Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker came out victorious in last Saturday’s all-Kiwi grudge match with Junior Fa, but he’s still making some changes. The New Zealand Herald revealed that Parker has “split with long-time trainer Kevin Barry by mutual consent.”
Parker (28-2, 21 KO), Barry, and manager David Higgins soon released statements confirming their parting, which by all accounts appears to be perfectly amicable.
“Without Kevin I wouldn’t be where I am today. Together we made it to the very top. Kevin was with me every step of the way, guiding my progress inside and outside of the ring. So it is with genuine sadness that I confirm our partnership has come to an end.
“But the time just feels right. It’s fitting that we closed this chapter of my career with a win in front of a great home crowd in Auckland, and with bigger things just on the horizon.”
Parker had worked with Barry since his fifth pro fight, a six-round unanimous decision over Brice Ritani-Coe in 2013. Parker would go on to score notable victories over Any Ruiz Jr., Hughie Fury, and the aforementioned Fa under Barry’s tutelage, winning and twice defending the WBO belt along the way.
Despite these successes, Parker’s definitely underwhelmed in recent years, and a change of pace could be necessary to finally live up to the talent he showed early in his careers. He’ll certainly need to be in peak condition for his pending clash with Derek Chisora, which the Herald claims could land in London on May 1st.
Best of luck to both men in their future endeavors.