Parker starts year with tricky out
New Zealand Heavyweight Champion, Joseph Parker (12-0, 10 KOs) continues his ascent against American challenger Jason “The Technician” Pettaway (17-1, 18 KOs) in a 10 round affair at the Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland this Thursday, March 5th.
With his eye on a top five ranking by the end of the year, the 23 year old South Aucklander returns to the ring after a successful 2014 going undefeated in a five fight campaign with four opponents failing to see the final bell and ending up on many Prospect of the Year lists.
The Duco promoted The BURGER KING® Road to the Title will also feature an undercard including infamous local heavyweight David “Brown Buttabean” Latele (3-0, 1 KOs) as he squares off against former Tongan international and Super Rugby loose forward Finau Maka, four time New Zealand Amateur champion Bowyn Morgan (1-0, 1 KO) in his second professional outing and Parker sparring partner Izu Ugonoh (10-0, 8 KOs), a converted kickboxer now plying his fistic trade in the cruiserweight division.
The WBA #10 and WBO #12 ranked Parker, this country’s brightest heavyweight prospect since David Tua, holds WBO Orientaland WBA-PABA Interim straps and factors into a resurgent division among the new wave of talent including Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and fellow prospect Anthony Joshua as well as being sought out as a sparring partner by current division goliath Wladimir Klistchko.
He was last seen in December dominating Brazillian Irineu Beat Costa Jnr before spectacularly dispatching him with a right hand from a left hook in the fourth round in Hamilton.
Parker looks to hold advantages in speed, power and athleticism over Pettaway and is ranked over 100 places higher by respected boxing website Boxrec.
A North Carolina native, Pettaway provides Parker with another puzzle with his awkward style, movement and counterpunching.
With over 130 amateur fights which included reaching the quarterfinals at the 2004 Olympic trials, he is confident that his experience will count against Parker, who is only in his fourth year as a professional.
The owner of six straight wins since his only loss, a fourth round TKO at the hands of Magomed Abdusalamov, he has stopped his last two opponents including a first round TKO in his most recent bout last August.
The 34 year old Pettaway likes to push the action early which may work in his favour, as Parker was infamously dragged into a brawl early against Afa Tatupu in his 7th professional bout where he was forced to eat wild punches and cut by a headbutt.
Pettaway’s movement also may potentially challenge Parker as did Marcelo Nascimento before he was stopped by Parker in the seventh round in April of last year.
With a tricky opponent and four future bouts over the course of this year, Parker can not afford to overlook this fight.