Another “Letter from Benny” comes our way, Monday, February 23, 2015. Off and on, Benny Ricardo, the CBS broadcaster, standup comic, burnt-out NFL field goal kicker and writer has often been a contributor to SportofBoxing.com offering his insights into the world of boxing, the sweet science.
Ricardo: “If you will recall, on July 5, 2012 when I announced Joseph Parker’s first pro fight with the Colonel Bob Sheridan, I said then, this gentleman will become the “next Heavyweight Champion of the World” and as forecast he remains on course. He’s now coming into his prime at 23 years of age.
“What makes him a rarity in the heavyweight division is the fact he’s always in the right physical shape to fight for an entire 12 round fight. With the exception of Vladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder…the rest of these guys are rubbish that pick their spots to fight and then hold on longer than a Kardashian marriage.
“Both myself and my broadcast partner agree. Here’s a quote from the Colonel: “I believe as Joseph Parker progresses through the ranks and gains more and more attention, he’ll be a person New Zealand will be able to proudly call their own, similar to what boxer Manny Pacquiao has done in the Philippines. At this point, I don’t think people in New Zealand realize how good this kid is. I go along to the gym twice a week, at least three times a week in Las Vegas and I’ve seen his development. I can tell you Kevin [Barry] punishes him to the point your talking Marine Corps training, something very few athletes in other sports can do and there’s very few professional boxers dedicated to do it and this kid gobbles it up like it’s french toast in the morning.”
Ricardo: “To keep you up to date, Parker (12-0, 10 KOs) is now ranked #9 by the WBO and #10 by the WBA. His next fight is on Thursday, March 5, 2015. It will be against the 34 year-old American Jason Pettaway (17-1, 10 KOs) in a 12 rounder at the Vodafone Events Centre, 770 Great South Road, Auckland, New Zealand.
“After checking the records of their opposition, you will notice Parker’s opponents had a far better combined record of 196 wins, 75 losses and 8 draws when he faced them. Pettaway’s opponents were more “light in the loafers” and had a combined record of 100 wins, against 161 losses and seven draws.
“To perfect his skill set, Parker has been training for six weeks at the Las Vegas gym, Elite Fitness, with his trainer Kevin Barry. They finished up their training today, Monday, February 23. To afford such exhaustive, exacting training, you need to have the proper resources and the right people (visionaries) to back you up. He has that.
“Who’s Kevin Barry? For the past 35 plus years, he’s been involved in the fight game. The New Zealand-born Barry is the 175 pound Silver medal Olympic boxer who faced Evander Holyfield in 1984 in that controversial fight when Holyfield was disqualified for hitting after the break. Happily married to Olympic gymnast Tanya Mosse, he’s been a commentator, fight manager, entrepreneur who at one time or another helped train such notables as IBF super featherweight champion Robbie “The Bomber” Peden (25-4-0, 14 KOs), WBA super middleweight champion Maselino Masoe (30-6-0, 28 KOs), heavyweight Mafaufau Tavita Lio Mafaufau Sanerivi Talimatasi, otherwise known as David Tua (55-5-2, 43 KOs) and WBA & IBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (15-2-0, 10 KOs).
“After today’s final workout, Parker and his entourage return to New Zealand where he’ll finish up and start tapering off for the Pettaway fight. Word is Parker is looking very powerful and has been working on his explosiveness plus developing new options. Lord help Mr. Pettaway.
“According to David Higgins, Parker’s manager/promoter, “Pettaway is an experienced fighter with a good amateur pedigree and has solid fundamental skills. His footwork and movement are why we chose him as an opponent for Joe. I want different styles in front of Joe every time we fight. This I believe will make him a more complete fighter.”
“The 23-year-old Parker stands 6’4 and was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. At this point, he is the youngest rated top ten heavyweight. Parker is coming off an early fourth round, knockout victory over Irineu Beato Costa Jr. on December 6, 2014 at the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton, New Zealand.
“Sorry to go the route of a defense attorney, but the above summation was geared towards convincing you to get yourself a ticket on the next Air New Zealand flight. Or, if you’re up for it, you can fly with us on my private jet leaving Monday. I’m sure I can arrange for you to sit with us at ringside.”
SportofBoxing’s research: When not in the gym, the calm, cool and collective, 34 year-old Jason Darnel Pettaway, who owns and operates a barbershop “Upper Cuts” in his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia, may well be in the salon cutting hair. He’s also 6’4” tall and coming off a TKO victory (1st round) over Brandon Winner on August, 2014. Pettaway’s only loss came in 2012 when he faced the formidable, power punching Magomed Abdusalamov.
Pettaway has a bullish, aggressive style and likes to jump on opponents early. He poses an intriguing challenge for the younger Parker due to his technical skills and extremely high punch count. With over 100 amateur bouts, Pettaway is convinced his experience will take him the distance against New Zealand’s golden boy.
This sensational fight night will also include local and international talent along with the infamous Brown Buttabean versus Tongan rugby legend Finau Maka. Tickets start at just $39 and as you can imagine a sell out crowd is expected. Made the best man win.