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Chisora collides with Parker

Zimbabwe-born British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora warned “you can’t compare Joseph Parker to Tyson Fury.” This is despite the addition of Andy Lee, part of Fury’s team, to Parker’s corner.

Zimbabwe-born British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora squares up against Joseph Parker
Zimbabwe-born British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora squares up against Joseph Parker

Parker appointed his new trainer after accepting advice from Fury, who romped to a brutal win over Deontay Wilder with tactics that Lee helped to devise.

“We might surprise you,” Lee warned Chisora before tonight’s heavyweight clash. “We surprised everyone with Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder…”

But Chisora hit back: “You can’t compare Parker to Fury. Fury is a different beast! Fury lives fighting, he loves fighting, he was born fighting. Parker is totally different.”

Parker, when asked if he would implement the all-out attack tactic against Chisora that Fury used to beat Wilder, said: “I’ll do a bit of both. I’m no Tyson Fury. I fight differently. We have a good game-plan.”

The heavyweight contenders had enjoyed breakfast together on Thursday morning with the amusing sight of Spiderman turning up — that was part of a running joke after Parker previously withdrew from a fight against Chisora citing a spider bite.

A smiling Chisora then embraced Parker into a ballroom dance during their first face-off of the week but insisted the friendliness would end abruptly.

“Bit of banter, reading your opponent, seeing what he thinks, his movements, how he jitters,” Chisora said about their breakfast.

“I’m still having a laugh and a joke now but, tomorrow (tonight), you’ll know what time it is.”

Parker replied: “Now we are getting closer to the fight we are getting into fight mode.

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“We had a dance but I know that things will change really quickly.

“It’s all part of the game. He is trying [mind games] but none of that affects me. I will remain calm, remain myself.”

Chisora also teased that his New Zealander rival would be “on his bike” inside the ring and would “cycle back to Australia”.

He added: “I get inside so easy because they are scared of me coming inside so they are retreating.”

Parker’s trainer Lee warned: “Don’t discount Joe’s punching power. It’s spiteful.”

Chisora’s new trainer Buddy McGirt said: “I think they will try to box then fight on the inside when they want to. They want to dictate.

“I know how Andy Lee thinks.

“We have to get down and dirty – hit his thigh, his knee, his back. We will go after everything. It’s no secret.”

During lockdown the 29-year-old Parker and his family produced brilliant viral videos to keep people around the world smiling.

He certainly couldn’t hide his grin during Thursday’s face-off as Chisora (37) leant in for a playful hug.

But, he knows he has to swap comedy skits and his gap-tooth smile for dark arts and violence tonight.

When asked about Chisora labelling him “too nice” to be a serious fighter, Parker said: “That’s not unfair, he is probably right.

“There is always an element of me being too nice and I feel I have probably been like that in a few fights. It is down to me to change that.

“It’s a character trait that is hard to change, but I think it will come with practicing how I want to be and what I want to do in the fights, in my sparring sessions.

“In the past I may have said I will be a bit more rough and aggressive but I haven’t really done it.’’ Sky Sports