Parker: I’ll Be Faster Than Ruiz

Joseph Parker is on the brink of the his a heavyweight championship, a dream the New Zealand boxer has so long chased. He will face Andy Ruiz for the WBO belt in front of a favorable Auckland crowd. While the belt is in his sights, Parker knows his opponent is dangerous — so much so that his own coach labels him an underdog.

Parker’s coach Kevin Barry made an interesting statement in the buildup to the Dec. 10 bout: He said that Ruiz is the favorite in the fight and has faster hands than his boxer does.

Parker looks forward to proving his trainer wrong.

"Andy does have fast hands but I believe I am faster," Parker said. "I’ll prove Kevin wrong come fight night, that I will be the faster fighter. Kevin did say that Andy was the favorite but he didn’t say I was going to lose. This is my time."

Parker (21-0) just wrapped up his training camp in Las Vegas ahead of the title fight. Andy Ruiz will be the fifth opponent Parker has faced in 2016, and the fifteenth in three years. The 24-year-old Kiwi boxer says there is no risk of getting burnt out from the hectic fight schedule.

"There’s still a lot in the tank," he said. "It’s been a tough three years, as this will be the 15th fight in three years and the body has taken a beating in training and in the fights, but I am ready for this challenge and I get two months off after the fight so this is a fight I am going to give it everything I have."

Andy Ruiz is known for his aggressive, pressuring style, which he will need to use to get inside the reach of Parker. Knowing what his opponent will be attempting to do in the fight, Parker has been preparing with a steel focus.

"These fighters put on pressure, threw a lot of punches," Parker said of the stockier, aggressive training partners he brought in to mimic Ruiz’s style. "I was able to control my distance and control them. So whatever Andy brings I know I have prepared for."

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