1 Aug 2015

Parker vs Tupou an NZ first

5:29 pm on 1 August 2015

Auckland heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker's bout against Australian Bowie Tupou in Invercargill is set to be the biggest fight held here.

Bowie Tupou (L) and Joseph Parker

Bowie Tupou (L) and Joseph Parker Photo: Photosport

Tonight's clash will be the highest ranked heavyweight bout ever staged in New Zealand, with three titles up for grabs and a spot in the world's top five tantalisingly close for the victor.

Parker is ranked No.8 by the WBO, Tupou is ranked No.13.

Tupou, of Tongan descent, has 25 wins and three losses and the 32-year-old is putting his WBO African title on the line over 12 rounds at Stadium Southland.

Parker, who's 23, is putting his WBO Oriental Pacific belt up too.

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker Photo: Photosport

And while he has a few centimetres on Tupou at 1.93 metres tall to the older boxer's 1.89 metres, Tupou, at 120.5 kilograms to Parker's 107.5kg, has a weight advantage. Although with Parker's fast hands, any extra power may be negated by the Aucklander's speed.

Trained by three-time world champion Jeff Fenech, Tupou has already notched up 17 knockouts so far, and his trainer said they're aiming to add another knock-out to his record.

"I believe Bowie will take Joseph Parker somewhere he hasn't been before," Fenech said. "He will do something to Joseph, especially over those first six rounds, that Joseph has never experienced before."

But Fenech also said in the pre-fight build-up that the only way Tupou was going to beat Parker was by knocking him out.

Parker has a 14-win, 0-loss record, with 12 knockouts.

Fenech said he had been impressed by Tupou's work and attitude during their six-week training camp.

"Bowie has caused a lot of damage in the gym. He has knocked out opponents, he has dropped opponents with body shots."

Fenech had assembled Australia's best heavyweight talent, including Kali Meehan, Lucas Browne, and Solomon Haumono, to help Tupou's preparations for an opponent he clearly respects.

"Bowie sparred with all the best (Australian) heavyweights out there and had no problems whatsoever. He has come through unscathed. He will give Joseph Parker the real test that he needs finally."

On the undercard is Australian welterweight Jeff 'The Hornet' Horn, ranked at No.10 by the WBO, who will be taking on the impressive Ukrainian Viktor Plotnikov (ranked No.10 by the IBF).