Joseph Parker looks forward to Rumble in Paradise
Joseph Parker is expecting a big family presence when he fights in Samoa for the first time early next year.
The New Zealand-Samoan heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker is to fight in Apia in January.
The 23 year old was born in Auckland but his parents are from Samoa and the family still owns a house 30 minutes from the Faleata Sports Complex, where the fight will take place.
Parker told Vinnie Wylie it's a great feeling to finally bring a fight to the Pacific.
JOSEPH PARKER: It's been a long while since we've been planning it but I think this is the appropriate time to do it. The higher we climb the ranks the harder it will be to bring it back here and it just means a lot to us. My parents were born here in Samoa [and] I come here every year for a holiday and to relax here so to bring a big fight back here will be just saying thank you to those who live here for their great support.
VINNIE WYLIE: And you do travel back there quite regularly. When you do walk down the street when you do go back do people recognise you? Are you a familiar face over there?
JP: Most definitely. Everywhere we walk it's photos and autographs and it just shows that there's a lot of support here and people are happy with what we're doing. The people are happy and following our career and they're wishing nothing but the best for us.
VW: How many family members do you have that still live there [in Samoa]?
JP: I have my mum's sister who lives in our village [and] a few of my dad's siblings that live here. Our family's sort of spread across the world but there's a lot of us still here in Samoa.
VW: The fight is going to be at the Faleata Sports Complex in Apia which I think is in tip-top condition because the Youth Commonwealth Games were held there not so long ago and it's had a bit of an upgrade, so a good venue for you to compete in?
JP: Yeah we went and checked out the venue and we're happy with it. It looks like a venue that will have a great atmosphere on the night of the fight and I believe that it's going to be jam-packed, it's going to be filled.
VW: Following your victory against Kali Meehan you've got Fight for Life coming up and then Samoa so what are the plans over the next month or two?
JP: We will be leaving for Vegas on Saturday and then we will have a four week camp. We'll be back to New Zealand to fight for the Fight for Life and then back again to Vegas during Christmas and New Years to train for Samoa. It's a really busy schedule but it's a schedule that I'm happy with. I look forward to having a break after the Samoa fight but for now I just have to concentrate on what I have to do - that's to train hard, be as prepared as can be and look forward to the fight.
VW: There's been no public announcement of who you are going to fight but it says he's going to be a left-hander. Do you know who you're going to fight?
JP: I'm not sure yet who I'm going to fight at the moment - we're still searching for opponents. A lot of opponents do pull out when we give them the offer and when they do agree to it but I'm sure that soon we'll be able to lock in an opponent and we can make an announcement.
VW: And Joseph the family still has a house about 30 minutes away from the venue - are you going to stay at home?
JP: Probably going to stay at a hotel so I can concentrate on training because I know if I stayed at home a lot of family and friends will visit.
VW: But you're expecting a lot of family to be in the crowd for that one?
JP: I'm expecting a lot of family - probably half the crowds going to be my family - so there's a lot of family here, there's a lot of people already booking their fares to come to Samoa for the fight so it's definitely going to be an exciting fight and it's going to be one for the history books.
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