World champion sticks to game plan

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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With all the hype and tension surrounding the upcoming heavyweight unification world title bout, the W.B.O. champion, Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker, is staying focused on the game plan by preparing himself mentally and physically.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer from Las Vegas, Lupesoliai gave us an insight on what a day in his life is like during his eight weeks training camp leading up to the highly anticipated fight.

“I’ve been working really hard to trim down,” Parker said. “For example on Monday, I wake up at 5am leave the house at 5.30am and go for an 8km run. I come back, have breakfast then take a little nap and then go to the gym and work out for two hours doing boxing, punching bags and skipping.

“Then I have lunch have a little nap again then I wake up and go to the gym and do the machines I do weights, burpees, all these different types of exercises that work on speed and then have a rest and have dinner and then I do this for the rest of the week for eight weeks.”

While the W.B.O. champion works hard to trim down, he laughed at the mention of the nickname “King of Pies” that Anthony Joshua dubbed the Samoan boxer saying to the Samoa Observer that perhaps after the fight he will be.

On the subject of public taunts and fighting words, Parker himself dubbed the Brit boxer “Glass jaw Joshua” during the negotiations earlier in the year, which caused media frenzy in the boxing world as the usually quiet fighter, not prone to trash talking, came out swinging. 

However, Parker remains reflective about that incident asserting that it is all part of a steep learning curve in his professional career but he is still realistic about getting ahead in world of professional boxing.

“The reason some of the things were said before the fight was because we were in negotiations and that died down, so when that died down, we said a few things in the media that sparked up the negotiations again,” Parker said. “So if we weren’t saying those things, they wouldn’t have negotiated with us and they wouldn’t have gotten in touch and told us they wanted to fight us.

“There are some things that you say that you don’t mean, but I guess we are all learning from. There are some things that I said that I know I shouldn’t have said. So now I know for the future that I shouldn’t say these things and maybe I should just be myself. But I think we followed the right plan to make the fight happen.”

Meanwhile, Parker can only keep his eyes on the prize as he continues to focus on his training, building on his natural strengths and working to improve his weaknesses. 

“My strengths will be speed, it will be movement, it will be angles and like I said, we’ve been working with a new strengthening and conditioning trainer to get these movements that we need for the fight,” he said. 

“The weaknesses that we are working on are defense and not being stuck in one place in one time. For him, his strengths will be power and trying to coming forward and he’ll be trying to knock me out, but if I’m not there and moving along and using my speed and angles, he won’t be able to catch me.”

The heavyweight unification world title bout is a career defining moment for the proverbial David the under-dog as he once again takes on another Goliath major boxing event, which will see the two boxers in a winner takes-all-fight. 

However Parker remains steadfast and is confident that preparation is the only road to victory.

“I think nervousness comes from when you don’t train hard and when you don’t put in the work. Now that I’ve been training extra hard and doing everything right, I don’t feel like I have a lot of nerves,” he said. 

“Preparing mentally, I have a mental coach who I work with every week and he’s helped me realise a lot of things and helped put a lot of things into perspective.”

“With experience, I’ve fought 24 times now and I have never fought in front of 80,000 people, but it’s the same thing – there’s a person in front of me and there’s a ring. There’s no reason I shouldn’t treat it any different, it’s just that we are fighting in front of more people. 

“If you train hard, and do everything right and you know that you’ve done everything you can to prepare, there’s no worries, no nerves and there’s only confidence.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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