Lupesoliai Joseph Parker was an interesting spectator in Apia on Sunday night.
The occasion was the fights involving 29-year-old American southpaw, Charles Martin and Deontay Wilder. The fights were screened live in Samoa where Parker is preparing for the Rumble in Paradise.
The outcome of these two title fights is significant to Lupesoliai, as he slowly climbs his way to the top of the four sanctioning boxing bodies.
After just a three and half year professional career, Lupesoliai is well on his way to becoming one of the quickest fighters ever to receive a world title shot. He is currently ranked WBO#3, IBF#7, WBC#10, WBA#12.
It took former Samoan boxer David Tua 38 fights and eight years as a professional boxer to become the mandatory challenger to Lennox Lewis in 2000.
“Charles Martin, I mean he won the championship of the world; the I.B.F. championship of the world, but we don’t think he’s anything special,” said Lupesoliai on the change in I.B.F. title holders.
“We now have a southpaw champion in the IBF, Joe’s number 7 in the IBF,” commented Lupesoliai’s trainer, Kevin Barry. “It just reinforces our decision to hold a southpaw fight here in Samoa.”
Both Lupesoliai and his trainer are confident that they’re heading in the right direction for the future.
“These guys don’t get to be heavyweight champions of the world without having a lot of skill and a lot of ability. I like the path that we’re on at the moment, I like the progress that Joseph has showed me, I think we are in a very good, solid position, but you know, we’ve got work to do,” Barry stated.
Lupesoliai believes the combination of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury at the top of the WBO rankings will bring some excitement to the division and is looking forward to his future title shot.
Lupesoliai is currently finalising preparations for his first ever professional bout against a southpaw fighter, American Jason Bergman.
Bergman is ranked as the 11th best southpaw fighter in the world, and Lupesoliai freely admitted he ‘didn’t have a clue’ when he last fought a southpaw as an amateur.