Well folks, Joseph Parker's pretty good at boxing. Just in case you have been living under a rock for the past three years and didn't quite know that Joseph Parker is blessed with incredible hand speed and power, last night's TKO of Kali Meehan once again showcased what has all of us pretty bloody excited about Parker's potential.
For those who have seen Parker fight before - subsequently ruining the dreams of a helpless opponent - this was nothing new as Parker has showed this traits ever since we got our first chance to watch him fight. I love Parker; he's a South Auckland brother and the prospect of fighting for the belt is well within reach with the performances that he has served up so far in his short career. But last night's fight against Kali Meehan was nothing new.
On Wednesday I wrote about the sense of deja vu leading into the fight as Meehan was being talked up and what not. Here I am after the fight experiencing the same sense of deja vu after Parker dismantled a 45 year old who is definitely a gritty professional boxer ... but not much more than that.
I am desperate to see Parker be taken outside his comfort zone and see him fight more high profile opponents in different countries - not fighting guys who are friends of Duco in Aotearoa.
This won't happen any time soon though with Parker to set to be the only credible name on the Fight For Life card in December and then he's off to fight in Samoa. The fact that Parker's opponent for the Fight For Life isn't yet known means that it's unlikely to be any fighter of note and I can probably predict how this will all go down: random boxer talked up, Parker destroys him.
I'm a bit critical. I just really want to see Parker put under pressure because right now we are learning absolutely nothing about Parker as he beats guys he should never come close to losing to.
Rugby World Cup Quarter-Finals! Hoorah, it's here, get in.
South Africa vs Wales
Wales have become a cute team to support after beating England and they will have plenty of support for this game. I can't see them beating South Africa though with coach Heyneke Meyer naming what I see as his strongest side even without Victor Matfield. Both Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth have had strong performances in this World Cup, to the point where you would have to strongly consider one of them starting over Matfield ... if Matfield wasn't the man.
Everything about the Springboks has me leaning towards them grabbing the bickies here. They have more potent backs, their loose-forward trio are of a beastly nature and at the very least they will maintain parity with Wales at both scrum and line-out time. I can only see Wales pushing the 'Boks if they play the perfect game ... or their perfect game by defending their hearts out and kicking goals.
I've got Jessie Kriel as my guy to watch for the Springboks.
New Zealand vs France
I give France more of a chance than I gave Wales but like Wales, France will need to be perfect to beat the All Blacks. France, with Dusautoir, Picamoles and Le Roux have loose-forwards who can compete with McCaw, Kaino and Read while the French also have enough quality in their backline led by Frederic Michalak to test the kiwis defensively. For France to come close here though they will need to have a bit of luck with the referee as they will be looking to upset the All Blacks at set-piece time and slow their recycling speed at the breakdown.
If the All Blacks' passes stick and they attack with confidence then I reckon they will put a few early points on the board and could have France behind the 8-ball early. Wyatt Crockett and Owen Franks will be under huge pressure in scrums and it's going to be interesting to see how the All Blacks compete in the forwards (set-piece/breakdowns) to earn the right to get their backs good, quick ball.
My guy to watch is Kieran Read as he has been well below par and could be nearing his peak.
I can't really speculate on the other two quarter-finals until the teams are named and they won't be named until after this is published ... I will say that Ireland and Australia will both win though.
Big shout out to Corey Webster who was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans as they looked to sign some other guy #Whatever. Webster looks likely to join the NZ Breakers again and the Breakers could probably do with a healthy dose of C-Web but there is also a sneaky chance that another NBA team picks Webster off the waivers list.
Isaac Fotu, we can't forget about him... #FlyingKiwis / #HangingKiwis
Sticking with basketball - huge shout out to Lamar Odom and here's hoping the dude can somehow make it through this situation. What sucks about this situation is that many news outlets are only reporting this because Odom is connected to the Kardashians and there's definitely been a bit of a spin put on it all as tabloids focus in on the brothel etc. Odom is first and foremost an NBA player and a damn good one at that and you can see what kind of dude Odom is by the outcry of support that he has received from his peers. Whatever you do, don't judge Odom on this situation because there's a heck of a lot of context that can be applied.
Alrighty folks, the Plunket Shield got underway yesterday and for those who don't know it is our local kiwi domestic cricket 4-day competition. It's kinda like Test cricket, but the domestic version and so I'm on a mission to give it the loving it deserves. I'm going to do a recap after each round but during the games and in the Monday Crumbs, Midweek Bulletin and Friday Frills I will dish out some MVP points to the best performers of the previous day/s. Here we go..
1 point - Hamish Rutherford scored 79 off 89 balls for Otago against Central Districts. That's 1 point for you son and a good start to your summer as you try nail a BLACKCAPS spot.
2 points - Mitchell McGlenaghan took 4/38 off 12 overs for Auckland against Canterbury including the scalp of Tom Latham. Ironically, Rutherford is basically competing with Latham for that opening spot for the BLACKCAPS.
3 points - Timmy! Tim Southee took 5/56 off 15 overs for Northern Districts against Wellington. She looks a bit green though...
4 points - Luke Ronchi's 115 off 112 balls for Wellington gets him 4 points and I put him ahead of Southee because he scored at better than a run a ball.
5 points - Jimmy Neesham went large for Otago against CD with the BLACKCAPS all rounder hitting 131 off 152 balls to help set Otago up nicely on 330/7.
What do all five of these guys have in common? Well they are all part of the BLACKCAPS to varying degrees and it's good to see our best players performing as such.