Former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker admitted with a wry smile that he was "very tempted" to strike Luna Rossa helmsman Jimmy Spithill in face during a friendly sparring match this morning.
The pair scrapped it out in the ring for two rounds, ahead of Parker's much-anticipated showdown against fellow heavyweight Junior Fa later this month.
Parker said he was feeling good ahead of his professional match, but took some time out of training and prep to chat to Breakfast about his spar with the America's Cup veteran this morning.
"To be honest, Jimmy's not that bad," he said.
"Jimmy has some experience, he's had some amateur fights and from the way that we were sparring — it's only body sparring but he could show that he knew how to defend himself — he also knew how to throw punches.
"He's one of those people that just keeps coming forward, doesn't give up and I saw that today."
However, Breakfast host Scotty Stevenson asked Parker if he was tempted to "throw one at the head" of the Australian yachtsman, who Kiwis love to hate.
"Very tempted. As a fighter there is body sparring but you're always tempted to throw something at the head," Parker joked.
"I didn't get the chance to throw it. Probably next time, when we have head gear and mouth guard then we can make it a bit more full contact."
Parker said his training with Kevin Barry was going "tremendous" ahead of his big fight, and that he was eating clean, sparring hard and "feeling very good". It's a far cry from the lead up to his high-profile match with Anthony Joshua in 2018, when British talk show host Graham Norton made light of Parker's physique, calling him the "king of pies".
"I'm definitely excited to be getting in the ring again, fighting Junior Fa soon," Parker said today.
The pair will go head-to-head at Auckland's Spark Arena on February 27.
The fight is also available to watch on Spark Sport.