21 Nov 2014

Parker to fight Brazilian

12:48 pm on 21 November 2014

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is set for another move up in class - he's been confirmed to fight Brazilian knockout specialist Irineu Beato Costa Junior at next month's Fight for Life in Hamilton.

Joseph Parker (R) with trainer Kevin Barry

Joseph Parker (R) with trainer Kevin Barry Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Parker's management had been in negotiations with the American journeyman Vinny Maddalone but have now secured a fight with the 1.92-metre Costa, who is ranked 15th by the WBO.

He's only lost once in 16 fights and Parker's trainer Kevin Barry says it will be a significant step up against the 34-year-old who's in his prime.

"This is actually a much harder fight than I would have liked for Joseph to close the year out on," Barry told Radio New Zealand.

"Beato Costa Junior is a very powerful fighter, he's very heavy-handed with 13 knockouts and 11 of his 13 KOs have been in the first two rounds."

The late confirmation doesn't leave Parker long to prepare for the fight at Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on December 6th.

Barry admits it's far from the ideal build up, but the fight was to good an opportunity to pass up even at short notice.

"I like being totally prepared and having time to study Joe's opponents and I now find myself, less than three weeks before the event, fighting a very dangerous guy.

"So this fight definitely comes with a lot of risk, but it also comes with great reward - a solid win here will move him further up the WBA rankings."

The 22-year-old Parker's currently ranked 10th by the WBA and 14th by the WBO and Barry hopes to improve his rankings into the top five by the end of next year.