Go get him, Parker!
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Two unbeaten hard-hitting heavyweights clash for the vacant WBO heavyweight world title tonight at the Vector Arena in New Zealand.
Samoa’s favorite son, Lupesoliai Joseph Parker, (21W-0L,18KO’s) will have the weight of two entire nations’ expectations on his shoulders when he faces Andy Ruiz (29W-0L,19KO’s) of California, USA.
The 24-year-old Lupesoliai stepped on the scales at 246.75 lbs while the 27- year-old Ruiz was at 255.75 lbs.
"It wasn't deliberate, I just feel my body is where it is at. Muscle is heavier than fat, maybe it's muscle," Lupesoliai said with a knowing smile.
Lupesoliai has been on a new strength and conditioning programme for his last two fights and believes the benefits are showing.
He was delighted with his three-round demolition of Alexander Dimitrenko in early October but feels he's taken his body and power to another level.
"I'm more powerful, trust me, you'll see it tomorrow night, I'm hitting way harder than ever before."
Lupesoliai’s trainer Kevin Barry said Parker's power was at a new level and had an injury to prove it after holding the pads at training on Thursday.
"Yesterday it felt like I was hitting hard, I hurt Kevin's shoulder, he was in a bit of pain," Parker revealed. "My punches are crisp, powerful and sharp.”
"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. I'm relaxed, I'm ready to go, trust me."
Asked what his plan was for Ruiz, the 27-year-old with 29 consecutive wins, were, Parker didn't hold back.
Predictably, his strategy is based around his noted left hand jab and his significant height and reach advantage.
"I'm going to punish him from the outside, I'm going to pierce his face with my jab," Parker said.
Parker weighed 109kg for his last fight. Ruiz has been dogged by weight issues since making his professional debut in 2009 at a massive 134kg.
He weighed around 115kg for his last two wins earlier this year but has a habit of ballooning between fights. His hard-nosed trainer Abel Sanchez knocked around 16kg off Ruiz for this fight and the effect that may have on his performance has come under scrutiny.
But Ruiz is around his preferred fighting weight and believes he has much better conditioning and endurance after his tough altitude training camp.
"It's time to have fun, time to show the talent I really have," Ruiz said.
"The main thing from here is to stay relaxed, stay focused and do what I've got to do."
A win by either fighter will enter their name in the record books.