A leading boxing writer is impressed by the development of New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker.
Dan Rafael, who is the boxing writer for ESPN.com, believes that Parker could be exactly what the heavyweight division needs after he knocked out Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Jr. in Hamilton on Saturday night.
"Parker, 22, of New Zealand, is an intriguing prospect in a division in dire need of them and the sensational knockout he scored against Costa should get even more people excited about him," Rafael wrote.
"Parker is already a popular attraction in his home country and coming along nicely as a professional following a quality amateur career. He's already beaten gatekeeper opponents such as Sherman Williams, Brian Minto and Frans Botha with ease."
"He finished Junior with ease for his fifth win of the year, and his handlers aim for him to fight five more times in 2015 as he makes his way up the ranks.
"Besides fighting regularly, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Parker has also gained experience as a sparring partner for world titleholder Bermane Stiverne and has been invited to spar with world champion Wladimir Klitschko for his next camp in the spring."
Rafael, who began writing for ESPN.com in March 2005 after working for five years as the boxing writer for USA Today, went on to praise Parker's knockout power.
"Parker showed good hand speed and a brutal body attack against Costa, 34, of Brazil, who was stopped for the first time," he wrote.
"Parker went upside his head with right hands and was breaking him down before he obliterated him with a knockout of the year candidate.
"Parker nailed him with a left hook that basically turned Costa's head into the follow-up right hand that caught him flush on the jaw and splattered him flat on his back.
"Costa's eyes were open, but he was totally out of it. Referee Brad Vocale counted to four and then waved it off at 31 seconds. Spectacular. Knockouts like this are why folks love heavyweights."