Former All Black backs Parker

By James Lloyd - Samoa Observer correspondence 30 March 2018, 12:00AM

Former All Black star, Leaupepe Victor Vito has sent out a final message of good luck to Lupesoliai Joseph Parker ahead of his heavyweight unification fight with unbeaten Brit Anthony Joshua.

Leaupepe arrived at Parker’s Cardiff hotel to pass on a good luck message to the undefeated Samoan heavyweight as the clock ticks towards the hugely anticipated showdown at the Welsh capital’s Principality Stadium.

And, speaking exclusively to the Samoa Observer in Cardiff, Vito, who has Samoan ancestors, revealed his confidence in Parker’s ability and mental state.

He said: “After seeing him, I think it’s looking pretty promising for our boy here. He looks really relaxed and I’m backing him to win.

 “If he focuses on himself and everything he has been working on, training wise and putting the plan together, I think the outcome of Samoans and everyone back home being happy will come to fruition.

 “He knows the enormity of the spectacle and the fight, but I don’t think he’ll worry about that too much. He’ll concentrate on himself and putting in his own plan.”

Vito knows Parker through fellow All Black Israel Dagg and another mutual connection. The flanker currently plys his trade at French outfit La Rochelle and has made the trip over to Cardiff for the fight.

Parker weighed in at 16st 12lbs with rival Joshua at 17st 4lbs at the fight weigh-in at a raucous Motorpoint Arena on Friday.

Parker’s WBO belt and Joshua’s IBF, WBA and IBO titles will be on the line when the giants face-off tomorrow night in the first heavyweight unification bout to take place in the United Kingdom.

But Vito, with 33 New Zealand rugby caps, revealed his own personal feelings after witnessing the weigh-in, just over 24 hours until the main event.

 “Anthony Joshua is a unit, we saw that today (Friday) at the weigh-in,” he commented. “But Joseph has put in a lot of work as well. They have both shed weight and they are looking on par.

 “I’m backing Joseph, I reckon he can do it. I’m excited for the fight and I’m probably more nervous than he is, so it’ll be interesting to see!”

By James Lloyd - Samoa Observer correspondence 30 March 2018, 12:00AM

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