BY Lance Polu
APIA, SAMOA: THURSDAY 14 JANUARY 2016: Samoan Heavy weight boxing contender Lupesoli’ai La’auli Joseph Parker is heading to Samoa this Saturday to prepare for his Rumble in Paradise at the Faleata Sports Complex, 23 January 2016.
Parker who has just turned 24, today met his opponent Jason Bergman, for the first time face-to-face at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland and it will be the first time that Parker will fight a southpaw in his professional career.
Joseph Parker is undefeated in 17 fights with 15 knockouts while Jason Bergman has scored 16 knock outs in a 25 fight career and they will be fighting for the WBO Oriental and WBO Pan African Titles in 12 x 3 minute rounds.
Facts & Figures
• Parker is currently ranked WBO#3; IBF#7; WBC#10; WBA#12 and celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday.
• Bergman has won 16 of his last 18 fights and Parker is the 10th undefeated opponent the American will have faced in a nine-year professional boxing career.
• This is Joseph Parker’s fourth fight outside New Zealand following previous bouts in Los Angeles in 2013 and Germany & Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 2014.
• It is the first time in Parker’s professional career he has faced a southpaw (left-hander). The last time he did was as an amateur where he admits he ‘didn’t have a clue’.
• The reason this bout against southpaw Bergman is so important to Parker’s development is because of what is happening this weekend in New York. WBC World Champion, Deontay Wilder defends his title against Polish southpaw Artur Szpikla. On the same card, the IBF world title (recently stripped off Tyson Fury) will be contested between Ukranian, Vyacheslav Glazkov and American southpaw Charles Martin.
• Parker’s world ranking should rise in the WBC and IBF following these bouts regardless of the results. (The rationale being he gets closer to the front of the line as each fighter ahead of him has his title shot and then goes to the back of the queue).
• WBC World Champion, Deontay Wilder has prepared for his world title defence by sparring Jason Bergman.
• The number one goal in 2016 is to move into the mandatory position (#1 challenger) with one of the boxing organisations to challenge for a world title. It took David Tua eight years and 38 fights to become the mandatory challenger to Lennox Lewis. Parker turned professional in July 2012.