‘We’re not going to get this’: Joseph Parker’s trainer feared defeat against Dereck Chisora
28 November, 2021, 2:03 pm
As the scorecards were being read out, Andy Lee admits he feared the worst.
His new charge, Joseph Parker, had just battled through 12 gruelling rounds with veteran British heavyweight Dereck Chisora, climbing off the canvas after being floored seven seconds into their absorbing contest at Manchester Arena in May.
At ringside, opinion was divided on who deserved to have their hand raised. Chisora appeared to dominate the early stages, with Parker taking over during the second half of a brutal encounter.
“I thought we haven’t won this fight, they are not going to give it to us, not in Chisora’s hometown,” Lee told Stuff from Tyson Fury’s gym in the north of England where he is training the former WBO champion and his compatriot David Nyika.
“I thought, ‘we’re not going to get this decision, Joe’.”
Lee was a relieved man when Parker was given the nod via a controversial split decision (though he insists he won “clearly” by two or three rounds) but is adamant he will win their sequel at the same venue on December 19 (NZT) more convincingly.
“I still think it’s going to be a very hard fight. Chisora is going to be a handful for anybody, just because of his physicality and his style,” Lee, a former WBO middleweight champion, said of Parker’s looming rematch.
“[But] If Joe is locked in and focused from the start, picks the punches he has to throw, is economical with his punches, and doesn’t spend time on the ropes and take all those body shots, then he should be fine.”
One reason for Lee’s confidence is the fact he and Parker will have had the benefit of a full eight-week training camp. The pair only had a short time together before the first bout following Parker‘s surprise split from longtime trainer Kevin Barry.
The Irishman said Parker is in a “much better place” six months on and he is already seeing the improvements in the gym.
“At this stage during the last camp we’d just basically shaken hands. We’d just met, so we hadn’t done anything,” Lee revealed.
“So we have the benefits of the previous fight, the previous camp and all the time in between where we’ve constantly been in touch.”
While many felt Parker had dodged a bullet against the awkward Chisora and should move on to bigger and better things, Lee was among the few to immediately call for a rematch. He wanted Parker to show the world what he had seen for himself in the gym.