Parker looking prime for Flores fight
Joseph Parker weighed-in yesterday at 109.25kg for tonight’s big heavyweight showdown with Mexican-American Alexander Flores. Parker comes in almost half a kilogram lighter than in his most recent outing against Dillian Whyte in London in July.
New Zealand Fighter’s own Jamie Patterson was on the scene taking pictures and chatting to some of the fighters ahead of the big day.
“This is the best Joseph has looked all year,” Kevin Barry said. “Joseph knows what is on the line in this fight. His work in training has been tremendous. He is ready.” Parker’s opponent, Mexican-American Alexander Flores tipped the scales at 107.95kg – 1.3kg lighter than Parker. “The world will know who Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores is come Saturday night,” said Flores to the assembled media.
There were around 60 or 70 people in the audience at Christchurch Casino yesterday as the fighters took to the stage. Members of the media, trainers, and supporters of the 18 fighters on the Duco card crowded into the casino’s Sixty6 on Peterborough bar, all anxious to see how the former heavyweight champion, New Zealand’s champion, Lupesoliai La'auliolemalietoa Joseph Parker would look ahead of his first fight back on kiwi soil.
As expected with any Duco event, the weigh-in progressed smoothly with few hick-ups and only one fighter failing to make weight, though that failure from Fiji’s Sebastian ‘Sniper’ Singh did briefly descend the event into farce before the ever professional Lt. Dan Hennessey got things back on track. After deliberations between the events supervisor Pat Leonard and representatives of Pro Box whose super welterweight title was due to be contested for, it was eventually decided that Singh and his opponent, Canterbury’s own Bowyn Morgan, would compete at middleweight with Singh weighing in at 72.45KGs, a solid 2.5 kg’s overweight. The fight will still contest the Pro Box Super-Welterweight title, though only Morgan will be eligible to win the belt.
The only other moment of surprise came earlier in the day, shortly after Manu “The Beast” Vatuvei weighed in for his first professional bout. The Beast is matched up against the man they call “Brown Buttabean” David Letele, though the moniker might be a bit outdated with Letele having lost over 100kg’s over the past few years.
Following the much trimmer Buttabean’s weigh in, Letele did his best Kanye impression as he grabbed the mic from Dan Hennessey to share a few words with the crowd. The ever entertaining Letele, who has now become an enormously popular fitness coach in South Auckland, joked with the assembled media and entertained the audience before making his way off the stage. He voiced his frustration that few media outlets had reported his comments on New Zealand’s obesity epidemic and thanked his supporters for joining him as he returns to the ring for the first time in two years. We caught up with Dave after the weigh-in and will be reporting later today on the interview with him and his incredible weight-loss journey.
With the undercards out of the way, the two stars of night came to the stage. Flores weighed in first 107.95 before Joe Parker made his way to the stage looking in considerably better shape than any of his previous fights. Parker weighed in at 109.25, lighter than his fight against Dillian Whyte but looked to have put on quite a bit more muscle around arms and shoulders. This Joseph Parker is a man determined to climb back to the top.
Kevin Barry addressed the media, sharing that Joe felt he was fighting for his career on Saturday night and clearly that feeling had emboldened his training. Carrying less fat and considerably more muscle than we’ve ever seen on him before, it will be interesting to see what sort of speed and stopping power this new and improved Joseph Parker brings to the ring against Flores.
Full results from Friday’s weigh in, sponsored by Flooring Xtra, are below. Join us throughout the day as we bring you all the build up and all the action from Joseph Parker’s return home.
Bjorn Horrack 96.45 kg
Quintin Poole Nicholas 144.35 kg
Sam Watt 103.05 kg
Alistair Boyd 96.20 kg
Michaela Jenkins 66.45 kg
Megyn McLennan 65.55 kg
Adrian "The Terrah" Taihia 73.95 kg
Andrei Mikhailovich 73.65 kg
Dave "Brown Buttabean" Letele 110.45 kg
Manu "The Beast" Vatuvei 116.35 kg
Lance "Busta" Bryant 90.05 kg
David "The Great White" Light 89.85 kg
Bowyn "BoMan" Morgan 69.80 kg
Sebastian "Sniper" Singh 72.45 kg
Junior Fa 115.50 kg
Rogelio Omar Rossi 101.45 kg
Joseph Parker 109.25 kg
Alexander "The Great" Flores 107.95 kg