As Joseph Parker continues his preparations for a make or break showdown with Dillian Whyte in London on July 28, the spectre of Anthony Joshua continues to loom large over the build up to their fight.
Joshua, the unified heavyweight world champion, has been the only fighter to beat either man and Parker has revealed some regrets over his unanimous points loss to AJ in Cardiff last March.
Devastated at the time at losing his WBO belt and unbeaten record to the brilliant Londoner, he has recently spoken of his belief that he did not do himself justice in the ring that and has accused Joshua of treating him with a lack of respect in the aftermath of their one-sided encounter.
The Kiwi was accused by many of being overly cautious and lacking aggression in the bout but he did manage to become the first fighter to take AJ to the final bell and he feels that feat has been overlooked by many, including his opponent.
When asked whether he felt Joshua has been respectful, Parker told Sky Sports: "Not really. He said if he could turn back time, he will knock me out, but I know he tried to knock me out and he couldn't, so he's making excuses.
"He's a nice person and humble, but making excuses is something else."
Interestingly, Parker claims he has been hit harder by other heavyweights in the past and rues his failure to fully test Joshua's chin.
"Of course he's got power, but I've been hit a lot harder from other people," said the 26-year-old.
"Three, four times [I've watched it back]. I've seen it a few, and got some advice.
"When you watch it, you're like 'Damn, I wish I had punched him here'."
Whyte also fell victim to AJ but in somewhat more spectacular circumstances. A brutal knockout ended his night but not before he had stunningly wobbled the legs of his compatriot in their thrilling 2015 showdown.
And Whyte has accused Parker of showing cowardice in his negative approach against Joshua.
"That’s why I think he was a coward – he didn’t get hurt at any point in the fight," Whyte said. "He didn’t get stung but he didn’t make the decision to go after him. Now he regrets it. To me, that’s a coward’s mind-set."
Parker will undoubtedly be itching to unload some pent up aggression on July 28. Fireworks seem guaranteed.News Now - Sport News