By Scott Gilfoid: Joseph Parker will be returning to the ring for a confidence booster fight against little known American fighter Alexander Flores (17-1, 14 KOs) in a 10 round fight in two months from now on December 15 at the Horncastle Arena in New Zealand.
It’s dire that Parker get a win under his belt at this point in his career, as he’s been dropped from the top 15 by all four of the sanctioning bodies due to his 2 straight losses. If Parker loses this fight, then he might as well pack it in and retire from boxing, because this is a fight that he should win with flying colors. However, as mentally weak as Parker looked in his last fight against Dillian Whyte, you can’t say for sure whether he beats even a mediocre fighter like Flores.
Former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) is coming off back to back defeats to British heavyweights Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) in fights that took place in the UK and ended in controversy. Parker was asking for trouble by agreeing to fight Parker and Joshua in the UK.
Normally this would be a disappointing pick for the 26-year-old Parker, but he’s coming off of the losses to Whyte and Joshua, and he needs a victory, any kind of victory.
The 28-year-old Flores’ claim to fame is being knocked out in the 4th round by former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin in April 2014. Flores also has a six-round draw against journeyman Avery Johnson (9-7-4, 3 KOs) in October 2014. The fact that Flores couldn’t even beat a journeyman with a 9-7 record suggests that he doesn’t belong inside the same ring with a talented heavyweight like Parker.
“I know what is stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out,” Parker said to skysports.com. “For me, boxing is all about the challenge – and this is another big one.”
Parker isn’t really a knockout puncher when fighting A and B-level fighters, but he’s capable of knocking out the C-level guys like Flores. This would be a major negative if Parker, 26, fails to KO and dominate Flores. Parker’s management has found him a soft touch in 28-year-old Flores, so now it’s up to him to show that he has the kind of talent to defeat him and get out of the fight with flying colors.
Against Whyte, Parker looked mentally weak through most of the fight, treating the British fighter like he was better than he actually is. When Parker finally started fighting aggressively in the 12th round, he was able to easily hurt Whyte and he had him ready to be knocked out. Unfortunately for Parker, he ran out of time in the ring, and he had to settle for losing a controversial 12 round decision. Parker did enough to deserve the win if he had good judging and a quality referee working on the night, but he didn’t have that. Parker had the talent to stomp Whyte if he had fought aggressively, but he mentally wasn’t assertive and he let what should have been an easy win escape him. When you fight a guy like Whyte, you have to give him no respect, and push fast pace, because he can’t handle it due to his poor conditioning.