NOBODY fairly is aware of how or why heavyweights Joseph Parker and Jack Massey have been paired this weekend in Manchester, but it has occurred and one solely hopes the match ignites at least considered one of two careers very a lot in want of a jumpstart.
As uncommon as it’s, the combat between Parker and Massey is indicative of two heavyweights within the wilderness proper now. For Parker, final seen being flattened by Joe Joyce within the eleventh spherical of a mini traditional in September, it represents the possibility to get again on the horse and relaunch yet one more climb up the world rankings, whereas for Massey, somebody whose profession as a heavyweight is in its infancy, this combat is the ladder up he might have been requiring for a while.
Definitely, should you take note of expertise and seasoning, the result of Parker vs. Massey must be simple sufficient to foretell. It’s Parker, in spite of everything, who has competed at a lot greater weights and ranges, each traditionally and in current instances, and it’s Parker, too, who comes into the combat boasting wins towards males like Andy Ruiz Jnr, Derek Chisora (twice), Hughie Fury and Carlos Takam.
Nevertheless, whereas Massey is unable to match these wins with something on his report, he has misplaced simply as soon as in 21 professional fights and has received his final three all by stoppage. If nothing else, then, the 29-year-old, referred to as “One Smack”, shall be assured. He shall be acquainted with the sensation of profitable and, although a newcomer to the heavyweight division, may have each perception that his smaller stature and superior pace could make Joseph Parker really feel comparatively cumbersome within the ring.
Sometimes, in fact, it’s Parker who’s the smaller man throughout fights at heavyweight. It’s a bonus he typically makes use of as properly, recurrently outboxing opponents together with his faster palms and ft and accumulating rounds on the scorecards.
Right here, although, he’ll presumably don’t have any such luxurious. Massey, having by no means been heavier than 205 kilos all through his nine-year professional profession, and having by no means earlier than formally competed at heavyweight, will clearly be the smaller and marginally faster man on combat evening. Whether or not he can put this to good use is one other matter, nonetheless.
To this point, Massey, 20-1 (11), has to date solely fought one opponent of any actual notice, towards whom he got here up brief by way of 12-round determination in 2019. That man was Richard Riakporhe and the combat, though shut, proved a step too far for Massey, then campaigning as a cruiserweight.
Now, towards Parker, 30-3 (21), he shall be competing at the same degree – if not greater. Furthermore, he shall be assembly somebody in Parker who, even when battle-hardened and perhaps diminished by a few of his previous skirmishes towards high fighters, stays a person of 31 years of age, with sufficient freshness and ambition to fend off the specter of an opponent who, till he proves in any other case, appears considerably out of his depth right here. To show that, Parker ought to attempt to power a stoppage, however the extra possible end result, given the New Zealander’s propensity to cruise, is a call win.
Elsewhere on the cardboard, whereas Jack Massey mixes it with an enormous title at heavyweight, former opponent Richard Riakporhe settles for preventing a lesser however no much less revered title down at cruiserweight.
His first actual step up as a professional arrives within the type of Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki, 32-3 (20), who has undoubtedly seen higher days however is a former WBO cruiserweight belt-holder and a artful southpaw besides. He received’t, at the age of 36, provide Riakporhe the type of risk the Londoner maybe wants to essentially deliver out one of the best in himself, however he will definitely pose him questions and new seems which might, if Riakporhe takes him flippantly, make issues fascinating for just a few rounds.
Riakporhe, in fact, is unbeaten at 15-0 (11) and has emerged in current instances as one of many hardest hitters within the nation. Direct and spiteful, the 33-year-old possesses a vicious proper hand and a lethal physique shot and has used this energy to good impact, halting the likes of Fabio Turchi (TKO 2), Deion Jumah (KO 8) and Olanrewaju Durodola (TKO 5) within the final 12 months or so. He’s tall and rangy at 6’5 and appears to have turn into an more and more tough fighter to keep away from, so measured and calm is his method, and so decisive is the second he explodes into motion.
Glowacki, for his half, may have seen most types thus far as a professional, but might not have come throughout somebody like Riakporhe earlier than. He struggled fairly noticeably with the rangy model of Lawrence Okolie again in 2021, when stopped inside six rounds, and has since then solely managed to defeat the 16-3 Francisco Rivas Ruiz by way of fourth-round stoppage final April. All indicators, due to this fact, level to a person very a lot on the decline, which ought to, if type counts for something, end in Riakporhe claiming the most important scalp of his profession someplace across the midway mark.
Maybe probably the most aggressive combat on the Manchester undercard is one at welterweight between Ekow Essuman and Chris Kongo, with each British and Commonwealth titles at stake.
Essuman, unbeaten at 18-0 (7), received these two belts in 2021 when stopping Chris Jenkins inside eight rounds. Since then, he has efficiently defended them towards Danny Ball (W KO 6), Darren Tetley (UD 12), and Samuel Anwi, whom he defeated over 12 rounds final September. At 33, the Nottingham man is having fun with one of the best type of his profession and relishing his function as champion.
Kongo, in the meantime, is three years Essuman’s junior at 30 and has misplaced simply as soon as in 15 professional fights (with seven wins by stoppage). That loss got here towards Michael McKinson in 2021, when outpointed over 10 rounds, although following it Kongo responded properly, profitable two fights, together with a 10-round determination win over Sebastian Formella final 12 months.
Stylistically, this combat must be way more to Kongo’s liking than the one towards McKinson, but it surely’s nonetheless exhausting to see past Essuman persevering with his good run of type, more than likely on factors.