Tua, Barry and Parker

By Richard Damerell - Sky Sports ,

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Trainer Kevin Barry is guiding the career of heavyweight contender Joseph Parker

Trainer Kevin Barry is guiding the career of heavyweight contender Joseph Parker

Lennox Lewis ruined Kevin Barry's world title dreams 16 years ago, but the Kiwi is guiding another Samoan contender towards a shot at boxing's biggest prize.

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is the latest heavyweight hope from New Zealand and has blasted his way up the rankings with 17 straight wins. The big-hitting 24-year-old's progress is being overseen by Barry, an experienced manager and trainer who has been here before.

Sixteen years ago, Barry managed another heavy-handed New Zealander, David Tua, who produced a string of chilling stoppage wins to earn a Las Vegas clash with Lewis, the WBC and IBF champion, in November 2000.

But the 'Tuaman' failed to justify his fearsome reputation and Barry watched helplessly as the hesitant challenger threw just a handful of his big hooks in a dominant points win for Lewis.

"We all worked so hard. It was my first big chance at a major event," said Barry.

"When we were on the biggest stage, I think he was a little overawed and couldn't pull the trigger when it mattered the most. When he realised that he was behind - he couldn't win - he was content to survive the 12 rounds instead of finding a way to win the fight.

"I know David himself would have loved a do-over, because he knows he was capable of doing a lot more than he actually did on that night."

Comparisons can be drawn between Tua and Parker, who are both of Samoan heritage, and the current contender has blazed a similar destructive trail through his early opponents.

But Barry insists Parker displays an earnest dedication to the sport, which sets him apart from his previous protege.

For more details http://www.skysports.com/boxing/news/12184/10127773/joseph-parker-is-the-latest-heavyweight-hope-for-trainer-kevin-barry

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