Samoa’s champion, Lupesoliai Laauli Joseph Parker, has done it again.
The 24-year-old from Faleula and Aleipata claimed his 18th professional boxing win by knocking out American southpaw, Jason Bergman, in the eighth round of the Rumble in Paradise this morning.
More than three thousand screaming Samoans at Gym 1 erupted in jubilation when Lupesoliai landed a flurry of punches one minute and two seconds into the eighth round to put away his opponent.
But Bergman had come to fight and proved more than a valiant opponent for the hometown hero.
“Jason is a tough opponent,” Lupesoliai said. “He came prepared. I gave it my best and I’m happy with the win, especially the fact that it happened in Samoa.”
GOOD WORK: Kevin Barry, Joseph Parker and their
team after the fight.
Bergman showed his intentions early in the piece but Parker put him on the canvas in the second round with a well-placed left hook.
He followed this up with a volley on power punches and for the remainder of the fight, it was clear that for Bergman, it was survival mode.
Parker landed punches after punches but his opponent refused to go down.
If anything, the American perhaps provided the much-needed rounds as Parker looks to progress in the rankings in the heavyweight division.
Trainer Kevin Barry was reasonably pleased with his fighter’s efforts, especially against a southpaw.
Describing the fight as a “terrific account,” Barry said Bergman was a “real test” and a “real fight” for Parker.
The Rumble in Paradise will go down in history as one of the biggest sporting events in Samoa. Faleata was packed to full capacity, while thousands throughout the country remained glued to their television sets until the early hours of this morning to watch Parker.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the event is part of efforts to revive boxing in Samoa. Tuilaepa was in the audience along with the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamesese Efi, Cabinet Ministers and members of the business community.
For Parker, fighting in Samoa was a dream come true.
Asked about the support from the country, he said it was humbling.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to have the people here support you, I want to say thank you Samoa.”
Last night’s bout ended a six-fight plan for Team Parker.
Barry said his fighter will now take a break for a few weeks to prepare for what he said is a big year for Parker where they will look to be in a position to challenge for the world title by the end of the year.
As for Parker, he said he is looking forward to spending the rest of his time in Samoa enjoying the mangoes and fresh coconuts at his family home.
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• Bubba Tuigamala vs Gogosina Ulutoa –
• Franisis Mamoe vs Alapati Aasa – Aasa wins
• Warren Fuiava vs Fereti – Fereti wins
• Tony Iapesa vs Jordan Tai – Tai wins by KO
• Buttabean vs Batman – Buttabean wins