If New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker can have a shot at a world title, he has one more obstacle to overcome. October 1st is the date for a bout in Auckland, New Zealand in the Vodafone Events Centre with Ukrainian-German challenger Alexander Dimitrenko.
Parker (20-0 17KOs) must defeat Dimitrenko (38-2-24KOs) in order to maintain his IBF mandatory challenger status to earn a bout with British superstar IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0-17KOs), who is also linked with a potential fight with Wladimir Klitschko at the moment.
Parker is not taking the task lightly. He has since been training in New Zealand with a new fitness regimen adding both power and speed to combat the formidably larger Crimean contender.
The seasoned veteran Dimentranko has only two defeats stemming from American Eddie Chambers and a knockout loss from Bulgarian championship contender Kubrat Pulev in 2012.
Pulev (23-1-12KOs), who unsuccessfully challenged former champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, was for a time rumoured to be Joshua’s next challenger in Manchester Arena on November 26th.
Many sources, including Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn have since brushed off Pulev for the moment, claiming among many reasons, disputes over purse splits and compensation.
With Pulev out of the picture for the time being, the focus turns back to the ethnic Samoan sensation Parker, who has claimed in multiple press outlets that his nearest challenger has personally insulted him.
The comments in question originate from a press conference in Hamburg, Germany where Dimitrenko is based, who has repeatedly stood by remarks made that had the May 2016 fight between Parker and French-Cameroonian fighter Carlos Takam been in France, Parker would have lost the fight due to his lackluster performance.
Hence, Dimitrenko implied that Parker no longer deserved his IBF mandatory challenger status.
The heavyweight from South Auckland is seen as a rising star in boxing’s standard bearing division today and represents one of the new wave of heavyweight trying to break through.
Parker, along with other undefeated fighters are attempting to shake up the old guard with the title loss of longtime champion Klitschko and the now-absent upsetter and current WBA, WBO, IBO, Ring Magazine and lineal heavyweight champion – Britain’s Tyson Fury.
One of those new contenders will be fighting on the Parker-Dimentrenko under card this Saturday in fact.
Polish pugilist and Parker training stablemate Izuagbe Ugonoh will be facing off with French journeyman Gregory Tony.
Ugonoh (16-0-13KOs) has been seen as one of the future conquerors of the division and will be squaring off against Tony for the vacant IBF Mediterranean heavyweight title.
Ogonoh has also competitively kick-boxed and has reportedly taken dance lessons to improve his boxing footwork and coordination to reinforce his hard-hitting and wide swinging style. Ugonoh has also participated in Poland’s own, “Dancing with the Stars.”
Tony (21-6-16KOs), who has also participated in kickboxing, is looking to get on the right track or at least at the age of 38, finish with a few more wins under his belt.
Tony is coming off a duo of boxing losses to Frenchmen Mickael Vieira and Newfel Ouatah back in 2014. However Tony is riding high off of a knockout win in kickboxing in June of this year.
The sweet science is heating up once again in the southern hemisphere.
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