with the biggest and
tallest fighters around.
“At six-four, you can hit anybody.
Joseph’s got the movement and quick
hands but most guys are not going to
be as agile as he is.
“This guy can punch from different
“ When he steps a half-step in,
when he gets close, he throws good
short punches as well. That ’s what
people don’t realise. When a person
can knock you out from long-range,
then they step in and their short
punches can knock you out, too.
They ain’t got no defence for that.
That ’s what he do.”
As for areas for improvement,
Holyfield says there are not many.
“I don’t see anything wrong with
him. If only you could get the head
down a little bit, his chin’s too
straight up. It’s little things. But he
takes his time and gets his hands
up. He don’t get hit by everything,
which is a sign of a good fighter.”
Holyfield is convinced it is only
a matter of time before Parker gets
a chance to fight for the world
“ He’s going to get the title shot.
It’s impossible that he not be given
a title shot. When nobody can stand
there with you.
“ If Klitschko’s going to give him
a shot or not, he’s going to retire.
But at some point in time the belt ’s
going to be surrendered and he
should get an opportunity. He got
Adding to his appeal, Holyfield is
further impressed by Parker’s down-
to-earth personality and sees a lot of
himself in the way he deals with the
limelight and attention.
“ He kind of reminds me of myself,
real humble, and he handles himself
very well. It’s good that a person can
be a good fighter and look decent
and not be cocky. He has a way that
shows ‘I have something that I do
real well and I enjoy doing it ’, and
that ’s what he expresses.”
Parker’s next fight is on December
5 in Hamilton before he heads to
Samoa for the Rumble in Paradise
bout in January.
If he maintains his upward
trajectory the title shot will
inevitably come his way and a win
there would vindicate Holyfield’s
support and cement his status as The
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Holyfield: The New Deal’s
got the goods
Pupils of Richie McCaw ’s old high
school have showed their support
for the All Blacks in a slick video
featuring an aerial shot of the entire
school forming the words Go Richie.
The words were formed by pupils
on Otago Boys’ High School’s field
to support the old boy and All Blacks
captain, as his team heads into the
Rugby World Cup semi-finals this
The video, shot from the air, shows
the boys entering into, standing, and
breaking out of formation, and was
shared on the 152-year-old school’s
Facebook page today.
McCaw began as a boarder at
Otago Boys’ High School in 1994,
before moving to Christchurch to
study at Lincoln University.
In his last year at the school,
McCaw was head boy, and runner up
dux, as well as playing in the
Other All Blacks old boys include
Wyatt Crockett and Byron Kelleher.
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Richie’s old school shows suppor t
RUGBY WORLD CUP
The indicators are grim but New
Zealand are confident they can secure
an Olympic spot with their last chance
in Stratford tomorrow.
The world No 7 Black Sticks
must beat Australia, the world’s top
ranked team, to win the Oceania Cup,
and nail a spot in the field for Rio next
True, they have beaten Australia this
year, in a shootout to win the Azlan
Shah Cup in Malaysia in April, but
setting aside the overall win-loss record
against Australia they just focus on the
That is the only win in seven
internationals between the trans-
They have a final preparatory game
against Fiji today before the final.
Australia won a tight round robin game
3-1 on Thursday, three of the four goals
coming in the last nine minutes.
“ We have a lot to gain from the game
and that ’s how we will approach it,”
coach Colin Batch said of today ’s game,
but he might just as well have been
talking about the final.
New Zealand last missed an Olympics
in Sydney in 2000.
Classy midfielder Ryan Archibald is
the only sur vivor from that campaign
and on his final Olympic trail this
A New Zealand loss tomorrow “would
be a real setback for men’s hockey,” he
“A lot of that comes down to funding
that will be missed.
“If you don’t have funding you can’t
play games or do tours and develop
The women’s Black Sticks play
Australia, a clash between the fourth
and second-ranked teams, both today
and again in the final tomorrow.
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks men rally
for last shot at Rio
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