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Parker lighter ahead of WBO title defence

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/05/2017

Video provided by Reuters

Kiwi WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has weighed in at a near-identical weight to that which he carried during his December title tilt.

The 25-year-old Parker will fight Romanian Razvan Cojanu in his first title defence on Saturday night in Manukau, and weighed in on Friday at 111.5kg.

That is just 400g lighter than in December, when a muscled Parker took to the scales for his ultimately victorious showdown with Andy Ruiz Jr.

The 202cm Cojanu, meanwhile, weighed 124.6kg.

The 25-year-old Parker will fight Romanian Razvan Cojanu in his first title defence on Saturday night in Manukau, and weighed in on Friday at 111.5kg. © ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock The 25-year-old Parker will fight Romanian Razvan Cojanu in his first title defence on Saturday night in Manukau, and weighed in on Friday at 111.5kg. Parker is a heavy favourite going into the bout, despite being more than 13kg lighter than Cojanu and having limited time to prepare after the injury withdrawal of former opponent Hughie Fury.

With offers flying at Parker left, right and centre for lucrative fights in the US or UK, a statement victory is also crucial for the south Aucklander's future.

Yet Parker may have let a chink in his armour slip to reporters on Thursday, when he admitted he was battling persistent shoulder and elbow injuries.

He said he hadn't skipped any time in the ring as a result of the niggles but was experiencing frequent pain in training.

"We've seen physiotherapists and neuromuscular specialists, been getting X-rays and MRIs on it - it's just wear and tear," Parker told Newshub.

A five-month break between his title fight against Ruiz and Saturday's fight has helped reduce symptoms, Parker said.

Meanwhile, Parker will be able to wear his flashy new boxing gear for the fight after it was cleared by New Zealand Customs at the last minute.

The gaudy robe and shorts, valued at almost $10,000, are black with python skin, suede and clear crystal styling.

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