Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker is adamant he belongs back among the world’s elite, despite a tumble in the latest rankings released by The Ring magazine.
The former WBO world champion has fallen to seventh in the ratings produced by the self-proclaimed ‘Bible of Boxing’, with Britons Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury filling the top two spots, followed by American Deontay Wilder.
Cuban Luis Ortiz, American Dillian Whyte and Russian Alexander Povetkin round out the top six, with Parker next.
“If that’s how they rank it, then of course, I don’t have much to say about that,” Parker told RadioLIVE’s Sunday Sport. “It’s highly respected.
“For me, it’s good to be still ranking in the top 10, but I feel I’m better than some of those guys and I feel I can beat them – I just haven’t been able to show it yet or show it to my full potential.
“Sometimes you look good in the gym and you train well, and you head into the fight and things don’t go as you planned.
“I think there’s a lot more to come, a lot more I can show – that’s why it’s so exciting.”
Parker, 26, entered 2018 with an unblemished professional record and the WBO belt, but lost both against Joshua in April (NZT).
Seeking a quick bounce-back, he took a fight against Whyte at short notice and dropped that as well, putting him firmly on the back foot in a stacked heavyweight division.
Saturday’s fight against Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores in Christchurch is designed to half the slide, although Parker’s unheralded opponent is talking up his chances of ending the contest early.
If that happens, Parker’s currency as a heavyweight contender will likely be spent.
“I feel I belong right at the top, where those guys are” he told Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes on Sunday Sport.
“Things haven’t played out that have put me down the ladder and I have to see that as extra motivation to climb back to the top three in the world.”
During a year with more downs than ups, Parker has at least found out who his real friends are.
“There are a lot of people who show support when everything’s going well and when you lose, you see a lot of people you thought were your friends say other things that really show [their true colours].