By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 18/10/18 5:32pm
Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has confirmed his next opponent as Alexander Flores.
The New Zealander suffered back-to-back losses in Britain, losing his WBO belt in a points defeat to Anthony Joshua in March, and then dropped another verdict to Dillian Whyte in July, but can end the year with a win when he faces Flores at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on December 15.
Based in California, Flores has 15 stoppages in 17 victories, with his sole defeat coming against ex-IBF champion Charles Martin, and Parker has vowed to produce a knockout in front of his home fans.
I know what is stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out
“For me, boxing is all about the challenge – and this is another big one,” said Parker.
“I know what is at stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out. But I can’t focus on that, I need to focus on getting better, each and every time I get in the ring.”
Trainer Kevin Barry admits Parker cannot afford another setback at this stage of his career as he seeks to put himself back in contention for another big-name bout.
“After a five-year undefeated run that took Joe all the way to the WBO world title, we now find ourselves in very unusual territory, coming off back-to-back losses,” said Barry.
“Joe has never been in this position before and needs a top performance. Joe finds himself under huge pressure to not only win this fight, but to win big and get his career back on track.
“We’ve known for some time it was likely to be Flores and it is great to have that confirmed.
“These guys are the same height and they both pack a serious punch, so it stacks up as a great contest.
“This is a dangerous fight. A fight where Joseph Parker is fighting for his career.”