Respected boxing trainer Peter Fury has offered his thoughts on Joseph Parker’s points defeat to Dillian Whyte in London last weekend – and it won’t make for easy listening for the Kiwi heavyweight.
Speaking to the British Boxers channel, Fury – who was in son Hughie’s corner when Parker successfully defended his WBO title in Manchester last September – openly questioned the Aucklander’s mental fortitude, saying he needs to “grow a pair of balls” if he is to compete with the best of the division.
The outspoken trainer also lavished praise on his fellow Englishman Whyte, saying he got his tactics spot on and “deserved” the unanimous points decision that handed Parker his second successive defeat as a professional.
“I thought Dillian Whyte did exactly what he need to do to Parker. Rough him up, take him into a street fight, which he did,” Fury said of the thrilling heavyweight scrap in front of a sold out O2 Arena.
“So he took him into a street fight and Parker seemed to be [found] wanting, he was all out at sea. He looked like he was in shock, panicked.”
Fury did acknowledge that the New Zealander was unfortunate to have a “bizarre” knockdown ruled against him the second round following a headbutt from Whyte.
But he said those roughouse tactics from the Brit were just part and parcel of boxing and it was up to Parker to respond in kind.
“So what if you get a headbutt – pull your s..t together and give the same back as you are getting,” Fury said.
“We are all street people, from the street.
“Dillian Whyte did exactly the right thing [roughing Parker up] because otherwise he would’ve got out-boxed.”
Fury went on to praise Whyte’s conditioning and jab, saying he had forced the pace during the fight and dominated Parker on the inside.
He did give Parker credit for his late rally in the 12th round in which he knocked Whyte down with around 30 seconds to go, but said the Londoner showed true grit to ride the storm and hang on for the hard-fought victory.
“[Parker] come out of his shell for some reason and started throwing punches back towards the end of the 12th,” Fury said.
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“I thought Dillian was crafty there because he went down, he got up, he held onto him [Parker] for grim death until the bell went. He won that fight. No question. And he deserved the win.”
Despite questioning Parker’s will to win, Fury – who masterminded his nephew Tyson’s stunning victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 that ended the Ukrainian’s long reign – did offer some words of encouragement for the battered Kiwi, saying he was a good fighter “capable of giving anyone problems”.
“He gave Whyte major problems when he opened up and start using his hands,” he told British Boxers.
He went down [in the ninth round] and showed he had good qualities, he got up, got hit with a good solid hook. He got up off it. Tough, tough lad. He just needs to grow a pair of balls when it comes to getting outside on the street.”
But Fury isn’t convinced Parker has the mental game or hunger to succeed against the very best, questioning his mindset and echoing his nephew Tyson’s comments that he lacks spite and is perhaps too nice for the fight game.
“He’s got to get in there and be prepared for everything that comes, an avalanche if necessary, and fight through it, Fury said. “Bite down on the gumshield and get a grip of your situation and want it.
Every time I see him [Parker] box at the end it’s almost [like] he’s happy to be in there. He’s not bothered about losing. You can be too good of a sportsman. I think he needs to get some spite in his mentality. This is about winning, and moving onto the next stage. And Dillian had that, and he never [did]. And that was the telling of it.”