Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) and Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) spoke about Saturday’s night’s clash for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight title at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Derek Chisora: “I love fighting, throwing yourself in the world title shot is okay. Dillian Whyte has been in the world title shot for the last five years, he hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t put myself in those positions, I want to put myself in positions where I get to fight good fights. This is right, I’m fighting Joseph Parker and after that we’ll see what happens.
“I want to do what I do best, come forward, fight, chuck hell and do what I do every day. Roll the dice and rock and roll – go at it. I’ll come out of the gates and just go.
“The guy has a spider bite, we can’t deny it, we don’t know if it’s true or not, but he had it and now he’s here – we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. David did a good impression wearing the spiderman suit early on the morning, it was okay. The fight is here now so we’re not going to talk about history anymore, that’s why it’s called history.
“It’s going to be a great night; good things are happening. It’s a big card, but we don’t have that little edge on with the fans, it’s depressing but what can we say.
“The king is back, long live the king – I’m back. I’m buzzing, to all those fans at home, I’m going to bring smoke and I know my opponent is going to bring something which is going to be on his bike – but it’s going to be okay. He’s going to be cycling back to Australia but it’s all good. I know right now I’m still laughing and joking but when I come tomorrow, you’re going to know what time it is.”
David Haye, Hayemaker Promotions: “Derek wants the biggest fights; he wants to leave a legacy and wants to go out there for people to know Derek Chisora means war and destruction. We pushed it to the wire with Usyk last time out, someone who’s ranked number one in the world, I thought he won the fight. It was a close fight, two judges only had it by two points, this time round he’s not going to leave it to the judges. No mindset to try and win this fight on points.
“Joseph Parker, we know is an excellent boxer, one of the best jabs in the business. Ask Andy Ruiz, Carlos Takam, it’s a killer. So, it’s a simple solution, we’re not having a boxing match with Parker it must be a fight. I can guarantee a knockout in this fight, this is not going the distance. This is about how much Joseph Parker can take.
“He’s got a great chin, he went twelve rounds with AJ, twelve rounds with Dillian Whyte who hit him on the button many times. Derek’s going to have to do something very special on Saturday night and he’s brought in the big guns – Buddy McGirt Hall of Fame trainer. We’re adding whatever we can to give Derek what’s needed to do the impossible.
“A lot of people are not giving Derek a shot in this fight, but when you see how Derek comes across the ring in the first round, I think you’ll understand where this fight is going and going in a very destructive manner. It’s going to be all out explosion from the first round and get your popcorn and don’t go to the toilet.
“Anybody who watches Derek Chisora will want to keep him on the outside, because once Derek’s on the inside – ask David Price who said when Derek was inside, he didn’t know where the punches were coming from. When you’re inside with those little gloves, a big Heavyweight with short cuffing shots. He’s been practicing this stuff; his inside game is very destructive.
“Joseph Parker is going to be in a situation he hasn’t been in before, he’s fought come forward fighters before, but he’s been able to keep them at arm’s length. Derek must do his work in the inside, drag him into the deep end from round one. It’s going to have to be brutality from round one and I’m excited.”
Buddy McGirt, trainer of Derek Chisora: “It’s been interesting, but it’s been great – I have no complaints. Derek, David and the team have made me feel at home, welcomed me well so I really can’t complain.
“I expect Parker to do both, Andy Lee has got an old way of thinking. I think they’re going to box, but also try to fight on the inside when they want to fight on the inside – they want to dictate it. That I know, because they’re not going to try and box all night, I know guys like Andy and how he thinks. Sometimes you’ve got to try and beat a guy at his own game a little while, we’ve got to get down and dirty.
“We’ve got to drag it down like that, it’s no secret. He’s got to be Derek, just smooth the rough edges. They’re going to try and box, yeah, but I also know in the later rounds they’re going to fight him in the inside and break our man down – we’re prepared for that.”
Joseph Parker: “I’m very prepared for this fight, I’ve had a great training camp with Andy in Ireland, then we moved over to Morecambe and got some great sparring under our belt, great pad work, bag, everything. I feel like with this fight, physically and mentally, I’m in a great place – probably the best I’ve been in a while.
“Two totally different styles, Junior Fa’s style was move and hug, punch every now and then. With Derek it’s no secret, he’s going to come forward and apply the pressure, throw punches everywhere. My hands are going to have to be up, down and all around.
“I think this is the perfect fight at the right time. We’re right there, get a good victory and there’s many other great fights out there to be made and to position yourself when the titles are free to fight for. This is a big card, not only the main event but the undercard fights are very exciting, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Andy Lee, trainer of Joseph Parker: “I can only see the fight playing out one way, with Derek coming forward and bringing war which he has done over numerous fights in recent years. I see Joseph boxing a smart fight, if he can put in the practice what we’ve been rehearsing in training the I can Joseph winning by late stoppage. We don’t want to leave anything to the judges, the only way to guarantee victory in this game is by getting a knockout, as much as they’re going for it, we’ll be going for it as well.
“We might surprise you, we surprised everybody with Tyson Fury against Wilder, we just might do the same, but you’ll have to wait and see.”