Joseph Parker vs. Alexander Dimitrenko Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand
Weight Class: Heavyweight
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Joseph Parker, 20-0 (17 KOs), South Auckland, New Zealand
Alexander Dimitrenko, 38-2 (24 KOs), Hamburg, Germany
Betting Odds: Joseph Parker -1410, Alexander Dimitrenko +775
In heavyweight action, top contender Joseph Parker takes on veteran heavyweight Alexander Dimitrenko on October 1 in New Zealand. Parker is an unbeaten contender and just 24 years of age. He has good size and has shown extraordinary power in his short 20-bout career. He is on the fast track to a world title shot, which could materialize in 2017. First, he must get past the 38-2 Dimitrenko, a mountainous 6'7" heavyweight who is looking to finally fulfill his potential. Who will come out ahead in this battle of hard-hitting heavyweights?
Parker is indeed a promising contender. He's a powerhouse Samoan along the lines of a David Tua. He has real strength and punching power, the kind of legitimate heavy-handedness that makes him a threat against any fighter he faces. The New Zealand-based slugger had an accomplished amateur career and has been progressing nicely as a pro, gradually increasing the quality of his opposition. He has already beaten Francois Botha, Brian Minto, Kali Meehan, and a slew of others. In his best win, he beat fellow-contender Carlos Takam, winning a competitive but clear 12-round decision. That win gave Parker's contender status some extra credence.
Dimitrenko has been a bit off-the-radar recently, He was supposed to fight Shannon Briggs in England, but the fight fell through, with Dimitrenko unable to make the fight for some reason. In all fairness, his career has been a massive disappointment. A hot amateur product after winning the world junior championship at 18, he was signed by Germany's top promotional outfit, turning pro in 2001. He was in winning form, getting to 29-0, though no one really identified him as a viable future champion-type. That perception was validated with an awful performance against the much-smaller Eddie Chambers in 2009. Despite huge advantages in height, reach, and weight, he was meek and mild in his approach, even getting dropped by the light-hitting Chambers. This performance gave people license to shovel dirt on the hulking, but timid Ukrainian giant.
Three wins followed for Dimitrenko after the Chambers loss, before he was stopped in 11 by highly-ranked contender Kubrat Pulev in 2012. Rather than get back to the grindstone, he half-stepped his way back onto the scene. He fought a few stiffs, took a few years off, then returned in May 2015 and has since rattled off 4 perfunctory wins over anonymous opposition. We're talking about a guy who is 15 years into a pro career and all he has to show for it is wins over journeymen/fringe-contender types like Timo Hoffman, Luan Krasniqi, Albert Sosnowski, and Michael Sprott. That's a pretty thin list of accomplishments for a guy who looked like a good athletic heavyweight with size when he first started.
Beyond the bottom-line results, there is just a feeling that Dimitrenko is a reluctant lion with a fragile mentality. The fact that he has only fought obscure Balkan heavyweights in recent years suggests a certain trepidation. It's not like he doesn't have enough seasoning to take on better fighters. It hasn't been easy rebuilding this man mentally. Bailing out of a Briggs fight didn't do his rep any favors. Against a higher level of fighter, he has come up way short. Is it possible that he can have a Buster Douglas moment of sorts, where a talented but underachieving fighter puts it together for one night? You never know. He does have some technical acumen and if he ever decided to act like the big man he is, good things could happen.
Parker is a real go-getter. It's not just a matter of skills, it's also about attitude. Parker wants to get in there and fight. He wants to detonate his power shots on the noggins of his opponents and watch them tumble as if they were shot. Parker is a big and muscle-bound guy, but has some decent pep for a man of his stature. There's still a certain lack of fluidity to his movements. When he throws shots, his head can be a bit up in the air. At some point, it's likely to cost him, but is Dimitrenko the one to bring that to fruition?
Parker looks like the real deal and he might not meet stern competition until he steps up toward the top-reaches of the division. His power is that much of a factor. He knows how to fight. Still, there's a feeling that is hard to shake that maybe he hasn't been tested to that much of an extent. All the names he fought were on the decline. Dimitrenko could maybe test that chin. And in a 15-year career, Dimitrenko has never been stopped, so that counts for something.
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Without ruling out the possibility of a late-career renaissance, the feeling is that if Dimitrenko were to do something big in this sport, it would have happened before now. Late-career urgency and added maturity could resonate in a version of Dimitrenko who just lets it hang loose. He has nothing to lose at this point. That could manifest in a loosey-goosey version of Dimitrenko that could exploit some spots. But why now? After 15 years, suddenly he's going to transform from a timid lion to a raging jungle cat? I don't see it. In fact, I don't think it's going to take long for the futility of this task to set in on Dimitrenko, as Parker shows him the door in quick order. With Dimitrenko having never been stopped, there could be a decent play on the total, which will be posted closer to fight-night. I will be going under.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm going under in the Joseph Parker vs. Alexander Dimitrenko fight. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Parker-Dimitrenko fight by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!