You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Parker learns from Tua title fight loss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/11/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">Joseph Parker plans to mimic the winning methods of Briton Lennox Lewis, who was too tall for David Tua when a Kiwi last fought for a heavyweight title.</span> © Simon Watts/Getty Images Joseph Parker plans to mimic the winning methods of Briton Lennox Lewis, who was too tall for David Tua when a Kiwi last fought for a heavyweight title. David Tua's failed world title tilt 16 years ago is a pertinent lesson for Joseph Parker, New Zealand's next fighter to challenge for the heavyweight belt.

Parker says Tua's loss to Lennox Lewis in Las Vegas in 2000 has resonated throughout the buildup for his showdown against Mexican Andy Ruiz in Auckland.

If Parker prevails on December 10, he will claim the vacant WBO belt and become the first New Zealand-born heavyweight world champion.

Tua failed in his bid, coming up short literally against the taller Lewis, who fought at distance and landed considerably more punches in a lop-sided points decision.

Parker plans to emulate Lewis's winning methods when he fights Ruiz, who stands about 12cm shorter at about 1.82m.

"As a taller fighter, you've got use your reach and your jab, whatever advantage that you have," Parker said.

"If I'm going to do my best, I'm going to fight like Lennox did.

"Andy's going to have to work his way in because I'm going to be throwing a lot of jabs. He's a good mover but if he walks into a big one, it'll be a good night for me."

Parker says the Lewis win is also providing motivation for trainer Kevin Barry, who oversaw most of Tua's spectacular 59-fight professional career, in which the Samoan-born powerhouse won 43 of 52 fights by knockout.

Tua split from Barry in acrimonious circumstances but Parker's rise has fuelled the trainer's desire to develop a Kiwi heavyweight champion.

Meanwhile, Parker says Tua was an idol growing up and he appreciated the 44-year-old's recent message of support.

"David's pretty much the best fighter New Zealand has produced. He could have been champion but probably didn't get the right opportunities," Parker said.

"To have him back me is very exciting."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon