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Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury on April 1 in New Zealand

Image: Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury on April 1 in New Zealand

By Scott Gilfoid: If unbeaten #2 WBO challenger Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) is going to beat WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) in their fight on April 1, then he’s going to need to do it on the road at a still to determined venue in Auckland, New Zealand.

Parker’s promoters at Duco Events won the purse bid with a winning bid of $3,000,011. They sure as heck weren’t going to give the 22-year-old Hughie a break by letting the fight take place in the UK in front of his British boxing fans.

This means that Hughie is going to need to fight in front of a pro-Parker crowd on April 1, and that’s not going to be easy. Hughie has only fought outside of the UK once in his four-year pro career, and that was when he fought Alex Rozman in New York at Madison Square Garden in April 2013.

That was a fight an undercard, and I’m pretty sure the boxing fans didn’t care much about the fight due to them not knowing who either guy was. It’ll be a much different story with Hughie fighting the highly mobile 6’4” Parker in the main event. The crowd will know that Hughie is the visiting fighter in that match, and they’re not likely going to be too friendly towards him.

“Duco Events wins purse bid @joeboxerparker vs @hughiefury with $3,000,011,bout to take place on April 1st in Auckland, NZ, 60/40 purse split,” said WBO president Francisco Varcarcel via his Twitter.

This will be the first defense for the 24-year-old Parker for his World Boxing Organization heavyweight title he won on December 10 in beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by a 12 round majority decision at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. You can argue that the difference between the two fighters was the hometown crowd of Parker’s, who cheered him like crazy down the stretch and helped him win a controversial 12 round decision in a fight that he might have otherwise lost.

A lot of the boxing fans had Ruiz Jr. winning the fight. Now it’s Hughie’s turn to have to fight in New Zealand, and that’s not good news for him. I see Parker as being all wrong for young Hughie.

Parker hits too hard and his wheels are too good for a runner like Hughie Fury to beat him. As soon as Hughie tries his bit with his hit and run style of fighting, Parker is going to brain him with a right hand to the head, and the fight will likely be stopped at the point.

It’s too bad Fury didn’t have more time to develop his game before he fought for a world title, because I think it’s too early for him to be fighting for a world title at this point in his career.

Look at the last 10 fighters that Hughie has fought:

Fred Kassi

Dominick Guinn

Larry Olubamiwo

Emilio Ezequiel Zarate

George Arias

Andriy Rudenko

Danny Hughes

Matthew Greer

David Gegeshidze

Hvoje Kisicek

Those are not the type of fighters that you fight when you’re about to get a title shot against Joseph Parker. Those are guys that you fight when you’re just starting out your boxing career after having no real amateur career to speak of. The thing is, Hughie looked dreadful in his last fight against Fred Kassi on April 30 last year at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.

That was a fight in which Hughie got tired in the 6th round and started to take big shots to the head. However, just when it looked like the 6’6” Fury was about to be knocked out by the journeyman Kassi, he accidentally rammed heads with him, causing him to suffer a bad cut over his left eye.

The fight was then halted in the 7th. Hughie was dog tired and totally spent. Hughie could no longer defend himself at that point in the fight, and things looked mighty bleak. But then a miracle head-butt from out of nowhere saved Hughie. Without the head-butt stoppage, I think Hughie would have lost the fight.

That was not the type performance you like to see from a fighter like Hughie going into a title shot. With that kind of performance, I think Hughie has a lot of questions that needed to be answered about him. Yeah, Hughie is getting a title shot, but the WBO isn’t doing him any favors by letting him challenge for a world title. There’s nothing good that can come of this for Hughie.

I think he’s going to fight Parker and get blown out of the water fairly fast. Hughie might be able to do well in the early rounds with his normal hit, run and hold style of fighting, but once he gets tired around the 7th round, it’s going to be curtains for him. Parker is going to walk Hughie down, and blast him out in short order with right hands to the head.

That’s how I see that fight winding up. Hughie will have his 15 minutes of fame with him doing reasonably well in the first four rounds with his constant holding and running. That style of fighting tends to wear down fighters, especially big fighters like the 6’6” Hughie. That’s why he needs to learn how to fight in a less labor intensive way that helps him conserve energy. Hughie runs around the ring like a featherweight, but he’s carrying around 230 pounds on his frame. He can’t fight like that with all that weight he’s carrying.

Parker doesn’t have much experience either, but he’s looked a heck of a lot better than Hughie in winning his fights. Parker doesn’t use the old hit, run and hold type fighting style that Hughie employs. Parker actually fights, and he doesn’t run around the ring for 12 rounds trying to keep from getting hit. Parker trusts his chin that he’ll be able to handle the power shots long enough for him to bang out his opponents with his own power shots.

Here are Parker’s last 10 opponents:

Andy Ruiz Jr.

Alexander Dimitrenko

Solomon Haumono

Carlos Takam

Jason Bergman

Daniel Martz

Kali Meehan

Bowie Tupou

Yakup Saglam

Jason Pettaway

It’s going to be interesting to see how good Hughie performs on the road in front of Parker’s boxing fans in New Zealand. I’m sure some of Hughie’s fans will travel to see him fight Parker, but I don’t think it’s going to be nearly enough to give him enough energy to pull off the upset.

Without any punching power to speak of, Hughie is probably not going to last too long against Parker on April 1. I’d like to think that Hughie will be able to find some kind of trick that will enable him to pull off the upset, but I can’t see it happening.

There is no trick that Hughie will be able to learn from his cousin Tyson Fury. I mean, I suspect that Tyson will be telling Hughie to use a lot of movement in hopes that he can befuddle Parker the way that Tyson confused Wladimir Klitschko in their fight in November 2015.

I don’t think it’s going to work though, because Parker won’t have any problems cutting off the ring on young Hughie, and he certainly won’t be afraid to pull the trigger on his shots the way Wladimir was afraid to throw punches against Tyson Fury. Parker isn’t over-the-hill, and he’s not someone that will be afraid to throw punches against Hughie

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