Despite losing the W.B.O. title to Anthony Joshua, Lupesoliai Joseph Parker, was given a champion’s reception by the Samoan community in Auckland this week.
The Samoan community got together to pray for the fight prior and when Lupesoliai returned after, he attended a thanksgiving service despite the result.
“Welcome home Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker. Well done to you. Well fought,” Mangere M.P. and Cabinet Minister, Aupito Su’a Sio wrote on his Facebook, when he posted photos of the welcome.
“You continue to inspire the next crop of young people from Mangere, from Samoa, and from Aotearoa to use their talents and gifts and not to waste it.”
“We wish you all the best as you strive to release your fullest potential.”
“It’s not everyday we have a young man from Mangere, or from South Auckland fight for the most prestigious title in world boxing in front of 80,000 boxing fans and in front of millions of viewers from all over the world. Malo fa’afetai tauivi.”
When he addressed the crowd, Lupesoliai acknowledged the Samoan community and their prayers.
He said he was disappointed that he couldn’t pull off the win for his supporters but promised he will continue to train hard and that he would come back stronger.
Reports say Lupesoliai earned less than NZ$12.5million (T$22m) from the fight, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
The New Zealand reported that Joshua’s promoter Hearn took to Twitter to set the record straight after reports that Parker’s earnings was at the NZ$25m mark.
“Where an [sic] earth do you get that Parker purse from,” Hearn said to a Twitter user who quoted Parker’s reported earnings.
He added: “Cut in half and it’s still too much.”
Hearn and Joshua are hoping to secure a bout with American Deontay Wilder to unify the heavyweight division.