JOSEPH PARKER admits he has been a Brit of of a pushover for his English conquerors – but has vowed to get nasty with Derek Chisora.
The popular New Zealand heavyweight charmed UK fight fans when he visited Cardiff in 2018 to lose his WBO title to Anthony Joshua.
And he was roughed up and bullied to the second points loss of his career six months later by Dillian Whyte.
During lockdown the 29-year-old and his family produced brilliant viral videos to keep people around the world smiling.
He certainly couldn't hide his grin during Thursday's face-off as Chisora, 37, leant in for a playful hug.
But he knows he has to swap comedy skits and his gap-tooth smile for dark arts and violence on Saturday.
When asked about Chisora labelling him ‘too nice’ to be a serious fighter, Parker said: “That’s not unfair, he is probably right.
“There is always an element of me being too nice and I feel I have probably been like that in a few fights. It is down to me to change that.
“It's a character trait that is hard to change, but I think it will come with practicing how I want to be and what I want to do in the fights, in my sparring sessions.
“In the past I may have said I will be a bit more rough and aggressive but I haven’t really done it.
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"This time I will be nice before and after the fight but I will be rough inside the ring and in the fight.
“And I feel like I have practiced it enough now that I will have no problem pushing and shoving Derek and anyone else around the round.
“I want to box and be smart when it’s right and fight fire with fire when the time calls. If he tries to rough me up I will be able to show him what time it is.
“I am not going to let these guys push me around and walk all over me anymore. I am here to show these guys that I mean business.”
Parker left his beautiful home to move to Tyson Fury’s Morecambe and train alongside the Gypsy King with his coach and cousin Andy Lee for this fight.
And the Samoan has adapted to their close-knit way of life, despite the vast difference between their chilly Lancashire base and his Polynesian paradise.
He said: “The Traveller community does feel like a tribe and in New Zealand we have diverse communities with Maoris, Samoans and Tongans and everyone sticks with their tribe.
“With Tyson and Andy Lee, I feel like I fit right into not necessarily their tribe but we understand each other.
“We get along very well and I feel very fortunate and blessed to train alongside them. It’s something new and something different. It’s always great to learn from cultures and tribes.”
Parker and the 6ft 9in WBC king struck up an unlikely friendship after the Kiwi outpointed cousin Hughie Fury in 2017.
Tyson barged into the ring after the bout to complain about the controversial majority decision – but they were all filmed topless and dancing a dodgy Haka a few hours later back at the fight hotel, forging a bond that has led to Tyson ruling out a clash with his buddy.
Parker said: “The fight with Hughie Fury was the first time I ever met Tyson.
“And then after it was the result they didn’t want, they were able to put that aside and come to the room and just chill and celebrate and do the most awful Haka I’ve ever seen by anyone.
“I stopped doing it because I knew it was that bad.
If I want to fight Fury I can keep calling him out. If he doesn’t want to fight him that’s his own decision.
"But I feel that’s the point where we started this great friendship and sort of brotherhood.
“I’ve always said I would love to fight the best, but he’s made it clear to me that he will never fight me and he doesn’t see a reason to fight me and he’ll fight everyone else and I respect that.
“If I want to fight him I can keep calling him out. If he doesn’t want to fight methat’s his own decision. I think he’s just chasing other guys.”
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