Sparring partners repeatedly fouling Parker to prepare him for Chisora

If Joseph Parker is walking funny after sparring, there is a legitimate reason.

The former heavyweight world titleholder is set to face former world title challenger Dereck Chisora in the chief support bout to the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament final between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis on Oct. 26 at The O2 Arena in London, England.

Kevin Barry, who trains Parker, has ordered sparring partners to land foul after foul to prepare his fighter for Chisora, who they expect will fight dirty.

"I've actually got some very good sparring guys," Barry told Sky Sports. "I won't name them. Guys who, one in particular, who is mimicking Chisora very well.

"Everything from leading with his head, using his elbows, and his forearms and low blows, and choking Joe with his arm, pushing Joe's head down. All the fouls that we know Derek Chisora has as part of his skill-set.

"My biggest concern about this whole fight is the officials. I'm hoping now that we've signed with Eddie - I'm not worried about the judges because they are going to be independent - but I'm worried about the referee. It's very, very important that we get a referee who can control a physical fight of this magnitude and can give us an even playing field. "I think we've earned that from The BBBofC."

Parker (26-2, 20 KO’s), a 27-year-old New Zealand native who trains in Las Vegas, won the vacant WBO heavyweight title with a controversial majority decision over now-unified champ Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2016. He made two unconvincing defenses before losing to then-unified titleholder Anthony Joshua on points in March 2018.

Since dropping a unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte last July, Parker has picked up back-to-back knockouts against the likes of Alexander Flores and former title challenger Alex Leapai.

Last month, Parker-Chisora was nearly called off over drug testing.

David Higgins, who manages Parker, threatened to pull his boxer from the bout unless Chisora agreed to undergo World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) drug testing.

"Under the circumstances of those conditions not being met, unfortunately, we will have to pull out of the fight," Higgins said in August.

Chisora (31-9, 22 KO's), 35, of the United Kingdom, challenged Hall of Famer Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title in February 2012 but lost a wide unanimous decision. Klitschko won despite suffering a torn ligament in his left shoulder early in the fight, and beat Chisora with one hand.

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