Whyte/Chisora fight in early 2019 the best Christmas present for Lupesoliai

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker had a clear plan going into Saturday night’s fight with Alexander Flores at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch, and he executed it to perfection.

The former World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion said he wanted to be dominant right from the beginning of the fight.

“I had to win in strong fashion, it was important to bounce back like that,” Lupesoliai said.

“It was really good to finish the year with a knockout.”

With his first KO since October 2016, Lupesoliai ended a difficult year with losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte on a high note.

He said he wants to get straight back amongst those elite level fighters.

“But they need to be keen as well, it has to make sense for both sides.”

All going well, Lupesoliai wants to get back in the ring around March or April.

He’s keeping a keen eye on Whyte’s fight with Dereck Chisora this weekend.

“I want to fight the winner of that.”

Following the fight against Whyte in July, pundits were questioning whether Lupesoliai had the ‘warrior mentality’ required to sit among the world’s elite boxers.

“I knew what I had to do [against Flores], to be aggressive,” Lupesoliai said.

However some have questioned the validity of the win, saying a few low blows gave Lupesoliai the upper hand.

The Samoa Observer asked Lupesoliai whether he found it frustrating that the pundits who wanted a ‘nastier’ mentality from him were now asking whether the more aggressive approach cheapened the victory.

He said people can say what they want.

“You can never please everyone.”

“Having gone back and watched the tape, one was quite low.”

“To me, it’s up to the fighters to fight and the referee to referee.”

Flores looked to hesitate after one borderline punch, allowing Lupesoliai to knock him down for the first time.

“That one was on the beltline I thought.”

“[In complaining about the low blows] I think he’s maybe making excuses.”

Lupesoliai is now having a break from intensive training over Christmas and New Year.

“It’s great to be home, spending time with whanau, family and friends,” he said.

“I don’t get home much so it’s a special time.”

Lupesoliai said he will be coming to his other home Samoa next week.

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