The WBO Champion La’auli Joseph Parker talking with Talamua in Apia, Samoa
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 05 JANUARY 2018: WBO champion, La’auli Joseph Parker will finally face off Anthony Joshua in a boxing extravaganza in March this year.
Speaking with Talamua in Apia, Samoa where he spent the festive season with family, La’auli said some of the details for the fight have yet to be finalised but the date and month has been set for March 31st 2018.
“I have been chasing him (Joshua) for two years. Now we are getting towards an agreement,” he said.
“I know he has knocked out most of his opponents, but I want to be the champion. If I lose, I lose, and if I win, I win,” said La’auli.
Despite the odds in his career and coming off a successful operation to his hand, La’auli is one who always finds good in any challenge.
“I respect him as a fighter, good build, strong and trains hard. But I am not afraid of him,” he said.
La’auli returns to New Zealand today where he hopes to finalize the fight details and sign the contract. Then he will be off to Las Vegas for training
It will be his biggest pay cheque in his career.
“We are looking at 30% to 35% for us and 70% for Joshua. But it has not been finalized yet, so we have no set figure, but then that depends on the day of the fight,” La’auli explains.
But he is confident that the fight will go ahead 31st March, but if not, then the promoters are looking at June 2018.
On his preparations
“I am happy with the time of my preparations. Nine weeks of training in Vegas then 2 weeks in the UK to acclimatize before the fight,” said La’auli.
Comparing his last fight to the upcoming one, La’auli acknowledged that he was not in the best of shape then, as he had just had surgery on one of his hands.
He said he had struggled with the pain every time he threw a jab and it was courage that kept him to fight and win.
“But this time, I have recovered 100 percent. So no more excuses.”
The fighter is also aware that despite a lot of Samoans believing in him, there are also those who say that he will not stand a chance against Anthony Joshua.
“I like to use that as motivation, as I am going out there to represent my family, Samoa and New Zealand,” he said.
Asked what the future holds for him should he lose to Joshua, La’auli said he would like to have at least two more championship fights. A victory will mean continuing on his mission to unify the titles.
“That is my ultimate goal, to get all three titles.”