Tears were shed at the Orator Hotel yesterday when Samoa’s favourite son, Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker, lost to Anthony Joshua.
But the tears weren’t necessarily those of sadness and disappointment. Rather they were of joy and gladness that Parker withstood the strength of Joshua, becoming the first boxer to go 12 rounds with the Brit and still finish strong.
The Orator Hotel was one of many venues in Samoa where boxing fans congregated for the fight.
More than 100 people attended the Corporate Table event, organised by TV3.
Despite the loss, Parker remains a champion in the eyes of locals.
“We lost but it was not by a knock out which is better than we can say for Anthony’s other opponents,” said Fa’asavalu Tasi Parker at Orator Hotel.
“I am proud of my nephew and will not change anything for the world. Losing one fight means he’ll come back better and I’m certain of that.”
Ma'u'u Siaosi Puepu'emai congratulated Parker for a job well done.
“It was good fight. Anthony while he won, but he knows he was not able to knockdown our J.P. so yes I am proud of our Parker.”
The Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, was among the crowd and commended Parker’s courage.
“It was a good fight,” he said. “He made it through without any major injuries and he wasn’t knocked out. We should all be proud of him.
For one Su’a Hesed Ieremia, he was caught up in the emotions.
“This is a repeat of David Tua. Joseph lost a bit of focus because we got caught up in the moment.
“Joshua was absolutely right, when he said a punch takes you around the block but the jab takes you around the world and that is exactly what Joshua did.
“I am disappointed with the result and I’m sure there are factors into it, his operation which was three months before this fight.
“He didn’t even throw a straight punch, and yet they announced that Joseph is 100 percent good to take on the fight? So you see that did not happen.”
Win or lose, Lorraine Su’a said Parker would always be a champion.
“We rooted for him since he was only 12 years and now he’s at the top of the world and lost to A.J. who is nothing compared to him... I have to go home and sleep this off this is just too much for me to take,” she said.
Michael Schuster remained a happy fan.
“J.P. was the first ever opponent to take Joshua through out all 12 rounds, and so although he won, his aim to knock down Joseph Parker was not fulfilled, and for that I am proud of our J.P.”
So what’s next?
“He needs to come home so we can celebrate with him and for him. He has taken Samoa to a whole new level in terms of exposure and you all heard on National T.V. thank you to all the Samoans.... can Italians and Canadians say the same?
“I don’t think so. For that I am super proud of J.P. and will continue to support him.”