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Botha fight causes Parker split with Sir Bob

Published: 10:10AM Tuesday February 26, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

A difference in opinion has caused the split between New Zealand boxing prospect Joseph Parker and boxing aficionado Sir Bob Jones, according to promoter Dean Lonergan.

Parker, 21, signed a six year deal with promoters David Higgins and Lonergan's Duco Events late last year and had a successful start to his career under them, pummelling Richard Tutaki to take his professional record to 3-0.

Today it was confirmed that Parker and controversial South African Francois Botha have ''agreed to terms'' for a fight in May in New Zealand.

It's a fight that has led to Parker's manager, Sir Bob, quitting and questioning Botha's credibility, especially after his recent controversy-filled fight with Sonny Bill Williams in Australia.

"We (and Sir Bob) just had differences of opinions," Lonergan told ONE News.

"Bob has been amazingly successful - he has five, six hundred million dollars to sit back on so he doesn't need to do what we do and that is to work hard.

"So we are going to try to come up with a combination of what is going to be good for Joseph but also make money."

There is no doubt the fight with Botha - which will be fought in either Auckland or Hamilton - will command a pay-per-view audience but Sir Bob believes that the fight does little to help Parker's development.

"Fighting some lumbering oaf, coming swinging at him throwing wild punches - no he'll learn nothing from that," Jones told ONE News.

Lonergan disagrees.

"We think Botha is really good step up for both his short and long-term prospects.

"If Joseph can overcome a Francois Botha, who has 61 fights under his belt, we think it'll jump him up a couple of classes in perception and also keep slowly stepping up Joseph in category of opponents. 

"So I think Bob is a little bit off the mark but we respect his opinion but at this particular time we are not on the same page."

Parker's next fight is on Thursday in Christchurch against 30-year-old Dontay Pati, who, according to respected boxing website boxrec.com, has fought only once - at cruiserweight - for one loss.

After the Botha fight in May, it is rumoured that Parker is eyeing a move to Las Vegas and linking up with former David Tua trainer, Kevin Barry.

"Look there's a lot of things that are going to come out with the wind over the next couple of weeks or couple of months around Joseph Parker. Really exciting developments&," Lonergan said.

"I can't confirm or deny (the rumours) but the future for Joseph Parker is all rosy."

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