‘I want to bash him,’ Lupesoliai fires shot

By James Lloyd - Samoa Observer’s Writer in Wales 25 March 2018, 12:00AM

Samoa’s World Heavyweight boxing champion, Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa Joseph Parker, is in the best shape of his life, six days out from Sunday’s fight against unbeaten Brit Anthony Joshua.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer in London, Lupesoliai insists he is back to his best and he is not going to Cardiff to lose.

Lupesoliai, whose form over the last two years has been hindered by an elbow problem, says an operation in December has fixed that issue ahead of Sunday’s  fight at Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales.

"In the past five or six fights I haven't shown the jab that I showed early in my career,” he admitted.

"The jab is key to set up our attack phases, and I have it back now. 

There will be a lot of jabs.

"We tried to schedule surgery many times but opportunities came up, so we pushed it back. The last two years we've been fighting less than 100 per cent. Since the surgery, there have been benefits. This has been the best camp we've had in a long time and that's why we're confident."

Lupesoliai, 26, born in South Auckland to Samoan parents, enters the hugely-anticipated fight with Joshua unbeaten in his 24 fights, 18 by knockout.

He picked up the vacant W.B.O. Heavyweight title in December 2016, beating Andy Ruiz in New Zealand.

Joshua too is unbeaten in his professional career since picking up a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, with 20 knockouts in 20 fights, the most notable coming a year ago in a stunner against a wily Wladimir Klitschko. 

The 28-year-old currently holds the I.B.F, W.B.A. and I.B.O. titles.

And Lupesoliai kicked off the mind games with a week to go before the fight, branding the 6ft 6” London-man “disrespectful” for his refusal to conduct interviews with New Zealand-based media who have made the 11,000-mile journey to the United Kingdom.

"It's his decision but it's disrespectful,” Lupesoliai said.

"They've travelled a long way to see [Joshua], and they respect him. We were friendly [to British media] and invited them to our home. He should be more respectful."

Lupesoliai has also revealed daily replays of Joshua’s win against Klitschko last April is fuelling his training motivation.

"We have [Joshua vs Klitschko] playing in the gym every day. There are things we saw that we can do better. We can catch AJ.

"The public are judging us on our last two or three fights and they see Joshua as a fighter who is [unbeatable]. There is the element of surprise. Everyone thinks this is an easy win for him, but that's motivation for us. I want to get in there and bash him.”

In reaction to Joshua reportedly saying this week he regarded Parker as a "weird character" and didn't like him or his promoters, who he considered two-faced, Parker said: "He stepped out of his comfort zone and said something interesting. He's been boring lately."

About fighting for the first time in front of a crowd of about 78,000, he was excited, and hoped to see fans from Samoa and New Zealand.

He's thought about what would happen if he knocked out Joshua.

"Lots and lots of cheers," he said. "I've played out many scenarios in my mind, that one is the best one."

By James Lloyd - Samoa Observer’s Writer in Wales 25 March 2018, 12:00AM

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