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Parker-Ruiz to go all the way: trainers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/12/2016 Angelo Risso

Joseph Parker © Hannah Peters/Getty Images Joseph Parker The trainers of both Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr have tipped the pair to go the full 12 rounds in their WBO title bout on Saturday.

Kiwi local Parker, 24, and Mexican-American Ruiz, 27, will both become their country's first world heavyweight champion with victory in Auckland.

And their trainers, Las Vegas-based Kevin Barry and veteran Abel Sanchez, are predicting them to come out with fists flying from the first round.

Sanchez, who has trained 17 world champions from his base at California's high-altitude Big Bear Lake, said the pair were the future of their weight class.

They'd both employ aggressive tactics and help restore the prestige of the heavyweight division in the boxing world.

"For the last 10 or 12 years, we've had this wrestling, two guys wrestling in the ring, but we're going to have a fight where they hit each other," Sanchez said.

"They're going to hurt each other, and of course they are because that's the way it should be, that's what we pay for."

The 60-year-old Sanchez, also a builder by trade, has developed a time-honoured method of training all his boxers, including middleweight Gennady Golovkin.

Taking only eight or nine in his stable at a time, Sanchez runs a strict regime of fitness training at altitude and skills development.

It's a programme that helped Ruiz, once as heavy as 130kg, drop almost 16kgs in his six-and-a-half-week pre-fight preparation.

But rather than improving just his physical condition, Sanchez said the camp had boosted Ruiz's chances by giving him the mental upper hand.

"He's in a great mood, walking tall, feels good," Sanchez said.

"I don't think it's the game plan so much as the guy who can impose his will on the other guy."

Barry, meanwhile, runs an entirely different programme, training and hosting Parker and stablemate Izu Ugonoh from his Vegas home.

He also classified himself as an old-fashioned coach but defended Parker's use of a psychologist ahead of the fight.

Parker enlisted All Blacks mental coach and former All White Ceri Evans last month in an attempt to gain an extra competitive edge.

It was something Sanchez admitted he'd never allow before a fight.

"We're just looking at different things that might help us reach our full potential," Barry said.

"I've always thought this is the best heavyweight match-up of the year, this will be the most exciting fight in the division."

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