Wladimir Klitschko getting help in sparring from Joseph Parker
By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated #10 WBA heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (13-0, 11 KOs) has been helping out IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 KOs) with his sparring to get him ready for his fight against unbeaten #2 WBA, #3 WBO, #5 IBF Bryant Jennings (19-0, 10 KOs) on April 25th at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Wladimir, 39, is really impressed with the talent of the 23-year-old 6’4” Parker, and he sees him as a fighter with a lot of potential just as he with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. Those two fighters previously helped Wladimir with sparring. Deontay is now the WBC heavyweight champion. Wladimir’s late great trainer Emanuel Steward predicted that Wilder would one day capture a world title, and sure enough that’s what has happened.
Wladimir has sparred at least 12 rounds with Parker, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Wladimir came away from the sparring sessions very impressed with Parker’s talent.
At this point it’s impossible to say whether Parker will ever be a good heavyweight. He’s really easy to hit, and it could be only a matter of time before Parker runs into a talented contender with power that he can’t handle.
“He’s extremely talented,” Klitschko told ESPN.com. “He’s strong but he is very different from Anthony Joshua even though they are both very determined and very tough. I see myself in Joseph in a certain way. I can’t say anything negative. I don’t know how the guy will develop but he has the potential. Deontay is a champion now. Anthony Joshua is getting better. They’re all in the process of developing and they still have things they have to go through.”
Wladimir is really pouring on the compliments on Parker. Instead of smothering Parker with compliments, Wladimir should be concerned about how he’s going to do against the talented Bryant Jennings on April 25th, because Jennings has the kind of power, speed and talent that can give Wladimir fits.
I honestly don’t know how much Parker can help Wladimir prepare for a fighter as good as Jennings. Parker has a much different style of fighting than Jennings, and I don’t see him having a similar enough fighting style for it to help Wladimir against the long-armed, combination throwing Jennings. I think Parker would have been good to help Wladimir for his fights against Corrie Sanders and Mariuz Wach, but definitely not Jennings. It’s impossible for Parker to copy Jennings’ fighting style because he’s so different.
You can bet that Jennings has spotted a lot of flaws in Wladimir’s fighting style, and he’ll be coming after the Ukrainian star on April 25th. Jennings likely realizes for him to beat Wladimir, he’s going to need to put a lot of pressure on him for the entire fight. Wladimir wilts under pressure and I could see Jennings getting a knockout if he puts a lot of pressure on Wladimir.
Wladimir had chin problems earlier in his career, and I suspect that those problems are still there if he gets caught with a big enough shot. Jennings will definitely be looking to put a lot of pressure on Wladimir to wear him down like Ross Puritty did.
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