Joshua media snub angers Parker camp
Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa Joseph Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, has called on Anthony Joshua to get off his “high horse” and treat everyone with respect ahead of their heavyweight boxing clash next Sunday.
The call from the Parker camp comes after reports that Joshua had snubbed a contingent of the New Zealand and Samoan media at his training base in Sheffield yesterday.
Wales-based journalist James Lloyd is covering the fight for the Samoa Observer.
Afoa Seti Afoa of Samoa Events is also covering the event and had spoken with Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, in an interview he since posted on his Facebook page.
Afoa said when he walked into Joshua’s camp; he met the heavyweight champion who asked him where he was from.
Told he’s from Samoa, Afoa said Joshua hugged him.
But it is Joshua’s refusal to be interviewed by the New Zealand and Samoan media that has angered the Parker camp.
"This is not just about Anthony Joshua," Barry told Newshub.
"There is an undefeated W.B.O. champion called Joseph Parker, and his people are here from New Zealand and they're here from Samoa. Show them a little bit of respect.
"Hopefully, he [Joshua] will get off his high horse, and when we sit down and have a press conference next week, he will speak to the media who are here and give them the respect that they deserve, as we have done to the UK media."
Lupesoliai’s promoter, Segiali’i David Higgins, couldn’t agree more.
"Some people are humble and some people pretend to be humble," Segiali’i said. "For those Kiwi journalists to drive all the way to Sheffield, and for him to walk out and leave them standing - it goes to character.
“Samoa's a long way and hopefully Anthony Joshua makes time for our colleagues from Samoa the next time we meet."
The snub highlights the growing tensions between the camps as the fight draws near. W.B.O champion Parker and IBF and WBA champion Joshua clash in Cardiff on April 1.
Joshua stirred the pot on Thursday when he admitted he didn't like Parker, calling him "weird". Joshua also accused Segiali’i of "backstabbing" in their dealings to get the lucrative fight deal done.
Segiali’i was quick to fire back when pressed on the issue.
"Eddie and I did a lot of talking and we made a deal. It's a good deal, everyone is happy. Now it is about Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, not Eddie Hearn or David Higgins. So I don't know why he is worrying about me."
Segiali’i wondered if Joshua was losing his focus.
"I haven't heard him once critique the strengths and weaknesses of Joseph Parker which is what we have been doing (of Joshua) and been criticised for it."
Higgins led a controversial campaign by Team Parker to force the hand of the British camp where they constantly questioned Joshua's "glass chin".
Joshua's boss Hearn had suggested that Higgins and Parker had failed to back up that talk when they came to London in January for a public announcement once the fight was confirmed.
"First I wasn't talking trash, I was talking fact about Joshua's jaw, he has been dropped. That's not trash, it's fact," Segiali’i.
"Second, that was to get the deal done. Once the deal is done, there's no more need. Eddie was probably disappointed that I didn't perform for him at the press conference. Sorry Eddie, if you want to make a scene, do it yourself.
"It's the calm before the storm now. You aren't going to hear any smack talk from me. My job is done, this is about Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua."
During Afoa’s interview with Hearn, Joshua’s promoter said they are looking forward to the event.
“To be honest, there are two good guys in this fight,” he said. “Joseph Parker is a fine man, so is Anthony Joshua. Unfortunately, one of them is going to get knocked out, we believe that is going to be Joseph Parker.”
Hearn said the bout is a celebration of boxing, two great heavyweights coming together.