Bad start for Team Parker, they need to do better

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Let’s admit it. Our man Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is a lot better being the nice genuine bloke that he is. He should just be himself.

We don’t think he suits the role of trying to play the bad guy clearly judging from the events that have been unfolding during the past few days in the lead up to the first official press conference where he and Anthony Joshua faced off.

If we are honest with ourselves, it must be said the Parker came off second best after that session in London. 

The worst part is that looking at the body language of the teams, it’s almost Team Parker were shocked themselves that this is actually happening. 

Blame it on the moment or the occasion getting the better of them perhaps but we certainly hope this is not a sign of things to come. 

They have got to do a lot better than that.

Gone are the days where they were calling press events in Auckland and most of the media are on Parker’s side. This is now a different beast, Parker has truly arrived on the world stage and his team needs to polish their act. Quickly.

After all the talk about the fight and the Parker camp’s desire to get this opportunity, come the day of the first official press conference, Team Parker looked rather unprepared. 

The mumblings from promoter Segiali’i David Higgins didn’t help. Of all the things he could have said and yet he chose to focus on the fact that Joshua had been dropped a couple of times? 

For goodness sakes, this is boxing where boxers do kiss the canvas from time to time. It hasn’t happened to Parker yet but it’s not a question of whether it will happen, it’s only a question of when it will happen.

When it comes to Joshua, if his flight against Klitchsko is anything to go by, the fact he got back up and came back to knock out his opponent, speaks volume about the courage and the character of the man. Against that caliber of opponent, you’ve got to take your hat off to the Briton. And even the way he addressed Segiali’i and Team Parker was classy and he spoke like a true champion.

It’s something Team Parker will have to learn as their journey continues.

Keep in mind that the plan of attack in as far as publicity goes was already a losing one even before that press conference. 

A genuinely wonderful human being, it was uncharacteristic of Parker to accuse Anthony Joshua of being the “king of steroids.” It’s a label that is not going to do them any favours. 

Folks, being called fat compared to labeling a proven world champion a drug cheat are two completely different things. Thankfully, Lupesoliai has been man enough to apologise to Joshua and his camp about the comment.

And that’s what we mean when we say our very own Lupesoliai is a lot better off being himself. We know what a wonderful person he is. He is perhaps one of the humblest world champions there is and despite criticisms and what people have been saying about him, Parker is the sort of character who never loses his cool. He just smiles, is polite as ever and he just rolls with the punches.

A lot has been said about the upcoming Parker vs Joshua fight in Cardiff and a lot more will continue to be said prior and after the fight. There is no doubt about the enormity of the occasion, this is a big risky fight for Parker.

We don’t need to tell him that. He knows.

What we do need to say is that we hope his team – Segiali’i and Trainer Kevin Barry included – have got their heads in the right place. They are critical people to Parker’s success. They need to feed him the right advice to allow him to stay focus and not become sidetracked by the mind games of world heavyweight boxing.

We don’t for one minute doubt Parker’s capability for this fight. He has a mountain of work to do and he’s going to have to pull out the best performance of his life to defeat Joshua. Parker accepts this and by the sound of things, he is ready to do what it takes.

But he’s going to need a lot of help. And that needs to come from the people he has surrounded himself with.

Team Parker will need to do better than their clumsy performance in London at the beginning of the week if they are going to have a chance. Round one has already gone to Joshua’s camp. Thank goodness that boxing outcomes are decided in the ring.

Have a great weekend Samoa, God bless!

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