Derek Chisora (32-10, 23KOs) and Joseph Parker (28-2, 21KOs) were sharing a friendly breakfast this morning ahead of their upcoming 12-round heavyweight clash at the AO Arena, Manchester, this Saturday May 1, when Marvel character Spider-Man gatecrashed in a playful joke going back to when the New Zealander was forced to withdraw from their first scheduled fight due to a spider bite.
The heavyweight rivals shared an amiable breakfast, both ordering poached egg and avocado on toast, just two days ahead of their fight, until the mystery masked man joined their mealtime.
Matchroom's Chris Lloyd joked, "I wondered why I hadn't seen Darren Barker this morning."
The South Auckland former world champion was suffering the after effects of a spider bite that saw the plug pulled at just three-and-a-half weeks notice of their first intended scrap scheduled for October 2019.
It was just a small purple spot above Joe Parker's right knee that thwarted the bout with the Brit. He said at the time, "I left New Zealand with a little hole in my leg, like someone had put a cigarette out on it and I had no idea how I got it. I didn't think much of it as I was feeling great … I felt like I'd taken my training to the next level at home and I arrived in camp in great shape. I was so excited about fighting Chisora because we had chased this fight for so long."
However, the good luck didn't last, he revealed, "My energy levels were just zapped. We had been sparring six to eight rounds and then I couldn't complete two rounds."
Parker admitted to having trouble sleeping, sweating a lot at night, and having bad body cramps around his stomach and neck.
Taken to a doctor, the spider bite theory emerged, as they struggled to find the exact source of the problem. Parker underwent blood tests, was given medication and ordered to take three weeks rest, cancelling his chances of competing in the contest with Chisora.
Now the pair will settle their unfinished business this weekend, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other territories.
29-year-old Parker became a huge hit with fans when regularly posting hilarious lockdown videos, starring himself in various humurous roles. His counterpart Chisora is also a fan-favourite for his eccentric behaviour shown over the years, as well as his aggressive, all-action style in the ring that never fails to entertain.
Former World Title challenger Chisora was last seen pushing Ukraine’s pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk all of the way in their 12-round battle for the WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title at The SSE Arena, Wembley last October, and the fan favourite is chomping at the bit for his next challenge.
Ex-WBO titlist Parker is fresh off a hard-fought 12-round decision over long-time amateur nemesis Junior Fa at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand last month that settled an 11-year old rivalry with his compatriot, a win that he hopes will kickstart his route back to the top of the Heavyweight division.
Ranked at No.3 with the WBO, New Zealand’s Parker is well known on these shores having defended his WBO Title against Hughie Fury at Manchester Arena in September 2017, before taking unified ruler Anthony Joshua the distance at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in March 2018. His last appearance in the UK came against Dillian Whyte in a dramatic points loss in July 2018.
How to watch Chisora vs Parker