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Parker hits back at "disrespectful" foe

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/09/2016 Angelo Risso

An indignant Joseph Parker has labelled boxing opponent Alexander Dimitrenko "disrespectful" for his comments about the Kiwi's fight record.

Dimitrenko, 34, told reporters on Tuesday that Parker had undeservedly won his May bout with Cameroonian-Frenchman Carlos Takam.

The 24-year-old Parker defeated Takam by unanimous decision in Auckland, but Dimitrenko felt the Kiwi judges had looked favourably on their local fighter.

The victory handed Parker the No.1 mandatory challenger position to British world champion Anthony Joshua.

"If the fight was in France, it would've gone to Takam," the Ukrainian said.

The typically reserved Parker hit back on Thursday, accusing Dimitrenko of a lack of respect on Kiwi soil.

He said he wouldn't speak ill of Dimitrenko on his own home turf, and accused the 201cm fighter of running his mouth in the media.

"I don't think it's a good way of going about it and I don't like it," Parker told reporters.

"Come fight day, I'll show him what I don't like."

Trainer Kevin Barry said it was unusual to see Parker, who most recently cruised past Solomon Haumono in July, so fired up.

Even Takam's team had acknowledged Parker won the fight fair and square, according to the Vegas-based Barry.

"Things like that are usually water off a duck's back but I think he took it a little bit personal," Barry said.

Parker will jump in the ring for the fourth time in 2016 against Dimitrenko next Saturday as he prepares for a title bout in either November or March.

However Barry warned that the south Aucklander had to keep focused on Dimitrenko, who will pinch his mandatory challenger position with a victory.

He was encouraged by Parker's uplift in intensity as the fight drew closer.

"We're very close to a historic fight, a life-changing fight for Joseph," Barry said.

"When you've got those things hanging over his head, it does lift his game and make things a little more intense."

Parker, for his part, felt primed and ready for action.

He expected to come in at around 107kg at weigh-in next Friday after an extended regimen of weight training.

"With this fight, there's a risk of losing that mandatory position and that's probably giving me extra motivation and focus," Parker said.

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