This might sound a bit repetitive but the truth is quite simple folks.
Despite the result at the end of yesterday’s sold out heavyweight fight at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker, is still our champion. By a long, long way.
So lets begin by congratulating our very own Lupesoliai Parker for a credible performance against such a devastating puncher in the heavyweight division.
The mere fact he has become the first fighter to survive 12 rounds with Joshua speaks volumes about the character of the man. They sure make them tough down at Tapatapao and Faleula.
Indeed, Parker might have lost but there is no disgrace in Lupesoliai’s defeat. He should be proud, hold his head high and so should everyone in his camp, families, friends and the Samoan people in Cardiff who supported him against the deafening roar of the crowd there.
That said; let’s also applaud and give credit to Anthony Joshua. In the lead up to the fight, I have quietly admired his mannerisms, intelligence and classy approach. And after yesterday’s display, it must be said he is rightfully the owner of all those belts.
There is a reason why he holds the W.B.A, I.B.F., I.B.O. and now Parker’s W.B.O. title. He is an amazing athlete, consummate professional, gifted with the sort of physique and muscles that allowed him to keep Parker at bay.
If anything, that was the difference between the two boxers. Joshua’s physique allowed him to dominate ring movement. His height and weight advantage worked for him because it forced Parker to work extra harder just to land a punch.
And because he couldn’t get inside to ruffle up Joshua, Parker’s speed and combinations were nullified. Which is something most people who supported Parker became increasingly frustrated about as the fight wore on.
We would have loved to see Parker unleash more flurries than he did. We would have loved to see him open up and use a bit more power.
Alas he didn’t.
Joshua on the other hand was equally conservative. He preferred to stay behind the jab and make Parker do all the work. The few occasions where he let his punches go didn’t hurt Parker. They just backed him off but the Parker would come back at him.
If we are honest, it wasn’t the explosive fight many were looking for. It definitely wouldn’t go down as one of the greatest fights of all times.
In hindsight, both boxers would look back and perhaps feel they could have given it a bit more. For Parker especially, he would look back and he might regret the fact he didn’t let his hands go as much as he would have liked.
Keep in mind that there were a couple of times when he had Joshua in trouble but couldn’t follow up with that killer instinct. If anything, that is what Parker has been missing and it was again evident yesterday.
He needs to smell the end and move in to capitalise. Every time they tangled and Parker landed a good shot on Joshua, you could tell that the big Brit was on alert but Parker would not follow up quickly.
But that’s okay. Parker would learn a lot from yesterday’s loss. He can only get better.
The fact is more 95 per cent of people would have predicted Joshua to knock out Parker. Many of them went as far as to say the fight would not last past the first three rounds.
In defeat yesterday, Parker once again proved himself as a genuine world champion. Even Joshua admitted that in the end which is a huge compliment.
Besides, on top of facing a giant like Joshua who had knocked out every opponent up until yesterday, Parker had other odds to overcome. He travelled across the world to a complete new place, plucked up the courage to stay composed infront of 80,000 people – many of them calling for his head – and in the end, although he was defeated, he remained standing and walked away from Cardiff with new found respect from people there.
That in our eyes is the mark of a true champion.
Well done, Lupesoliai Laaulolemalietoa Joseph Parker!
At the tender age of 26, we know he is not done yet and he will be back. And we can hardly wait.
Have a great week Samoa, God bless!