Joseph Parker in confident mood ahead of WBO heavyweight title fight with Andy Ruiz
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 29/11/16 12:42pm
Joseph Parker has declared "this is my time" to become a heavyweight world champion ahead of his WBO title fight with Andy Ruiz.
The 24-year-old New Zealander will battle Ruiz for the vacant WBO belt at Vector Arena in Auckland on December 10.
Despite receiving home advantage, Parker's trainer Kevin Barry has suggested his fighter is the underdog against Ruiz, who has earned a reputation as one of the fastest punchers in the division.
But Parker believes he is more than ready for a world title fight following 21 straight wins and hopes to be crowned as heavyweight champion in front of his own fans.
I think Kevin did say Andy was the favourite, but he didn't say I was going to lose.
"I respect Kevin and his opinion and Andy does have fast hands, but I believe I'm faster, so I'll prove Kevin wrong on fight night," said Parker.
"I'll be the faster fighter. I think Kevin did say Andy was the favourite, but he didn't say I was going to lose.
"This is my time. Andy, I know he is preparing well for this fight, and I know he's taking this very seriously but the fight is going to be held here at home and I'm ready for it."
Parker has undergone a tough education in the professional ranks, which has seen him maintain a demanding schedule, but he dismissed any concerns about injury or fatigue.
"There is still a lot in the tank," he said. "This will be the 15th fight in three years and the body has taken a beating in training, and in the fights.
"But I'm ready for this challenge and I get two months after this, so this fight I'm going to give it everything I have, whatever is left in the tank."