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Parker sidestepping bright lights of Vegas

Published: 7:41PM Monday May 13, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Great New Zealand boxing hope Joseph Parker is keeping his feet firmly on the ground in the bright lights of Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old heavyweight has been in Sin City for nearly four weeks now, and while he attended the Floyd Mayweather title fight against Robert Guerrero two weekends ago at the MGM Grand, he has otherwise been purely concentrating on his boxing education with new trainer Kevin Barry.

"My trip was coming here and being fully focused on my training and preparing myself to be the best fighter I can," he told ONE News on the famous strip.

"So I would like to see more of Vegas but I think it will corrupt my boxing. I will just concentrate on training. Maybe one day I can come have a look around with friends but I'm enjoying the training."

Parker's current professional record stands at 3-0, with three knockouts, but they were all against opponents who could be best described as journeyman.

However his next two fights - against Mixed Martial Arts fighter Brice Ritani-Coe and South African veteran Francois Botha - are serious steps up in his fledging career.

"I came here with a task and that is to train the best we can for the fight and if we get off track it wouldn't work," Parker reaffirmed.

"But Kevin (Barry) is keeping me grounded and I'm calling my parents every day on Skype and my Mum is telling me concentrate on what you have to do. She misses me but there is a great reason why I'm here.

"You just have to stay focus and get those right people around you because if you didn't have them I would be out here experiencing the buildings and people so I' great I have good people around me."

Parker fights Ritani-Coe in Los Angeles on May 17 before returning home to fight Botha on June 13 in Auckland.