ZACH PARKER DESCRIBES fighting Demetrius Andrade on the hallowed turf of his hometown football club as the stuff of dreams.
The super middleweight destroyer takes on the unbeaten American for the WBO Interim world title at the Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County FC, on May 21.
Parker has blasted out all before him since teaming up with Frank Warren and Queensberry, scoring brutal knockouts victories over Vaughn Alexander, Sherzod Khusanov and Marcus Morrison – three men who had not previously been stopped.
Now he goes up against the formidable Andrade, a world champion at both super welterweight and middleweight.
Parker insists it is his time now and a changing of the guard will take place in the middle of the pitch at Pride Park, suggesting Andrade has miscalculated the scale of the job in front of him.
“I am obviously over the moon and it is a dream for me,” said the 27-year-old. “Fighting for the Interim title against one of the best out there in Andrade, a two-weight world champion and awkward southpaw.
“I am ready for it and he has made a bad decision coming over to Derby in front of what will be a hostile crowd at Pride Park. He is coming up a weight as well, so nothing is in his favour.
“I just can’t wait now,” he added, before reflecting on the gesture of donating £10 from every ticket sold back to his team in a time of financial strife.
“I said with us doing it at Pride Park that we need to give something back to Derby because they are going through hard times. With £10 from each ticket going to the club what more incentive is there needed for fans to get behind me now?
“It is amazing to be able to do it and hopefully it will help out the club.”
While his local team battle against points deductions and strive to remain in the Championship against all odds, Parker believes his region is in need of another hero.
“Derby is such a big team and we need a winner to get behind. I’ll be that winner. I am undefeated in 22 fights and Derby is such a good county and on May 21 everyone will see what Derby is all about.
“We are going to light up Pride Park,” is Parker’s prediction, another being that the reign of Andrade will come to an abrupt conclusion.
“My style is all wrong for everyone. Every time I face someone I change my style to work in my favour.
“I think he is on his last legs and his promoter hasn’t got behind him, has he? Not like my promoter, that is what you are meant to do and get behind your fighter. He is 34, coming up a weight against someone who is big for the weight. You could see that in my last fight against Marcus Morrison, when a middleweight comes up I just put them to sleep.
“Trust me I will be the first to stop Andrade and I haven’t been as confident about anything in my life. I’ve been waiting for these big fights to show what I am about and on May 21 everyone will know who Zach Parker is.”