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‘I feel like I have a new life in boxing’: Joseph Parker reflects on newfound hunger

Lupesoliai La’auli Joseph Parker talks to the Pacific Grandstand team ahead of his blockbuster fight.

Matt Manukuo
Matt Manukuo
Published
28 November 2023, 11:16am
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It’s been nearly seven years since he became the first ever Samoan heavyweight world champion of Samoan descent, and now he is back battling the giants of heavyweight boxing.

Lupesoliai La’auli Joseph Parker returns to the ring on December 23rd and will face another former WBC world heavyweight champion in knock-out specialist Deontay Wilder.

Since his championship reign which ran from 2016 to 2018, Parker has switched training camps and is based in the small English town of Morecambe, home of the reigning WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

The switch to the Fury camp has seen Parker introduced to several world class team members who, he says, have helped spark a “new life” in his career.

“When I moved to Andy Lee, I was testing out a few strength and conditioning trainers, a few nutritionists. Nothing really clicked until this year!

“I finally clicked with Andy and what he’s trying to teach me. I also found a guy named George Lockheart who Tyson Fury has introduced to me, and now he’s taken over my strength, conditioning and nutrition.

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“I feel like in my boxing career it’s the best balance I’ve ever had! It’s taken me eleven years, and I feel like I have a new life in boxing.”

This will be Parker’s most active year since 2018, as his upcoming bout will be his fourth in the last 12 months.

Parker says fighting less hasn’t worked.

“A lot of the fights I had I performed really good and then I took a lot of breaks [after] my fight. I’d be fighting, fighting, fighting and then I’ll take a break and cruise.

“I thought everyone would be fine after a long time outside of the ring, but you do get that ring rust.”

Since aligning with current WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, Parker says he has been overcome by the kindness he’s been shown.

“Since I’ve been in Morecambe, Tyson has been very generous, giving me everything I need as a fighter to progress in boxing.

“He’s given me his gym to use in Morecambe Bay, [which is] what we use everyday to train. He’s given me his local cafe which used to be his, now it’s mine! His local shop, Sainsbury, he’s given me a glove sponsor for the upcoming fight.

“He’s given me his house in Morecambe Bay to live in for the camp.”

Parker chuckles about the adopted names locals have given him like “Morecambe Joe” or “Gypsy Joe” which he hears when in public.

He says the hospitality of the people in Morecambe is a reminder of his Samoan people back home.

“I’ve got a lot of support there now, I’m very grateful this journey has taken me to this side of the world. What can I say, it's a blessing!

“They’ve taken me in like their own, I feel like our Samoan culture and the Traveler culture are very similar. Family-oriented, very close. Now that I’ve been on this side of the world I can see that.”

Watch the full interview as part of 531PI Pacific Grandslam:




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