GAF Athlete Series | Joseph Parker Heavy Weight Boxer
Tell us about yourself
I am of Samoan descent, born and raised in South Auckland, New Zealand. I am married and have four beautiful daughters, along with a two year old German Shepherd. I love all things fishing and if I could, I would eat raw fish every day.
What first drew you to boxing?
As far as I can remember, my Dad has always loved the sport. At the young age of three, he introduced boxing to myself and my younger brother John Parker. We would punch his hands and he would tell everyone that one day, we will be great fighters. What began as his passion, quickly became ours.
I had my first fight and beat my opponent at the age of 12 and it was after that experience I knew I wanted to pursue a career in boxing. I began investing more time and energy into my training and not long after, I travelled the world representing New Zealand from the age of 15.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration is my Dad. Despite having a disability, it never stopped him or slowed him down. He had a hard upbringing and so I have always admired his strength and his determination to give us the best childhood despite what he has been through. Growing up, I saw him work hard to provide for our family and he always encouraged us to dream big. He has unbelievable work ethic and to this day, by choice, still works full time at the same place he has worked at for over 30 years. He was and still is my biggest reminder that anything is possible and you can change the direction of your life at any point.
Tell us about preparation for an upcoming fight and who helps plan your training?
I am currently in training camp for my fight against Joe Joyce. Everything is going great and as a team, we feel we are right on track. Andy Lee (my trainer) and myself plan training and what we need for camp and what training looks like for every day of the week. We plan boxing sessions, sparring sessions, strength and conditioning sessions as well as recovery and rest. I feel most happy and confident about this camp as I now understand my body and know the importance of balance. We train hard but we also rest and eat well.
How often do you train per week when not preparing for a fight?
When I’m not preparing for a fight, I try to do at least one type of training a day (other than Sunday). I usually train in the morning after I do school drop offs and if I can, I'll fit in another session later in the day. That could be a run, weights or boxing session. I have learnt the hard way that in order to make the most of a training camp leading into a fight, I need to take care of myself outside of training camps. What that means for me is allowing my body to rest and recover, eating in moderation and staying consistent with training in between camps.
What exercises are you most excited to do on your new Force USA G20 All-In-One trainer?
The Force USA G20 was highly recommended by one of my favourite trainers, Sean Hughes. I am excited to try everything. I have seen the videos and I am really keen to just go for it and incorporate it into all my workouts.
Do you have any tips for people who may need some help with motivation and self-discipline?
It is never too late to start. My good friend Tyson Fury once said, “whether by an inch or a mile, a win is a win” and this has stuck with me. Whether you’re taking one step at a time, or taking leaps forward in every stride, count your wins. From the time that you show up, you are already a winner. So show up!
What's the greatest advice you've received?
Never ever give up. Anything and everything is achievable if you believe it and you work hard for it. No one can chase your dreams for you, it is all up to YOU. We all have the ability to succeed, and it depends on how much you want it and what you are willing to do to get there. You create the life you live, so make it everything you want it to be.