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Joseph Parker is fast becoming a big name in the boxing heavyweight division but many were left wondering whether the recently announced Trans-Tasman bout against Solomon Haumono was a smart move. I’m here to tell you, it most certainly is.
Haumono is best known for his stint in the NRL and a one-time fling with a woman known as ‘The Pleasure Machine’. While Haumono’s credentials in the boxing world are solid, they are seen by many as a little underwhelming for a fighter with the kind of aspirations Parker has.
So why is fighting Haumono a good idea?
The quick turnaround
Modern boxers are a pampered lot when compared with the majority of their predecessors. Many fighters in today’s fight game are content to step into the ring just twice a year.
While it’s common for younger, less experienced fighters to fight numerous times in their first few years, there are very few willing to take on an experienced fighter after being made the mandatory challenger for a world title.
Parker hasn’t let this stop him, though. With a win over the rugged Carlos Takam in a tough 12-round bout that tested Parker like no other, the Kiwi sensation has earned the right to fight English superstar and IBF world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. This would be reason enough for most to take some time off and wait for their guaranteed shot, but not Parker.
No, the big lad from The Long White Cloud has instead chosen to get straight back on the bike, signing to fight Haumono just two months after his victory over Takam, a commendable thing indeed.
It’s a knockout
There’s nothing that boosts a fighter’s psyche than being able to send an opponent to the canvas for a full ten-count, and for this reason fighting Haumono is as good a move as the Parker camp could have made right now.
Sure, Haumono can punch, and he’s experienced, and many will say the fight is a risk that comes with little reward. But the opportunity to stay sharp and land a knock-out will do Parker a world of good after going the distance for only the third time in his career against Takam.
There are some out there who doubt the power Parker possesses after his most recent victory, but Takam was a very experienced campaigner and one that possessed a decent chin. Parker’s power has been proven and against Haumono I have little doubt it will be the deciding factor.
The Australian public
Parker is a huge name in his native New Zealand, but here in Australia hard-core fans of the sport are the only ones aware of his growing prowess. While the fight itself won’t be on these shores the opponent is well known to many Aussies and should register a fair amount of interest here.
Australians have a love affair with football players stepping into the ring and, while Haumono’s career hasn’t been publicised a great deal of late, he is still a name here and Parker will undoubtedly gain a fair measure of media attention for this fight in Australia.
Building a brand is a large part of becoming a success in the sport of boxing, at least in a financial sense, and Parker has done this brilliantly in his home country. It’s now time for him to branch out and become a global name in the sport of boxing, and Australia is as good a place as any to start.
Despite all this, Haumono could quite easily be seen as a step back for Parker. Since he was knocked out against Kevin Johnson back in 2013, he has fought four times, all against questionable opposition. He’s 40 years old and he looked abysmal in his last fight, but for Parker the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
The chance to keep busy while he waits for his mandatory shot at Anthony Joshua’s title, coupled with a likely knock-out, and gaining some new fans from this side of the Tasman can only work in the big Kiwi’s favour.
That’s why this fight should be viewed as a great move for the man who could very well become the next heavyweight champion of the world.