And on cue, quasi-famous people in Aotearoa are Tweeting up a storm supporting Joseph Parker. Besides making me wonder what you get in return for helping Duco promote Parker's fights (a few Whopper vouchers? Mmm, I want some Burger King) this must mean that Parker is back in action!
Our loyal readers will find this all deja vu-ish. Each time Parker's fight nears, I find myself hugely excited to see the best boxer Aotearoa has produced since David Tua continue to climb the ranks. That excitement is undeniable and maybe it's why famous people love Parker as well (or maybe they just like the rewards) but my excitement is always matched by a feeling that I can't really describe in a word or two. Around the time when Parker pops up to fight someone new, I want more for Parker, I want Parker to spread his wings and embark on tougher challenges in a foreign land, I want Parker to hit a new level. Instead of fighting a who's who of boxing journeymen.
It's hugely conflicting because while I want to see Parker face the world's best and challenge himself, I also understand and respect the process that Duco and Kevin Barry are going through with Parker. There is money to be made in Aotearoa and they are playing the slow game with Parker - there's nothing wrong with that. Each event involving Parker fills the treasure chest of Duco and Parker, establishing the Parker brand in Aotearoa where sponsors like Burger King are in a frenzy to have their company associated with Parker.
You (like myself) can see that Parker is a beast with freakish speed, power and size. Hence he has made every opponent he has faced look pretty shit.
Tomorrow night, Parker will fight against Kali Meehan. Meehan has been talked up as Parker's biggest test yet, but let's not forget that boxing is a sport in which a dude dressed up as Batman to help promote his fight. Meehan is a veteran who has definitely done some handy things in the ring, but he has also not fought outside of Aotearoa and Australia since early 2011.
Meehan's last fight was a year ago against Shane Cameron and before that he won the Super 8 tournament. It's safe to say that Meehan has a cosy relationship with Duco Events and to be honest Meehan looks like someone who Duco has in their stable to give Parker just another fight ... not his biggest test yet.
Parker might encounter his biggest test yet and that would be great - is it worth forking out $39.99? Definitely not. Parker should be too good and as always we'll be waiting to see what he does next - spread your wings son!
The other major yarn doing the rounds at the moment is the ongoing Chris Cairns saga, which has taken an inevitable but sad turn. Lou Vincent has taken the stand, as will a host of other cricket players and Vincent has been 'cross-examined' as they say. This is the usual legal process that goes down (apparently, I don't fuck with the courts) and Vincent has provided details into how Cairns lured him into some match-fixing.
The sad turn for me is that we now have one kiwi in Cairns going to war against another kiwi in Vincent. Sure, it is not Cairns himself who is questioning Vincent's word and character but with Vincent at the stand, Cairns' team have opted to do whatever they can to ruin Vincent's evidence ... or ruin Vincent.
At this stage of the shenanigans, Lou Vincent has already admitted his wrongs and copped his punishment on the chin. That's not easy to do when your punishment isn't just being banned from any sort of cricket and your reputation takes a massive beating, so I make no apologies in my sympathy for Vincent. He did the crime and has dealt with it.
Cairns on the other hand continues to ooze this repulsive ego in which he does nothing other than be a bully. Cairns, to some extent bullied Vincent into taking part in match-fixing and now Cairns and his team continue to play the role of the bully in court. Cairns was a hero to Vincent and myself and possibly even you. Right now Cairns is one hell of a slimey dude.
That's just my opinion. Regardless of your opinion, or mine, this is such a shit situation for Aotearoa. The man who is apparently at the centre of one of the bigger match-fixing dramas in the past decade was a kiwi cricketing great and he got another kiwi involved. Now the headlines about Cairns, Vincent and anything else to do with this case always include 'New Zealand'. Pity no one thought about that at the time.
It's the biggest scandal in cricket right now and as a kiwi it is nothing less than disgusting.