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Trainer: Joseph Parker focused like never before

Kevin Barry talks about what he’s seeing in his fighter as he gets set to unify titles with Anthony Joshua.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

As WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker kicks off training camp for his March 31 unification with Anthony Joshua, trainer Kevin Barry fields questions about what he’s seeing in his fighter who is preparing to fight on the big stage.

“...the first full [of camp] week went great. You know, we’ve arrived back from London on a Wednesday. We’ve had three days of settling in where Joe was in the boxing gym, doing a lot of rounds, doing his road work, getting a bit of conditioning in in the gym, getting back on a good diet. Then the first full week saw us getting right back on our program: road work every morning at 5:30[am], boxing in the gym at 11, everyday, Monday through Friday.

“We were doing physio on a Tuesday and Thursday for 90 minutes in the morning...Joe’s doing yoga on a Wednesday and a Saturday, neuromuscular work on a Friday for two hours, he’s back with his deep tissue work which he really loves — he’s getting a couple of two hour massages a week. [I] had a couple of good conversations with his mental strength coach and we brought a new strength & conditioning coach on board — a gentleman with a lot of experience, who’s worked with some of the top athletes here in America, and also has worked with a lot of Olympic teams from various Russian countries.

“Joe loves his work, he’s really challenging Joe to the max...I think during an 8-week camp in Vegas we’re gonna get a lot of really good results from that. So all in all his weight is coming down, he’s got more of a spark in the gym everyday, showing me a little more, hitting the pads really well. We’ve had a couple of good 10-round sessions on the pads, he’s doing good, strong bag work — everything’s coming together really nicely.

“After spending a little time back in Samoa and back in New Zealand he put a couple of pounds on but he came back nice and motivated, nice and refreshed, and focused like I’ve never seen him before. So, you know, he’s on a good diet, the weight’s come down — I think he dropped four kilograms in the first eight days. So all in all, the first week of training has gone really, really well.”

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