Leigh Park bare-knuckle boxer Parker dropping nice-guy image to win British title shot
Mickey Parker believes he’s one victory away from landing a British title shot.
And the Leigh Park heavyweight has vowed to drop his nice-guy image when he meets Jamie Proctor at London’s O2 Indigo.
Parker returns to the ring at BKB 15 on Saturday, January 26.
The 35-year-old enters his bout with Proctor on the back of a maiden defeat to Mason Shaw at BKB 13 in June.
Nevertheless, Parker has upped his commitment as he aims to etch himself into Portsmouth boxing folklore.
The former Staunton Park Community School pupil, who is trained by ex-pro and ABA Champion Billy Bessey, feels a crack at silverware is on the horizon if he delivers a victory.
But Parker has insisted he isn’t underestimating Proctor.
He said: ‘Things have went absolutely fantastic so far and big things are happening for me this year.
‘There’s talk if I come through this fight that I’ll get a British title shot.
‘I’m going the extra step and I’m taking everything so seriously this time.
‘It’s taken me to another level. I don’t work a lot these days, I’m living the life of a fighter and reaping the benefits.
‘I have an opportunity with BKB because it’s up-and-coming. It’s getting projected to a worldwide audience.
‘When you look down the tunnel, you actually think “I could be a part of this” so I’m riding the wave and going with it.
‘Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon but I’ve got my foot in the door.
‘Although I’m pretty old for a fighter at 35, I can achieve a lot in the next 2-3 years and can go down in fighting folklore down here.
‘I’m friends will Joel McIntrye and over Christmas I was out running with Mikey McInson.
‘Everyone talks about them and I’m getting mentioned in the same breath – it’s absolutely fantastic and I love the life.
‘I’ve got to win this fight and if I do then the next one will be massive for me.
‘It’s horrible in way because it is a distraction. I’m not overlooking it, though, and I’m confident I can win.’
Parker slipped to 2-1 after being outpointed by Shaw.
By his own admission, he worked on his defence too much during his training camp and didn’t throw enough punches inside the ring.
But Parker sees that defeat as a blessing in disguise.
And he’s pledged to fight more aggressively this time around.
Parker added: ‘In my win against Nathan JDogg, I got cut. From that, I went away and only worked on my defence.
‘I went in against Mason and almost had stage fright. I took all of his shots on the arms but never threw anything back – I came out of a bare-knuckle fight without a mark on me!
‘I worked so much on my defence I forgot to throw anything.
‘It was a blessing in disguise. It showed me how much I want to succeed, made my defence brilliant and now I know I can’t be Mr Nice Guy.
‘When I’m in the ring, I’m the opposite of a fighter. But for six minutes, I’ve got to be no-one’s friend and get the job done.’