Can a change of trainer’s revitalize the career of Joseph Parker?
In the aftermath of his unanimous decision victory over Junior Fa on February 27, Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) has received more criticism than praise. He was condemned for his performance, which was disappointing to fans and pundits. It now seems the former WBO Heavyweight champion has decided to split with his long-time trainer, Kevin Barry.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the two mutually agreed to part ways following the win over Fa. There is an active search as to who will replace Barry. Parker and Barry were together for eight years. There was plenty of success. Not only did Parker become a world champion in 2016, but he also fought a unification bout against Anthony Joshua in March of 2018. He lost to Joshua by unanimous decision. To many, he has not been the same fighter since. One of Parker’s main drawbacks is his lack of consistency and passion. He has one of the best jabs in the heavyweight division. The problem is, he does not use it enough.
NOT REACHING FULL POTENTIAL
The skills are obvious with the big man from New Zealand, but there has been something missing since his fight with Joshua. Losing to Dillian Whyte in July 2018, Parker was criticized for coming on too late. During the last three rounds of that bout, he fought with real fire. However, the question was, where was that intensity during the first 10 rounds?
The fight against Fa was marred by excessive clinching and holding. Parker did not jab enough, and the combination punching was not there. Even more frustrating was the lack of inside game. It was simply not there.
The ability to avoid and move out of clinches was nonexistent. It seems Parker has stagnated if not outright regressed as a boxer. It is obvious he understands that something is amiss. At this point, this decision to move on could be spot on.
The timing of this move may be odd to some. Parker’s team is currently in negotiations to fight Dereck Chisora as early as May. It is unknown how the firing of Barry will affect that possible match.
In boxing change can be a good thing. A different voice and approach could be much needed. Joseph Parker, he hopes a new trainer will be the boost to jump-start his career.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.