It’ll be all guns blazing - Parker
Heavyweight boxer Lupesoliai Joseph Parker might be looking forward to his trip to Samoa tomorrow but he knows he is not coming for a holiday.
Parker, Trainer Kevin Barry and his delegation are scheduled to touch down at Faleolo International Airport at 2pm.
He will have a week to acclimatize for the 'Rumble in Paradise' bout against American southpaw, Jason Bergman, who is scheduled to arrive on Sunday.
The two boxers will clash at Tuana’imato next Saturday.
Last night, Lupesoliai and Bergman met for the first time at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.
And Bergman was the first to throw a jab.
"I hope he's feeling 100 per cent ready to go to war on January 23 because it will be a fight," the American said. "I feel it's going to be a very competitive fight and I've come here to win not for the pay cheque.
"I'm going to shock the world and I'm going to be ready to die in that ring and I hope he is to."
Bergman even had the time to mock Parker’s appearance.
"Puffy face is usually coming from getting hit a lot in camp and sparring,” he said.
"It could be the reverse of us being lefties, everything is backwards so it is much, much different than fighting an orthodox fighter. That's the advantage of being a leftie and I like it."
Prior to the Pullman encounter, Lupesoliai admitted that he has had some issues.
"You're sort of a bit scared to throw your hand when you know there's injuries,” he said.
“You don't really want to throw it and I'm sort of holding back in what I can actually do in the ring.
"It sort of plays a few tricks on your mind. With the back as well you can't really sit down on your punches and give it the full power that you can give.
"Even though we have injuries and niggles we are 100 per cent prepared."
As for Bergman’s comments, Lupesoliai remained calm.
"He has what he wants to say. I haven't had an end of year yet, I've been training right through so I'm looking forward to the break after this fight and want to finish this year off with fireworks.
"He's well prepared and like he said he's ready to go to war so it's going to guns blazing in Samoa."
Trainer Kevin Barry also admitted that he has demanded a lot from his fighter.
"This fight in Samoa for me is just a continuation of 2015," Barry said.
"Six fights in 10 months is a lot to ask for a young guy. Ok, some of the fights have been short - most of them have been short - we've had a lot of good knockouts in 2015. But what you need to remember is that we've sparred over 375 rounds in the gym over the last year."
Bergman's record stands at 25-11-2 but he comes into the bout in fine form having won 16 of his last 18 fights.