Raw fish floors world champion in Samoa

15 January 2018, 12:00AM

World champion, Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker, has revealed how eating a raw fish in Samoa left him paralysed and fearing for his fighting future.

WBO champion Parker takes on WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on March 31 as the heavyweight division works towards finding one true ruler.

The big Samoan has been doing the media rounds in London this week and a lengthy feature on the 26-year-old centred on his love of fishing.

But it also unearthed how Parker's habit of literally eating fish straight off the hook almost backfired on him.

He told the Daily Mail that on one of his many trips back to his parents homeland of Samoa he ate a fish raw, against the advice of those around him, and was left paralysed for three days fearing his career was over.

Parker didn't elaborate but recalled another tale of being on a fishing boat in Auckland with American tourists and devouring a fish straight after he caught it.

"They looked at me like I was a weirdo," Parker chuckled.

The newspaper took the fishing theme to the extreme, providing Parker with a fresh salmon which he duly ripped into for a photo-shoot.

Parker went to London last Saturday, virtually straight off his family boat where a Friday fishing trip had been successful.

"I love raw fish"' he told the Daily Mail. "After winning the world title (against Andy Ruiz Jnr in December 2016) I bought my dad a boat — eight metres — and I've taken it out more than him ... maybe 15-20 times.

" I love fishing. The last time I went fishing, last Friday, I caught a two-metre mako shark, a hammerhead shark, a kingfish (and) a snapper.

"I bit a fish's head off and killed it. I caught the snapper, picked it up, took the hook off and it was shaking."

Parker also talked about his love of playing the piano and guitar and his upbringing with his father Dempsey encouraging him to be a boxer as he dabbled in other sports as most Kiwi kids do.

There were tough times, often looking for funding to help as he pursued a successful amateur boxing career.

Now he's poised for a massive payday, cashing in on the lucrative British boxing scene.

Parker finished by explaining his unlikely friendship with controversial Manchester heavyweight Tyson Fury.

The pair have long been social media friends and last year built on that as Parker fought Fury's cousin Hughie.

Photos of Parker and Tyson Fury partying after the Kiwi's win went viral.

"He's so fun, relaxed, chilled and cool to hang out with," Parker said.

"I still consider him a champion because he didn't lose his belts to anyone and I think when he does come back, if I still have the belt or have a chance to fight him, I would love to fight him."

Parker hopes to continue that in the buildup to the Joshua fight, suggesting Fury might get an invite to join him on his walk to the ring in front of 78,000 fans at the Principality Stadium.

"'I might give him a text and say: 'Bro do you want to walk in with me?" He may just walk in with me or he may just sit in the front and watch the fight. But I know I have a lot of support from Tyson which is pretty awesome."

15 January 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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