Home Boxing News Joseph Parker splits from longtime trainer Kevin Barry

Joseph Parker splits from longtime trainer Kevin Barry

Joseph Parker and trainer Kevin Barry. Photo credit: Photosport.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker 28-2 (21) has split from his trainer Kevin Barry following his 12-round points win over Junior Fa 19-1 (10) at Spark Arena in Auckland on Saturday night.

Under Barry’s tutelage Parker won the WBO heavyweight championship against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2016 and defended the title twice before meeting Anthony Joshua in a unification bout in London in March 2018, losing on points.

“Without Kevin I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Parker, who has been trained by Barry for eight years.

“Together we made it to the very top. Kevin was with me every step of the way, guiding my progress inside and outside of the ring. So it is with genuine sadness that I confirm our partnership has come to an end.

“But the time just feels right. It’s fitting that we closed this chapter of my career with a win in front of a great home crowd in Auckland, and with bigger things just on the horizon.

“I know Kevin will always be in my corner.”

Parker looked less than stellar against Fa, prompting calls from fans on social media for the 29-year-old to explore different coaching options. It was his first fight in a year.

Barry explained the split as being due to the tyranny of distance.

“It has been an amazing journey with Joseph and Team Parker. But all journeys must come to an end and the time is right for myself and Joseph to go in our own directions,” said New Zealander Barry, who is based in Las Vegas.

“I have been in New Zealand for five months now, away from my family and my other fighters. I have three guys fighting for world titles this year and have responsibilities with them and a few new guys.

“It’s not possible for me to stay in New Zealand any longer. For Joe, he has a wife and three young girls in New Zealand, and he wishes to spend more time here.

“I totally understand this and will always be in his corner and support him. We have always had a very close bond and I want nothing but the best for him. We have achieved so much together. It has been one heck of an amazing journey.”

Parker’s next fight is likely to be against fringe contender Dereck Chisora 32-10 (23) in the UK. Yesterday Parker’s manager David Higgins said he wanted the deal signed by the end of the week.

“There’s about nine weeks and if Joseph would leave New Zealand at the end of this week, there’s only eight weeks, so touch and go,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

“If we’re going to take the fight at only eight weeks, everyone would have to agree terms right now in the next 48 hours. There are discussions going on.

“A base contract was already developed for the previous fight. There are things in our favour. Duco, my company, and Matchroom have made quick deals before and have worked together well.

“Both guys want the fight. It’s very possible we can put it together. We’ll probably set a drop date at the end of this week.”