Bare-knuckle boxer Mickey Parker relishing underdog status as he aims to bring British title to Leigh Park with win against Mark Godbeer
Mickey Parker is relishing the underdog status as he bids to bring a British title back to Leigh Park.
The 36-year-old meets Mark Godbeer for the BKB heavyweight crown at London’s O2 Arena tomorrow.
Parker, who boasts a record of 4-1, is the outsider with the bookmakers heading into the bout.
Despite making his bare-knuckle boxing debut, Godbeer is a well-known name in mixed martial arts (MMA), having fought four times in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But Parker insists he thrives when under pressure – as he highlighted in his second-round TKO win over Jamie Proctor in January to set up his shot at the silverware.
And the former Staunton Park Community School pupil, who is trained by former ABA champion Billy Bessey, is confident he can pull off an upset.
Parker said: ‘I’m excited and the belief has been there the whole way through my training camp.
‘Mark has been there and done it but I’ve thought all the way through I have a chance.
‘Training has been brilliant and now it's time to shine on Saturday.
‘I thrive on walking out in them arenas. I remember where I’ve come from and if someone told me five years ago I’d be doing this then I’d laugh at them.
‘I class myself as lucky when I go out there. Life has picked me to go down the path I have and I enjoy every step of it.
‘On paper, I’m not stupid and I’m by far the underdog.
‘Mark Godbeer has been there and done it in the MMA world – but he’s coming into my game now.
‘He is a brilliant MMA fighter and he can box. But on the night, it’s the first time he’ll do it.
‘I’m confident in my ability and he’s confident in his – the winners will be the fans.
‘I love being the underdog. I haven’t lost a lot in BKB or boxing and I have been the underdog a lot of times.
'It doesn’t make me complacent but it does take a certain pressure off you.
‘In the same breath, though, in my last fight I had the Godbeer fight in the pipeline. That was the most pressure I have felt.
‘But this time I am relaxed and I’m going to go out there on fight day and enjoy it.’
A hundred fans will be travelling to the capital to create a crackling atmosphere and rally behind Parker.
And it would mean the world to the big hitter to clinch the silverware.
Parker added: ‘It would mean the world to me win the title.
‘I had a chat with my coach, Billy Bessey, the other day and we remembered my first white-collar fight.
‘I sold about 240 tickets and he said “Mick, take this all in because it’s your moment and will never get a night like this again”.
‘But the other day he took it back because I’ve proved him wrong over and over again.
‘Saturday is my moment. I’ll be taking everything all in and it’ll meant the world to me.’