Parker (18-0, 12 KOs), ranked No.2 with the WBO, says he is in the shape of his life ahead of his crunch clash with the WBO No.1 Murdock (24-1, 17 KOs). The 25-year-old is relishing a return to Manchester, where he has previously enjoyed success, and is adamant his name will top the 168lbs pile after March 7.
“This has been the best camp I’ve ever had,” said the Derbyshire boxer. “I’m flying. All my gears are going and I can’t wait to get in there. I’m ready to rock and roll. I’ve had a longer camp this time and I’m in tremendous shape. I’ve been doing some different bag drills and a lot more sparring for this one.
“We’ve had former WBA World Champion Giovanni De Carolis over. It’s been great having someone with that kind of experience. I’ve also been sparring Jason Welborn, Lennox Clarke, Kieran Conway, and a couple of amateurs as well, so I’ve been mixing it up with different lads and different styles.
“I love the Manchester crowd. The stadium is always electric. This is where I fought Adasat Rodriguez on the Groves-Eubank undercard and knocked him out in the second round. It’s going to be good fighting back there again and hopefully I can get another stoppage win to make it two out of two.
“I’ve watched a bit of Murdock but I don’t really watch a lot of my opponents. I usually just concentrate on what I’m doing because every fight is different. He will probably bring a different game plan into this fight so I’ll be read for whatever style he brings. I expect this to be my hardest fight so far but I’m ready to go. He’s won 24 out of 25 so you know it’s going to be a good fight.
“This is the most important fight of my career so far. He’s number one and I’m number two. We’re both going to go at it to see who can come out on top and get a shot at the title. I’m 100% confident I will be number one after March 7th.”
If successful, Parker will be eyeing a shot at the reigning WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, an all British-showdown he says he would happily accept along with a clash with any of the division’s other top names including Callum Smith and Caleb Plant, or a mega-fight with Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who is rumoured to be boxing Saunders or Smith May.
“Billy Joe Saunders is definitely on my radar,” says Parker. “He’s a good fighter. He’s been there and done it. A two-weight World Champion. That’s the type of fight I want against top-level opposition. I would be open to fighting any of the big names. For me, it’s between Caleb Plant and Callum Smith for who’s best in the division. Callum Smith didn’t look too good against John Ryder, he looked a bit iffy so I would have to go with Caleb Plant, but I would fight either.
“If Canelo decides to fight Saunders then he could be next for me. That’s the kind of fight you come into boxing for. Fighting under the big lights over in America. That’s a fight I would love and I think I would cause some problems for Canelo because of my awkward style. That’s 100% a fight I would love.”