Parker’s mum anxious ahead of world title

By Tamati Tiananga

Meeting the man who will fight your son in the ring can be overwhelming for any mother but for Joseph Parker’s mother it was about offering a hand of friendship. In two days Parker will fight Andy Ruiz in one of the biggest heavyweight bout ever seen in New Zealand at Auckland’s Vector Arena.   

Mrs Sala Parker has attended over 20 press conferences to support her son’s dream to win the WBO World heavyweight Title, today she met her son’s next opponent for the first time.

“It’s really nice to meet him in person I have been watching his footage on TV but I was really looking forward to meeting him in person, it’s really an awesome opportunity”

Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. is no slouch and holds 29 record win. Mrs Parker offered a friendly sentiment but with conditions.

"Absolutely, I can’t say good luck to Andy, I said he can be my friend from now on, and on Saturday he can’t be my friend until after the fight.”

Like any mother Mrs Parker would prefer to look for the win, win.

“Well, my thing is why don’t we just buy two belts and give it to them, instead of fighting over one.”

24-year-old Parker faces his biggest contest to date becoming the first heavyweight fighter to fight for a world title on home soil. If successful she has made a promise to her son.

“I set that as a goal and I said to Joe the only time I can get into the ring is when you win that world title belt. And I thought if I challenge him in that what he will try his best and win”. 

The entire Parker family, mother Sala, dad Dempsey and younger brother John Parker who will make his second professional appearance - catchment weight against Christchurch-based fighter Ash McConville attended today's media gathering.