DILLIAN WHYTE threw the first verbal punch at Joseph Parker by calling his upcoming opponent a “coward”.
The 30-year-old Body Snatcher takes on the Kiwi, 26, next weekend at the O2 in London.
And the pair gave a preview of what is in store by pulling no punches as they went head-to-head on the Sky Sports’ “Gloves Are Off” last night.
British heavyweight Whyte blasted the Kiwi’s performance, saying: “It was cowardly.
“Six or seven rounds into a fight, if you’re in the home fighter’s country against a world champion and a golden boy, you know you’re behind on the scorecards, there comes a time when you’ve got to go after it.
“I feel that he was too much of a coward to make that decision. He had waited for that opportunity for his whole life.”
Surprisingly, Parker agreed with his foe but insisted it will be completely different in the capital on July 28.
He admitted: “I was too cautious. I didn’t throw enough punches and didn’t put him under enough pressure. But I gained experience.
“In this fight [against Whyte], I can put on a display. He can question it all he likes but, come fight night, he will see the courage that’s in me.”
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Whyte has been defeated by Joshua himself back in 2015, a fight in which he suffered a shoulder injury in the second round.
He battled bravely until he was floored in the seventh, but was adamant quitting never once crossed his mind.
Whyte said: “When I fought Joshua my shoulder went in the second round.
“My coach wanted to pull me out. I knew I still had enough power to land a one-hitter-quitter but unfortunately I got stopped. I could have done what everybody does and produced medical records after.
“That’s why I think he was a coward – he didn’t get hurt at any point in the fight. He didn’t get stung but he didn’t make the decision to go after him. Now he regrets it. To me, that’s a coward’s mind-set.”
But Parker retaliated and warned: “I can move, I can box, I can fight, I can go to war.
“I have better speed, I have better movement.”
However, Whyte interrupted to have the last word, saying: “Timing and precision beat speed, I don’t need to be as fast.”
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