Joseph Parker hails ‘awesome’ Tyson Fury after a text from the Brit helped convince former world champion to work with cousin Andy Lee
Joseph Parker reveals how a text from Tyson Fury led him to working with Andy Lee for his fight with Derek Chisora on Saturday night.
The New Zealander left respected coach Kevin Barry amicably after his victory against Junior Fa back in March.
The compatriots worked together since 2013 and it was under Barry’s guidance that Parker won the WBO heavyweight title in 2016 against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Barry based his training career in Las Vegas, meaning Parker had to uproot himself once again at the age of 27 in order to pursue his dream of recapturing world heavyweight gold.
Parker is good friends with current WBC champion Fury and revealed how a simple text from the ‘Gypsy King’ inspired him to leave his home country and link up with Lee in Ireland.
“At this stage in my career, I feel it is important to try something else and see how it will work,” he told talkSPORT.
“So I gave Tyson Fury a text and asked him for his advice and then he suggested that Andy Lee would be a great match for me in terms of training.
“He is not only a great trainer, but he is also a great teacher as well. So one thing led to another, we had three or four Zoom calls to meet each other and figure out what the schedule was going to look like and what kind of programme we were going to be doing.
“Six or seven days later, I was flying to Ireland to meet him for the first time and then to get into training because we had this fight date, which we were looking at locking in.
“Once we locked it in, I was already in Ireland training at the start of a new programme with a new team and a new coach.”
Lee was in Fury’s corner for his last fight against Deontay Wilder back in February 2020, a dominant display of power punching and controlled aggression which left ‘The Bronze Bomber’ bloodied and belt-less.
Fury’s second cousin embarked on an equally intimidating journey like Parker from the comforts of his home to the legendary Kronk Gym in Detroit to train with monsters under the tutelage of the late, great Emanuel Steward.
With Lee now guiding Parker and Fury as a sparring partner, the 29-year-old admitted he is relishing training and cannot wait to get into the ring again.
“It’s been great, I’ve never had a training relationship like it,” he added. “This is the first time we were able to do some training together.
“It’s been awesome; he is great, has a positive energy and he works very hard. We had training with Tyson in Manchester.
“It’s a great training environment to be in.”
Chisora may be coming off a loss, but like Parker, he still harbours world title ambitions at this stage of his career.
Since being managed by David Haye, ‘War’ Chisora has looked like a different prospect in the ring and is enjoying an Indian Summer of sorts in his career.
It is for that reason that Parker knows exactly how dangerous the 37-veteran can be and is expecting a stern test in Manchester on Saturday night.
“I feel like he is still a threat, I feel like he has a lot to give to the heavyweight division still.
“But my goal is to stop him; my goal is to beat him and move onto bigger and better fights. But I am fully focused on putting on a good performance. I know he is going to bring pressure, I know he is going to throw a lot of combinations and punches which is what he does.
“I think at this stage of his career he’s throwing a lot more punches in fights than before. So he has got a lot to give, but I feel I’ve got youth on my side and good speed and good movement.
“With the things Andy has been teaching me, sometimes we look great in the gym and we don’t put it on display on fight night. But if I take what I’ve been doing in the gym and put it on display on fight night, it can be a great night for us.”