There’s always next time - Lupesoliai

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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WELCOME BACK TO SAMOA: Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with some of his family enjoying a bowl of ava.

WELCOME BACK TO SAMOA: Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with some of his family enjoying a bowl of ava. (Photo: Ivamere Nataro )

Give him another round and he will show you how it’s done. 

As humble as he is, Lupesoliai La’auli Joseph Parker, shared with Samoa Observer what he could have done differently if he had another chance to fight Anthony Joshua, only this time he would knock him out. 

“If I could turn back time, I would do things differently. After analyzing the fight, I would pressure him like throw more punches and chase AJ a little more," he said.

“I think we were both just being cautious, but if I could do it again I will chase him more because every time I chased him, he’d be in trouble.”

While he admits that Joshua’s skills were better than all his previous opponents, including his physique, he says fighting AJ was a learning curve for him.

“As long as I can learn from this fight, whatever I face in the future looks positive. 

“You got to look at it and learn from it then you sort of improve from everything I did wrong. I can’t wait to fight him again because I’ll definitely beat him.

“I wasn’t scared or nervous; I was just excited to be there to represent our countries and to do us proud.

“There are a lot of changes that we could make in the game plan, but for us to stay on top and fight 12 rounds, our whole team did a great job.

He share: “For someone like Joshua, if you stand in front of him, he can easily knock you out, so our game plan was to move and box. We thought he was going to come forward more and throw more punches like he did in the past fights, but he was a bit more cautious and he was trying to box. 

“So if I had to change the game plan I should’ve adjust it but, like I said, I’m still young and learning and we will fight him again but just taking a little time.”

Lupesoliai said he did his best throughout his training up until the day he took on AJ and he knew in his heart the support of his people in Samoa. 

“It was a crazy atmosphere, the whole lead up to the fight, big press conference, and the weigh in. I had a lot of family and friends fly over from New Zealand and Samoa to be there with us.

“I felt like everyone was there with me. The few people in the crowd represented our people but the atmosphere was crazy, 80,000 people and I want to do it again. The most messages I got was from Samoa.

“I saw all the videos of all the schools; I saw interviews of all the elderly, the Prime Minister. The support was too good.  

“All the fights have been big, that one was the biggest in terms of audience, publicity and media presence.”

Outside of the ring is a totally different story for Lupesoliai and his opponents. 

“Usually after my fights I take my opponents after I beat them in the fight, take them for lunch, but I think for him I think he was too busy, he’s one of the biggest athletes in the U.K, probably had no time but maybe in the future.”

He shared his team’s plans to prepare for another fight. 

“Fighters are injured but we don’t care who we want to fight, we want to fight anyone. We want to fight anyone on the top five in the world. The only problem is we are trying to find whoever is available.

“We want to fight sometime in end of July beginning of August, and I think we will get three fights before getting back to fight for the title.”

Lupesoliai leaves the islands on Thursday and he is grateful for the support shown to him throughout. 

“I thank God for the talents he has blessed me with, the countries I represent, New Zealand and Samoa, all my sponsors and everyone who is involved. 

“Even though I lost the fight, it doesn’t feel like I lost it coming to Samoa because everyone is still showing their support, coming to say hello and thank you for representing the country and it makes me feel good, even though I lost the fight, my country Samoa is still behind me.”

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