No changes to ‘team Parker’ despite losses

Joseph Parker will stand by his training and promotional team after suffering back-to-back defeats on trips to Britain.

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The 26-year-old heavyweight was beaten on points by Dillian Whyte at The O2, just a few months after losing his WBO belt in a decision defeat to Anthony Joshua at the Principality Stadium.

But Parker will remain loyal to trainer Kevin Barry and promoter David Higgins of Duco Events, who had previously guided the New Zealander to 24 straight victories.

“I feel like we have a strong team,” said Parker. “I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today, if I didn’t have the team behind me.

“I respect everyone’s opinion. I respect what they say, but I’m not going around telling people they have to change this and that when something happens.

“The fight was going well. We were executing the plan until the headbutt and Dillian Whyte did all he could to rough me up, which is credit to him. Like I said, he’s a tough, tough opponent.”

The Kiwi’s granite reputation was dented as he hit the canvas twice, although the first knockdown followed a head clash, and he believes Whyte was in more danger of a knockout when he was dropped in the final round.

“I think I was quite hurt from the headbutt in the second round, which caused me a bit of discomfort,” said Parker.

“I was fighting pretty sharp for the first two rounds until the headbutt sort of changed it a little bit, but I feel like he was a bit more hurt at the end.”

Asked about his reaction to his knockdown in the ninth round, he said: “I sort of had a bit of a grin and laughed and thought damn it.

“I was like damn, how did he catch me? And I just sort of smiled, and got up and carried on.”

Despite his unsuccessful fights on these shores, Parker is still willing to return, and would ‘love’ another brutal battle with Whyte.

“I think I will give him time to celebrate, give him time to talk to his team, and sort of see what their plans are,” he said.

“But for us, we would love the opportunity to have a rematch there for the next fight or the future.

“But at the moment, we’re working on seeing what the next plan is for us, but it was an exciting fight, and I think a lot of people want to see it again.

“We would love to fight there. Things happen for a reason and even though we lost two fights in a row there, we would like to come there and fight again. We love that place, and we were welcomed there.”