Success can bring along lots of unexpected problems. For a fighter, working out different ways to answer the same old questions is a constant challenge. It is something Zach Parker is having to get used to. The interview requests are starting to come thick and fast. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Over the past year almost every licensed fighter in the country seems to have been forced into installing Zoom whether they like it or not. Parker has always preferred actions to words and might have needed his arm twisting before giving in and downloading the app but the WBO’s number one ranked super middleweight is starting to enjoy the attention.
“It’s all about getting my name out there. It’s good to get the attention, when fight week comes up you don’t want it as much but it’s all part of the game isn’t it?” Parker (20-0, 14 KO’s) told 32Red. “I take it all in my stride these days. Since signing with Frank Warren I’ve felt right at home. Them getting me back out so soon after my last fight is great. I’m absolutely buzzing and couldn’t be happier. I just wanna get these big fights on now.”
As Parker says, this will be his second appearance on BT Sport within three months. In March, he made an instant impact by blowing Vaughn Alexander away in two rounds at a partitioned off, empty Copper Box Arena. The mission this weekend is to stand out underneath the famed dome of the Royal Albert Hall amongst fighters of the calibre of Lyndon Arthur and Anthony Yarde.
Parker fights Sherzod Khusanov (22-2-1, 10 KO’s) and the veteran Uzbek is the type of hard, determined fighter who will provide Parker with rounds, resistance but little acclaim. Parker will look to become the first man to stop Khusanov and add to a reputation which is growing amongst both fans and boxing insiders. Manchester trainer Pat Barrett became the latest member of the fan club after seeing Parker spar his man, Arthur.
“Pat [Barrett] said to Errol, ‘He’s better than he looks isn’t he?’ Everybody seems to say that. It’s different when you’re in there isn’t it?” Parker laughed. “Everybody is starting to take notice of me now I have a proper British promoter and I’m on BT. People seem to be asking ‘Who’s this new up and comer?’ It would have been good if it had happened sooner but it’s happening now. The Derby County fans all know me anyway but other people are starting to notice.
“I’ve never boxed in London as a professional and what a place to do it at. I’ve had a look at the photos of the Royal Albert Hall and it looks a great venue for boxing. Now the fans are back as well, what more could I ask for? I’ve gotta try and keep the momentum with me now. I have to keep winning and keep moving forward.”
Parker has manoeuvred his way through the WBO rankings and into the number one spot but if he is to maximise his potential and earnings, his team realised that the time was right to get some help in moving him onto the next level. His lofty rating might have been one of the main factors in Warren’s decision to offer him a deal but the way in which he has taken to the spotlight and the manner in which he blew away Alexander have really opened eyes.
In an ideal world he would cement his place as Britain’s best super middleweight with a massive domestic clash to help bridge the gap to world level but if Parker does get the call to fight Mexican superstar and WBO title holder, Canelo, he can sleep a bit easier knowing that he will have the full support of the Warren promotional powerhouse behind him.
“That’s it,” Parker said. “I’ve never had that before, even with my old promoters I always felt a little bit like the outsider. Now that’s changed. I was buzzing with how they treated me before my last fight and all of us – me, my manager Neil Marsh, and trainer, Errol Johnson – all felt right at home. It was the same with the press conference we did a couple of weeks ago. I could feel everybody was getting behind me. Frank was coming up talking to me and giving me little wise words.
“I really want a big name fight. Somebody who everybody knows. Give me that and I’ll show you who I am. I’ll show you how good I am. The guys I’m facing now are really tough and really good but they aren’t people who anybody knows. I want people like John Ryder and I think I saw Rocky Fielding online the other day saying he’s got something coming up. Chris Eubank. I’d fight any of them.
“I’m just waiting for my chance and when I get it, I’ll be taking it with both hands.”