Joseph Parker vs Alex Leapai Preview June 29th
Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand steps back into the ring this Saturday, June 29th when he takes on Alex Leapai of Samoa in Providence, Rhode Island. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on DAZN while fans in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports. Parker’s last outing was in December when he stopped Alex Flores in the third round. Leapai last fought in August when he stopped Roger Izonritei in the fifth round.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Parker vs Leapai Betting Odds
- Alex Leapai +1183
- Joseph Parker -2008
The 27-year-old Parker won the WBO title in December, 2016 by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by majority decision. He then lost it via unanimous decision to Anthony Joshua in March of 2018. He owns a fine record of 25-2 along with 19 Kos with his other loss being a 12-round unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte last August. Parker’s well known for his power, but his speed should also be taken note of as he has pretty quick hands as well. His biggest problem is leaving himself open for counter shots. Parker doesn’t mind taking one or two punches to land one of his own and so far his chin has more or less held out as it’s been tested quite often.
But to be honest, Parker’s power has gotten him this far in his pro career not his boxing skills. His power has been lacking a bit lately though as five of his last six fights have gone the distance against Whyte, Joshua, Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and Ruiz. Still, Parker’s current knockout ratio stands at an impressive 70 per cent. Parker still needs to improve his stamina so he can fight the full three minutes of every round if he’s forced to. He won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship by stopping American Brian Minto in seven rounds back in 2014 and also won several other regional heavyweight titles in his part of the world such as the WBO Oriental Title and the OPBF crown.
Parker’s faced some decent boxers so far such as Joshua, Ruiz, Whyte, Fury, Alexander Dimitrenko, Minto, Carlos Takam, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Jason Pettaway, Frans Botha and Sherman Williams. He turned pro back in 2005 and has 150 rounds under his belt since then. He also has decent size for a modern-day heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches in height with a 76-inch. Parker’s not the most athletic of boxers though and generally has trouble against fleet-footed and mobile opponents. He also needs to instill a killer instinct. He waited too long to go after Whyte and virtually had him out on his feet just as the bell rang to end the contest.
As for Leapai, he’s now 39 years old and relatively unknown in North America. He turned pro back in 2004 and has compiled a record of 32-7-4 along with 26 Kos. He was born in Samoa and now lives in Australia. Leapai isn’t very big for a heavyweight as he’s just six feet tall with a 75-inch reach. He gives up four inches in height to Parker along with an inch in reach. He has beaten the likes of Denis Boytsov, Owen Beck, Darnell Wilson and Travis Walker. He’s got decent power with a knockout ratio of 60 per cent and that’s probably his only hope against Parker though.
Leapai’s losses have come at the hands of Manuel Charr, Malik Scott, Wladimir Klitschko, Kevin Johnson, Colin Wilson and Baden Oui with Oui, Klitschko and Johnson all stopping him and the Klitschko fight in 2014 being for the former champs collection of world heavyweight titles. Leapai’s four draws have been against Roger Izonritei, Kotatsu Takehara, Nermin Sabonivic and Mark De Mori back in his pro debut. Leapai’s last defeat came in 2015 but he’s fought just three times since then. He’s also won a few regional titles since turning pro.
For Leapai to pull off an upset here he’s basically going to have to land one hell of a punch flush on Parker’s jaw. Of course it’s possible but not very likely. This isn’t an ideal opponent for Parker if he hopes to build his way back to a title shot and needs to be proving himself against today’s crop heavyweight contenders. However, he needs to get back in the ring and work on his aggression instead of being known as a “nice guy.” Parker’s taking a risk against Leapai because if he loses he’ll become the forgotten man of the heavyweight division. In all likelihood he wins by stoppage though.
Parker’s youth, speed and power should be too much for Leapai.
Play: Parker -2008 @ BetOnline.ag
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