Excitement builds for Parker fight

By Patrick McKendry in Apia

New Zealand Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker poses for a selfie with a fan at Aggie Grey's Hotel in Apia ahead of tonight's match. Photo / Andrew Cornaga
New Zealand Heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker poses for a selfie with a fan at Aggie Grey's Hotel in Apia ahead of tonight's match. Photo / Andrew Cornaga

Samoa's police are having a busy time directing traffic as supporters flock to the undercard of Joseph Parker's heavyweight clash against Jason Bergman here.

The police are out in force as cars stream to the Faleata sports complex on the outskirts of Apia, with many utes carrying their passengers on the back.

More than three hours before Parker takes the ring, the 60-or-so corporate tables are full and the two stands, which hold about 1200 people, are rapidly filling. More than 2000 are expected at the sold-out event.


Two big screens projected on to walls show the undercard action, which included former All Black Va'aiga Tuigamala's son, 15-year-old Lika, who won his amateur fight against 28-year-old Seloti Fata by split decision. It was Lika's first fight, and he edged it against the national champion who has been in the ring more than 50 times.

The crowd stood as Samoan head of state Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta'isi Efi arrived and politely clapped as he took his seat.

Earlier Parker, who is taking on a southpaw for the first time in his unbeaten professional career, was very relaxed - mingling with guests at his resort base, saying he was looking forward to having dinner.

Parker this morning walked around the beach resort surrounded by his entourage with his shirt off before retiring to his room as the temperatures hit 30deg.

The 24-year-old, who has a 17-0 record, is generally relaxed on the way to the ring. Tonight he won't have far to walk in this small venue and space is at a premium as every available area on the stadium floor is taken up by tables, most of which have "beer towers" full of a local lager as a centrepiece.

- NZ Herald

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