Kevin Barry refusing to play 'bad guy' in Parker-Fa build-up despite stakes

Kevin Barry admits the “stakes could not be any higher” for Joseph Parker in the fight against Junior Fa, but that doesn’t mean the Parker team will engage in a war of words despite some bad blood between the rival camps.

Joseph Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry. Source: Photosport

Barry said that despite a desire in the media for someone to play the villain in the lead-up to the December 11 fight, he won’t be that guy.

“We’ve got a very interesting, saleable fight in the world of heavyweight boxing,” he said.

“Both very humble guys, guys that don’t talk a lot of smack.”

Your playlist will load after this ad

Parker’s trainer says he doesn’t need to diminish or disrespect Fa in the build-up to the heavyweight bout in December. Source: 1 NEWS

“I’m not going to be that bad guy, Joe and I have worked very, very hard for the last eight years.”

“Joe is a very respected name in the world of heavyweight, I don’t need to diminish or disrespect Joe’s opponents to quantify the success of Joseph Parker.”

While he wouldn’t be playing the bad guy in pre-fight promotions, Barry was not shying away from the stakes for both fighters.

“The stakes could not be any higher, Junior is six and Joe three with the WBO, the inner of this fight is going to find themselves one fight away from fighting for a mandatory position to fight for the world title.”

“If he is to slip up here against a very strong, undefeated No.6 world ranked Junior Fa, it’ll be a long way back for Joe to get in title contention.”

Exclusive: Israel Adesanya delays next UFC fight so coach can train Junior Fa, plans to return with shot at second title

“Now they have history, they fought four times in the amateurs, Junior won the first, Joe the second and third and Junior won the fourth.”

“The fourth was the most important because it was the Olympic trial.”

Parker had a noticeably different physique and was sitting just two kilograms from his fighting weight after training hard and lifting weights through Auckland’s lockdowns.

“Once it [the pandemic] hit, Joe never took his foot off the pedal, he kept training, he kept his strength programme going, and this is something he’s wanted to do for a long time, to focus on explosive power and he’s got himself very big at the moment.”

There was a noticeable thickness in the shoulders and chest, Barry said.

“His strength levels are the best they’ve ever been so know we have to get off the heavy weights and start concentrating on our game plan.”

“Joe feels his hands are as fast as they’ve ever been.”