Parker arrives in NZ, but where is Fury?Save
WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker arrived in Auckland this morning ahead of his bout with Hughie Fury on May 6, but his opponent's arrival date is still a mystery.
Parker is set to fight the Englishman at Vector Arena in two week's time in what will be his first defence of the WBO heavyweight title since he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland last December to claim the belt.
While Parker landed in Auckland with trainer Kevin Barry earlier today after jetting out from their Las Vegas camp to prepare for the showdown, the 25-year-old was unsure when his challenger would arrive, with Fury and his management remaining secretive of when he will land in the country.
"He's not even here yet and hopefully they do come," Parker said.
"The fight is scheduled to happen May 6 and I hope they do come down so they can see what it's all about, see what New Zealand's about but also see what my fists can do in the ring."
Trainer Kevin Barry was surprised Team Fury had left it late to dot down in New Zealand ahead of such an important fight, but maintained that there was still plenty of time for Fury to ready himself for what will be his first challenge at a world title.
"Look there's still two weeks out to the fight," Barry said.
"There's plenty of time for them to arrive, we made an offer to them a while back that they could come out here six weeks before the fight.
"Every international team that we've bought out here in the last four years, we've been very, very accomodating to them, we've put them in the best hotels, we've had drivers with them, we've flown them very well and it surprises me that they are leaving it to this late stage to arrive down."
Parker was also critical of Fury's timing of arrival leading up to the fight, especially for a boxer who has never previously dealt with jet-lag, he said.
"He's never done jet-lag before, so for someone who hasn't done it before, they should be down here acclimatising to the time and all sorts of stuff like that," Parker stated.
"I've done it before so I know what it takes to get my body used to it and I know I will be ready so I'm not sure how they'll react to it but lets see what happens."
All 20 of Fury's previous professional fights have taken place in either Europe or the east coast of North America, meaning the bout against Parker will be by far the furthest the Englishman has had to travel for a fight.
Despite the secrecy surrounding his arrival date, Fury can be expected to be in the country within the next few days, as the Stockport-born fighter is scheduled to hold a press conference in Auckland on Wednesday.