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Joseph Parker focused on beating Carlos Takam

parkerBy Scott Gilfoid: 24-year-old Joseph Parker (18-0, 16 KOs) isn’t going to be turned away in his goal of becoming the IBF mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. This is #4 IBF Parker’s chance to make some life changing money by earning the title shot against the 6’6” Joshua this year.

Parker is facing the hard hitting #3 IBF Carlos Takam (33-2-1, 25 KOs) this Saturday night on May 21 in an IBF title eliminator at the Vodafone Events Centre, in Manukau City, New Zealand.

Parker wants to turn back the 35-year-old Takam, but it’s a lot easier said than done because he’s such a big step up from the guys that he’s been facing during his career. I don’t think Parker has been brought along too slowly because he’s still a young guy.

I just think Parker isn’t ready for someone in Takam’s class right now. Fighters normally go from fighting C-level opposition to fighting B-level opposition before making the leap to facing the A-level guys.

In Parker’s case, he’s going from C-level to A-level overnight by fighting Takam. Some fighters can do this without stumbling, but it’s rare. Usually a fighter will struggle when they get put in with high level fighters after facing nothing but fodder.

“A win gives me the chance to fight for a title. I have goals. I want to be the world champion and I’m not going to let anyone stand in my way,” said Parker to “I’m just excited to be challenging someone like Carlos, who is going to be a good name on my record, if I do beat him.”

Parker will have the hometown advantage in this fight, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be enough for him. Takam can really bring it with his heavy pressure, high work rate and big power shots that he likes to throw. Takam can throw punches all night long, and he’s going to make it difficult for Parker to keep up with him.

I wasn’t too impressed with how Parker looked in his last fight against 3rd tier fighter Jason Bergman last January. It took Parker eight rounds to get Bergman out of there, and he was hit a lot by him. Parker’s defense was nonexistent, as Bergman was hitting him at will and making a fight of it. I felt sorry for Parker because it was one of those fights where your stock just plummets. That’s why I was surprised to see Parker taking the fight against Takam in his next fight rather than facing a next level fighter from the 2nd tier rather than going straight to the top tier.

“Come Saturday night, we’re ready to do what we have to do, and that’s to get the victory,” said Parker. “I have goals. I want to be the world champion and I’m not going to let anyone stand in my way.

Parker is facing the toughest test of his 18-fight career against the experienced Takam, who has suffered just two losses in 36 bouts, but the 24-year-old New Zealander has vowed to rise to the occasion.

“I have a lot of respect for Carlos and what he has done in his career. He has been in the ring with some big names,” Parker said. “This is a big opportunity, I’m fighting for the IBF mandatory, I’m taking it with both hands. I’ve done the work.”

The 6’4” Parker’s best chance of winning this fight is for him to go after Takam hard in the 1st round to try and bang him out immediately before he’s gotten a chance to get his offense started. If Parker waits around before letting his artillery go, he could wind up too punch drunk for him to be able to turn it up a gear later. Parker has got to jump on Takam the same way he’s been doing against his fodder opponent because that seems to be what he’s become accustomed to.

Against Bergman, Parker did not look good once the fight went past the third round. If Parker had gone all out in that fight, he probably would have been able to get Bergman out of there almost immediately. I think Parker’s only chance of beating a talent like Takam is to unload everything he has in his arsenal in the first three rounds and then make adjustments if Takam is still standing at that point.

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