Parker says he’s learned from Whyte fight not to be nice
By Tim Royner: Former Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) plans on showing his mean side of his psyche when he faces Alexander Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) this Saturday night on December 15 at the Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand. Parker, 26, needs to end his 2-fight losing streak. He can’t afford t suffer another, especially to a lower level heavyweight like Flores. This guy isn’t in the same league as Parker talent-wise or at least he shouldn’t be in the same league if he’s at his best. Parker isn’t happy about his recent 12 round unanimous decision defeat the hands of Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) last summer on July 28.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Parker performs with him showing the mean side of his personality. The boxing public has never seen Parker come out angry looking to rough up and destroy his opponents. If it’s an improvement in Parker’s game, then he could be rejuvenate his boxing career. Right now, things aren’t looking good for him.
Parker could have won the fight, but he allowed Whyte to rough him up, and foul him without responding. The referee Ian John Lewis showed early on that he was going to let all the fouls go, and let the two fighters fight in an MMA type of style. Things got a little out of hand when Lewis gave Whyte credit for a knockdown in which he lowered his head and ran forward and collided into Parker that caused him to fall down on the canvas. Lewis shockingly scored it as a knockdown. That ruling set the tone for the entire fight with Whyte getting away with fouling and Parker doing nothing to check him on it. Despite Whyte getting away with murder with his roughhouse tactics, he still barely won the fight in winning by the scores 114-111, 115-110 and 113-112. Parker put Whyte down on the canvas in the 12th, and had him hurt as the fight ended.
“Listen, it’s good to be the nice guy, but nice guys don’t always get the job done,” Parker said to skysports.com. “Now it’s time to be the guy that’s going to put on the pressure, the guy that’s going to be rough and tough. It’s time to maybe change my demeanor going into fights.”
The way for Parker to fight Flores, and all heavyweights from this point forward, is the aggressive manner that he fought Whyte in the 12th round. Parker stopped playing finesse against Whyte in the final round, and came right after him in unloading with massive shots. What Parker discovered is he had more than enough punching power to immediately get Whyte in trouble. It’s unfortunate for Parker that he didn’t fight the entire fight like that, as Whyte didn’t have the punching power to match Parker when the two of them stood toe-to-toe. It would have been an easy fight for Parker if he’d gone right after Whyte from the 1st round. Parker is an odd sort when it comes to his career.
In some of his fights, he’s looked like a pure knockout puncher in destroying his opponents right off the bat, but then he’s turned around and fought like he’s a timid guy in his contests against Whyte, Anthony Joshua, Hughie Fury and Razvan Cojanu. Ever since Parker started facing better heavyweights, he’s fought like he was afraid of his own shadow. He didn’t give it his best in any of those fights. Parker let Joshua fight him from the outside, and he passively allowed the referee to keep him from getting in close to land his knockout blows in that fight. When Parker did land shots at medium to close range, he was hurting Joshua, who doesn’t have a great chin.
Parker wants rematches with Whyte and Joshua. The only way Parker is going to get those rematches is for him to destroy the likes of Flores, and the other heavyweights that are put in with him. Parker’s two defeats rules out the chance of him getting a second fight with Joshua. Whyte isn’t going to fight Parker again for the time being, as he has an excuse not to now that he’s beaten him. Whyte is waiting for a rematch with Joshua on April 13, and he’s got a good chance of getting that fight.
“I would love to. Listen, my hand is up for it,” Parker said about a second fight with Whyte.
Parker needs to beat the best fighters he can face, and look good doing so. That’s the way that Parker will earn a second fight against Joshua and Whyte. Parker needs to stay focused on getting Joshua back in the ring. That’s the money fight. Whyte will be a decent payday for Parker, but not for huge money like he’ll get in facing Joshua a second time in the UK.
In boxing, nice guys finish last. It does not pay for fighters to be nice to their opponents when they’re getting roughed up and fouled. If the referee isn’t going to do anything about the fouling, then Parker will need to play the same way if he doesn’t want his opponents to continue to do so. Whyte was a winnable fight for Parker if he’d been aggressive instead of playing it passive all night long. He should have learned from the Joshua fight that he needs to go all out for him to win when he’s in his opponent’s backyard. Joshua vs. Parker took place in Cardiff, Wales. Whyte vs. Parker was staged at the O2 Arena in London, England. Parker fought like he though he was going to get a decision against those guys, and it was never going to happen. Parker’s trainer should have woke him up early on in those fights and let him known in plain language that he needed a knockout for him to beat those guys.
Parker should be able to beat Flores without any problems on Saturday night by just being the better fighter. Parker doesn’t need to rough up a limited guy like Flores for him to win the fight.