It didn’t take long for the critics to come crawling out of the woodwork after Joseph Parker lost his second fight in a row when he was narrowly outpointed by Dillian Whyte at London’s O2 Arena on the last Saturday of July but the former WBO heavyweight champion has spoken out to deliver a firm message to his detractors: I’m not done yet.
The 26-year-old New Zealander of Samoan descent has been quietly observing the opinions of pundits with varying degrees of expertise in the sport who have variously called on him to change trainers, get fitter or give up the game altogether.
Last week the Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielagaoi, a husky man of indeterminable weight, launched a scathing attack on trainer Kevin Barry, claiming he was using Parker as a gold mine to bolster his own private wealth while failing to get the 6-foot-4, 242-pound heavyweight in proper shape for his latest fight.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect the Prime Minister and his opinion and everyone else with their opinion, but we’ll see what happens moving forward,” Parker 26-2 (18) said this week in an interview with the Samoan Observer.
“I will be fighting at the end of the year because I want to fight again and just because I lost a fight it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
“These are all learning experiences and it will make me a better fighter and I want to fight soon.
“We haven’t found a fighter yet, but like I said many times, I don’t care who we fight but we want to fight anyone just as long as someone is available and keen to fight us, we will fight anyone.”
Parker has previously said he plans on boxing until he is 30 or 31 years old. His back-to-back losses to unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20) and Whyte 24-1 (17) this year have done nothing to change that.
“We are trying to work our way to the top again to be hopefully two-time world champion and hopefully champion of the world,” he continued.
“So I have another four years to go before I hang up the gloves and retire.”