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Lupesoliai excited potential August fight

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is looking forward to the new challenges posed by a prospective fight in New Zealand in August with the country slowly emerging from its battle with COVID-19.

Team Parker are looking at their options for a return to the boxing ring, with restrictions on travel and public gatherings pointing to a possible bout behind closed doors with an Australian opponent in a couple of months time.

“My goal is to fight the top five or ten in the world,” Lupesoliai told the Samoa Observer.

“The last fights haven’t really portrayed that because of different circumstances; we’ve had last-minute opponents and it wasn’t really the best situation.

“With the borders not being open, I think the realistic thing is trying to find the best heavyweight on this side of the world. People have gotta understand that it’s not what we’re aiming towards it just might be the only option for us. And it’s probably better for us to keep busy and to fight rather than to sit out for a whole year.”

Lupesoliai noted that fighting in front of either very few fans or none at all would be very different to what he is used to.

“It’s a new challenge, and we’re just going to see who adapts better to the challenge,” he said.

“I think it won’t affect me, it’s just one of those things where it’s gonna be a new challenge and I actually look forward [it] because it’s something new.”

Another new phenomenon is the prospect of heading into a fight without having had a training camp in Las Vegas, something Lupesoliai said he has never done in his professional career.

“It’s gonna be way different, but again I wanna see if it can work, he said 

“I wanna see if having a camp here in New Zealand, with my family here and all that, I wanna see if that actually works.”

The 28-year-old has been staying fit at home in Auckland under lockdown with a treadmill and weights.

New Zealand transitioned to Level 2 of their COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday night, allowing freedom of movement.

“I hadn’t really left the house since the lockdown, so now I can actually go and train at my parent’s house, that’s where my boxing gym is,” Lupesoliai said.

The former world heavyweight champion had no punching bag at home, and said there is a big difference between staying fit and being boxing fit:

“You can do as many weights as you want you can run as long as you want… when you start boxing again there’s a difference you can feel in your shoulders and hands and knuckles and all that.

“Boxing-wise, you can’t leave it for a long time.”

Lupesoliai said he will be heading to his parents’ at least three times a week to do bag work, but is looking forward to just seeing them as well as friends above all.

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