‘Being proud is far from my mind,’ Parker’s mom says

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LISTEN UP SON: Sala Parker speaks to her son Lupesoliai Joseph Parker in Samoa during one of his training camps.

LISTEN UP SON: Sala Parker speaks to her son Lupesoliai Joseph Parker in Samoa during one of his training camps.

Lupesoliai Laauliolemalietoa Joseph Parker’s mother has mixed feelings about the biggest fight her son is about to enter on 1 April 2018.

Having finalised the deal to take on Anthony Joshua in Cardiff, Sala Parker, has told Newshub she is nervous – not necessarily about the result – but she does not want her son to get hurt, as she fears in every fight he has entered.

"At the back of my head I've got Joshua's image in front of me, knowing he's a huge guy," she told Newshub from the family's Papatoetoe home.

"Heavy arms, heavy hands, muscular, quite a bit taller than Joe. But I'm trying to think it's just another fight."

Sala said every time her son takes the ring, she is worried.

“I do not know what's going to happen in that ring,” she said.

"I guess I'm more worried than proud, because the fight is not yet done. When he wins that's when I perhaps feel that way, but in the meantime no to be honest, I don't feel proud at all.

"What if anything happens in the ring? I don't want to watch him on the floor, getting hurt or anything. So being proud is far, far, far away from me and my husband."

The following is the full story written by Newshub staff:

 Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker may have just signed on for the biggest bout of his career, but in the eyes of his doting mother it's "just another fight."

At least, that's what Sala Parker keeps telling herself.

The 26-year-old South Aucklander's title unification fight against Anthony Joshua was finally made official late Sunday night, with an April 1st (NZT) date booked for Cardiff's Principality stadium.

It shapes to be the biggest stage arguably any New Zealand sportsman has ever appeared upon, with an audience of over 80,000 inside the stadium and the eyes of the wider sporting world certain to be tuned in.

The hulking Joshua is indisputably Parker's sternest test to date and for as much as his mum prefers to take a clinical view of things, she admits she's doing her best to look past the hype as a means of coping with the danger her WBO champion son is putting himself under.

"At the back of my head I've got Joshua's image in front of me, knowing he's a huge guy," she told Newshub from the family's Papatoetoe home.

"Heavy arms, heavy hands, muscular, quite a bit taller than Joe. But I'm trying to think it's just another fight."

She admits that the uncertainty of the outcome takes a heavy toll, so much so that she finds it hard to even muster any sense of pride in her son's achievements, at least until the result has played out.

"I guess I'm more worried than proud, because the fight is not yet done. And I do not know what's going to happen in that ring.

"When he wins that's when I perhaps feel that way, but in the meantime no to be honest…I don't feel proud at all.

"What if anything happens in the ring? I don't want to watch him on the floor, getting hurt or anything. So being proud is far, far, far away from me and my husband."

That maternal concern has been a constant throughout Joseph's career, and has extended further after his younger sibling John entered the professional ranks in late 2016. He will also be fighting in Cardiff as a part of on the event's undercard.

"I worry about every fight...every single fight ever since he was an amateur. I've been there since his first fight, so I'm not sure how I'm still alive," she says with a smile.

While it's something she's learnt to live with, there's already something different about this one which has had her more on edge prior to the pair's departure after their recent family holiday in Samoa.

"I got really, really emotional. I was crying all week before they went away.

"We play together and shadowbox together, then when they leave it's half of yourself gone too, because you know they're not going to be around for some time," she said between the tears.

"It's a bit scary. But he said 'don't worry, you're going to see the best of me when I'm in the ring on the 1st, so that really helps comfort me."

Fears aside, the mother of two has no doubt that her son's capable and utterly committed to the cause.

"He's worked really hard for the past five years to get to where he's heading now, to unify the belts for New Zealand and Samoa.

"It's not only about for him and his family, but he's looking at the two countries and his fans worldwide to repay their support and love for him."

The enormity of the pay packet on offer is something Sala downplays despite a prize purse which will likely be in the realm of $15 million. She's simply happy her son is able to make a good living and pave a future for his family using his exceptional talents in a sport he loves. That, and the prospect of him finally moving out of the family home.

"Whatever money he's going to get, we just want him to get a house of his own so that he can get away from here," she laughs. "No matter how many times I've told him he needs to move out, oh no he still comes back home."

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