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Joseph Parker reaching peak shape ahead of Dillian Whyte fight

Anthony Cocks

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Just three weeks out from his crossroads bout against leading contender Dillian Whyte 23-1 (17) former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 24-1 (18) is hitting his stride in sparring against former world title challenger Eric Molina 26-5 (19).

The 26-year-old Kiwi is deep in camp in Las Vegas, Nevada with trainer Kevin Barry who is putting the finishing touches on their preparation for the fight that will take place at London’s O2 Arena on July 28. The fight will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office.

“Well we’re sparring with Eric Molina, also sparring with Malik Scott,” Barry told Sky Sports News. “There’s a couple of things that we’ve been working on in the last two days. There’s a couple of things which happened that I would like to see improved on.”

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Molina, who was stopped in three by unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua eighteen months, has been brought in to camp to mimic Whyte’s movements in the ring.

“That’s what we sort of look at, fighters that have a lot of similarities to what he brings,” explained Parker. “I think the guys that we have now are good and there’s more guys coming in, and hopefully give us the best work they have.”

In his last outing the 30-year-old Whyte scored an impressive one-punch knockout of out-of-shape Australian Lucas Browne, stopping him cold in the sixth round of their 12-round contest in March.

Barry is anticipating a similarly aggressive approach from the Brixton “Body Snatcher” when he clashes with Parker later this month.

“For this Dillian Whyte fight, obviously he’s got a very aggressive come-forward style. He likes to engage,” said Barry. “It’s very important for us that Joe fights a certain way in this fight and we’ll be looking to employ our game-plan that we’ve put in place and keep perfecting it and getting better with it every time in sparring.”

Parker agrees that Whyte is a risky opponent but believes he will be able to get in sufficient work in his seven week camp to be in top shape on fight night.

“Very dangerous, but we’re doing everything that we can to prepare well and we know that going into the fight, we’re going to be in the best shape,” said Parker, whose last fight as a 12-round decision loss to Joshua in a unification bout for the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles in March.

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