Joseph Parker swaps Vegas for Morecambe to revive career after Tyson Fury call

Joseph Parker has swapped the madness of Las Vegas for the sleepy coastal town of Morecambe.

But the Kiwi puncher believes his career will be reawakened on the seafront in Lancashire after some advice from good friend Tyson Fury.

Parker, 29, takes on hardened heavyweight veteran Derek Chisora this weekend in Manchester.

The New Zealander and former WBO champion is hoping to inject new life in his career which has stagnated since back-to-back defeats by Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018.

He had spent the previous eight years of his career having training camps with fellow Kiwi Kevin Barry in Las Vegas during which he became his country's first world heavyweight champion.

But a laboured performance in a win over Junior Fa in February prompted Parker to make a change.

And, after a text to Fury, he was soon on a plane to Ireland to train with former middleweight champion Andy Lee.

Parker said: “I thought about Tyson and the changes he has made in trainers so I sent him a text and asked if I could ask him some questions.

“He gave me a call, he said he really rates Andy in the top three trainers he has worked with.

"With the names he has worked with, that is a great recommendation.

“The next thing I was on Zoom calls with Andy, three or four calls later we were starting to make this plan and six days later I was on a plane flying to Ireland, so things happened really quick.

“There was nothing wrong with the old camp, I just needed something different.”

Parker and Lee – who helped Fury in his win over Deontay Wilder in 2020 – initially started camp in Dublin.

The Kiwi even stayed with Lee's in-laws on his first ever visit to the Emerald Isle.

“It was certainly a world away from Las Vegas,” he said. “But it was like a home from home.”

After a few weeks, Lee decided to bring Parker to Morecambe to train alongside Fury in the WBC heavyweight champion's gym.

Parker worked for a few weeks with Fury in his new facility attached to Morecambe FC's home ground before the British star headed out to Vegas.

The gym's walls are covered in pictures of Fury beating Wilder including an eight-foot high painting of the fight so there is no lack of inspiration in the intimate venue.

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  • “Tyson trains very hard, I thought that my level was high – well it is high – but when I trained alongside Tyson I could see the difference,” said Parker.

    “Andy said it was a great move just to be around the energy that he has, just to see how he works.

    “I did some body sparring with Tyson, he did 15 rounds one day, he is a beast.

    “There's something about him, his energy, it lifts you.”

    Irishman Lee is a revered figure in boxing first as a fighter himself, then an analyst for TV and radio but is now making his way as a coach with a small, but talented young stable.

    That is alongside his duties as part of Fury's team and now head trainer of Parker.

    “I feel like we connected from the beginning,” said the Auckland native.

    “This feels like the beginning of my career again.

    "I feel like you're going to see a refreshed me."

    But, while he has ambitions of being world heavyweight champion again, he won't be putting new trainer Lee in an awkward position by calling out Fury.

    Parker added: “What's the point? Even if I had a belt he could say, 'I have those belts at home'. I'm like his little brother.”

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