Joseph Parker provoked heavyweight rival Joe Joyce by warning that some fans at the AO Arena in Manchester will support him.
The duo will go head-to-head in an eagerly awaited showdown on Saturday as the winner will move one step closer to the world championship title in 2023.
While London-born Joyce is the home fighter, the majority of his encounters have taken place in the capital and this will be his first time at Manchester Stadium.
New Zealander Parker, on the other hand, is eyeing a fourth straight win in the ring and, having spent most of the past 18 months in Morecambe, feels that strong Lancashire followers – including ‘brother’ Tyson Fury – will be there to support him. End of this week.
“This is my yard. Three wins, Heggy (Fury), Derek (Chisora) and Derek again, so I’m going to finish fourth,” Parker (30-2, 21KOs) told the Palestinian News Agency.
“I know the UK supporters have been very good to me, very welcoming to me so I feel like this is another home for me.
“I know when I fight one of them, they always bolster their strength but there will be some that I consider to be mine and will cheer me up.
“I look forward to putting on a great show.”
This will be Parker’s sixth competition in the UK, with his highlight of 2018 taking place at the Principality Stadium where he lost on points to Anthony Joshua in a world title battle.
England has largely been the home of the 30-year-old since the coronavirus pandemic after he forged a strong relationship with Fury, who is set to face Joshua in an all-British affair later this year although he had suggested on several previous occasions. retired.
Parker said of his training partner, “Tyson is in most of the training sessions, we go for a run and he’s in the gym.
“He’s let Andy (Lee) teach me, coach me, make plans for matches, but adds his advice whenever and wherever he can. When he’s in the gym, he brings that positive feeling and good energy, so it’s always nice to have Tyson in the gym. His own sports made now!
“It would be good to see (Fury vs. Joshua). Tyson retired a few times and came back a few times but I think he’ll be here for a while in the boxing game. He still has a lot to give.”
Parker, the former WBO champion, has been coached by Lee since last year and has two wins out of two under his new team.
The seasoned boxer’s long-term goal is to become world champion again and whoever wins in Manchester will be a mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Usyk but a rematch clause has been introduced by Joyce’s camp.
“I don’t think a rematch clause should happen unless you are a champion,” Parker insisted.
“I think they just needed it to feel like holding their position as mandatory or number one but that’s how much I support myself.
“I got into the fight, I know what it takes to beat him, I know I can beat him, and if he wants a rematch and another hit, I’ll give him another chance to lose again.
“The two-time world champion is kind of in the future. I can see myself as world champion again but that’s not really the immediate (goal).”
“It just sits there and I know what it takes but it’s about participating in these battles, winning these battles, winning well and participating in exciting battles.”
If Parker can beat Joyce (14-0, 13KO), it could open the door for more competitions with other British boxers and possibly revenge.
He added, “Fighting Dillian White again to avenge my loss, or fighting Joshua would be fine, but none of those would ever work or happen if I didn’t get rid of this guy first.
“Joe Joyce has got my full attention 100 percent and I want to punch his face first before I punch them in the face.”