Joseph Parker weighs in at his lightest weight in FIVE years as slimmed-down heavyweight credits Tyson Fury for crucial change to his training regime ahead of fight with Faiga Opelu
Training smarter not harder has heavyweight Joseph Parker in top shape, with the Kiwi boxer feeling like his best is still ahead of him.
Parker will square up against Queensland’s Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu at Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday night, sharing top billing with Nikita Tszyu and Benjamin Bommber.
Weighing in at 108.8kg – the lightest weight since his defeat to Anthony Joshua in 2018 – Parker looked impressive at the Tuesday weigh-in as he towered over his opponent, who clocked 97.4kg on the scales.
Parker, who made his professional debut back in 2012 and won the WBO belt four years later, rates his preparation as first-rate.
‘In my 10 years of boxing this has been one of my best preparations ever, even before winning the world title,’ said Parker, whose record is 31-3.
Joseph Parker believes he’s in the form of his life ahead of his bout with Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu
The Kiwi star (left) will fight the Queenslander in Melbourne on Wednesday night
‘So this fight is going to be very different and I feel sorry for Faiga because he’s the one in front of me […] he’s going to get the full force.’
Parker, 31, has his good pal WBC world champion Tyson Fury in his corner in Melbourne, with the Brit having helped change his approach to training.
Fury introduced Parker to George Lockhart, a former US Marine and now nutritionist and strength and conditioning trainer, who has worked with the ‘Gypsy King’, as well as UFC champions Conor McGregor and Jon Jones.
Parker said he used to over-train without the proper fuel, but now had the balance right and was bristling with energy.
‘I have George Lockhart in camp and he’s done the nutrition and strength training, and boxing has always been there, so I think we’ve got the right balance now, finally,’ Parker told AAP.
‘It’s not really the food, it’s really the over-training, so having someone there to manage training times, sleep time, eat time – having all of that in place makes it easier.’
Fury said he couldn’t remember seeing Parker, who pointed out his abs at the weigh-in, in better shape.
‘I’ve seen a massive change in Joe, his body shape,’ Fury said.
Parker revealed he was introduced his nutritionist and strength and conditioning trainer by his friend and reigning WBC world champion Tyson Fury (right)
‘I’ve never seen him this ripped before or in as good a shape, so I’m excited for the fight.’
Opelu has 15 wins against three losses and two draws. Last October he fought in Melbourne on the George Kambosos-Devin Haney undercard, downing Hemi Ahio.
However, Parker warned he was in a different class.
‘I know “Django” has had some good wins, but I ain’t no Hemi, I’m a different fighter,’ he said.
‘I want to keep busy this year – I’m going to beat him and then fight two more times this year. I’ll fight anyone and everyone, even King Kong.’