Joseph Parker is definitely a name to reckon with in the heavyweight boxing category. Beginning from his amateur boxing career, the WBO heavyweight champion has punched his way to prominence, fame, and the accolades that go with it.
Parker was already an amazing boxer before he went pro. He memorably represented New Zealand at the 2010 Commonwealth games during this phase of his career.
Joseph Parker Biography
Joseph was born on January 9, 1992, in South Auckland. He is the middle child of his Samoan parents, Dempsey and Sala Parker. Joseph owes his early interest in boxing to his father, Dempsey, who was named after Jack Dempsey, an iconic American puncher.
From the age of three, every toy Joseph played with were related to the sport of boxing. His father started to train him and his younger brother, John, at a very young age. By the time Joseph was ten, he joined a boxing club where he was trained by former boxer Manny Santos and Grant Axell.
The Beginning Of His Career
Joseph first real fight came at the age of twelve. His amateur career was eventful, recording 66 fights before going pro. When he was sixteen, he went international. At the age of eighteen and nineteen, he recorded back to back titles as the New Zealand amateur heavyweight champion in 2010 and 2011. He continued to rack up wins locally and internationally. He also clinched the New Zealand Elite National Championships in 2009, and placed second, narrowly losing to Junior Fa, at the New Zealand Elite National Championships.
He represented his country at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Azerbaijan where he won the bronze medal. In this tournament, he faced off with the likes of Yusuf Açik (Turkey), Yuniel Castro Chavez (Cuba, quarterfinals), and Filip Hrgovic (Croatia, semifinals). He moved on from there to compete at the Youth Olympics in Singapore, where he won silver after losing to Tony Yoka (France) on points. For the 2010 Commonwealth games, he defeated Didier Bence (Canada) by way of a knockout. He then lost to Tariq Abdul Haqq in the quarterfinals by majority decision from three of the five judges.
Parker’s first gold medal came in 2011 at the Ararufa Games in Darwin, Australia. He defeated Jean Tuisamoa and Jake Ageidu, each by stoppage to face off against Emile Gineste (Tahiti) in the final. Parker finished off the game in the first round. He continued to rise through the ranks, competing at the China Open tournament in Guiyang. He got to the finals where he edged out Ospanov Doszham (Kazakhstan) winning by a six-point margin.
Joseph concluded his amateur boxing days in style by beating Johan Linde (Australia) at the 50th Belgrade Annual Boxing Tournament to clinch his third gold medal.
Parker’s Professional Career
Joseph was becoming something of a boxing sensation at this point. He kicked off his professional career with a technical knockout win against Dean Garmonsway at the SkyCity’s Convention Center in Auckland. After a series of fights and victories across New Zealand and America, he faced off with South Africa’s Francois Botha, defeating the former heavyweight contender in the second round. Parker extended his professional unbeaten run to seven by knocking out then 33-year-old former champion Afa Tatupu in the second round. This fight earned him the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title.
In 2014, Joseph Parker clinched the interim Pan Asian Boxing Championship, defeating Brazilian Marcelo Luiz Nascimento in the seventh round. This match, which was the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko’s world heavyweight title defence was also Parker’s eight straight win as a professional boxer. In his next game, he knocked out American WBO Oriental heavyweight champion, Brian Minto, punching him into submission in the seventh.
The remainder of 2014 saw the increasingly developing Parker fight in three more bouts- he triumphed in all. More to that, he was the first to beat American Keith Thompson and Bahamian Sherman Williams. Then he knocked out Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior in the fourth round in December 2014. The win earned him Irineu’s title as the WBO Latino heavyweight champion.
His 2015 year saw him defend and retain his Pan Asian Boxing Association heavyweight title against Jason Pettaway. After spending three weeks in Florida as a sparring partner for boxing Legend Wladimir Klitschko, Parker would fight four more games in 2015. He fought Yakup Saglam, Bowie Tupou, Kali Meehan and Daniel Martz. He ended 2015 by adding WBA’s Oceania and WBC’s Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council heavyweight belt to his collection.
On January 23, 2016, Jason Bergman proved to be Parker’s toughest challenge in a while, as he made the dazzling Parker work for his victory, stretching the game into the eight round. This brought his professional record to an impressive 18-0. In May 2016, Parker beat Carlos Takam by unanimous decision after twelve rounds, a match that earned him a date with reigning champion, Anthony Joshua. He then proceeded to knock out Solomon Haumono in the fourth round of another routine victory. His October fight saw him knock out German Alexander Dimitrenko, four times in the game, with the game finally called in the third round in Parker’s favour.
On December 10, 2016, Joseph Parker faced off with Andy Ruiz for the WBO heavyweight title. It was a tough fight that went down to the wire, however, Parker was declared the winner by majority decision, making him the first New Zealander to ever do so. On May 6, 2017, the unbeaten boxer went on to successfully defend his WBO heavyweight title against Rãzvan Cojanu by unanimous decision. A little over four months later, he would again successfully defend the title, this time against iconic boxer Tyson Fury’s cousin, Hughie Fury. The twelve-round game went Parker’s way by majority decision. This brought Parker’s undefeated professional record to 24-0, with 18 of those wins coming as knockouts.
Joseph Parker’s next fight is with Anthony Joshua, the reigning world heavyweight champion. Anthony has held the International Boxing Federation title since 2016, and the WBA (Super) and IBO titles since 2017. This is definitely the toughest fight yet of Joseph Parker’s career. The match is slated for Saturday, March 31, 2018, and all the major titles from both contenders are on the line in this sizzling winner-takes-all fight.
His Net Worth
The boxer has had an illustrious boxing career so far right from his amateur days. He has successfully won enough medals, belts, and titles to gain himself some pretty decent pile of cash. Also, his earnings potential has continued to increase with every game. His earnings which come mostly from his fights put him at a total net worth of about $2 million. This valuation is definitely set to skyrocket within a few years.
Joseph Parker’s Love Life
The boxer is currently in a relationship with his partner, a woman by the name of Laine Tavita. In late 2016, Laine announced that she was expecting Parker’s child. Parker was about to leave for Las Vegas to prepare for his world title fight. However, he stayed long enough to attend a baby shower that was thrown for the occasion.
He was in Vegas when his daughter, Elizabeth Ah-Sue Sala Parker was born. She was named after Parker’s mother Sala, and older sister, Elizabeth. To the best of our knowledge, Elizabeth is the first child the Parker-Tavita relationship produced.
Height, Weight & Body Measurements
Joseph Parker who is renowned for his speed and pace mentioned during preparation for his fight with Andy Ruiz that adding a little more weight and muscle would help him improve his game. Currently, the 6 feet 4 inches (1.93m) tall Parker weighs 112kg according to his most recent weighing for his fight with Anthony Joshua.