Kiwi sports fans fell in love with Joseph Parker because of his humble attitude during his ascent of the world heavyweight boxing rankings.

That culminated with him winning the WBO heavyweight belt in front of thousands of fired up home fans on a stunning Auckland night in late 2016 – in the process becoming the first New Zealand or Pasifika fighter to win a major heavyweight championship.

And now as Parker – and his promotional team Duco Events – look at ways to resurrect his international reputation after his second successive loss last Sunday, it would be wise for them to remember just how easy it is to lose support.

The fact Parker lost last Sunday at London's 02 Arena against British heavyweight Dillian Whyte wasn't overly surprising. Whyte won by a unanimous points decision – in the process becoming the first boxer to knock Parker to the canvas during his pro career.

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But what truly is surprising, is the consideration Parker and his camp are giving to appealing the decision.

Parker's camp claim the bout would have been a draw had English ref Ian John Lewis spotted a second-round headbutt which could have led to points being taken off Whyte.

But that's sport – something which is full of potential.

For those who didn't watch the fight, it's hard to argue that Parker wasn't the second best fighter in the ring. And again he highlighted long-held questions over whether he truly has the power to be a truly great heavyweight – and whether his team have the nous to get the best out of him.

Kiwi sports fans love winners – they also love athletes who try their best and proudly wave the national flag on the international stage; even if they come up short result-wise.

What they don't love – and are rapid to turn their backs on those who display it – is a bad loser. Particularly ones who appear to be making excuses for obvious failings.

And that's something Team Parker should be considering.

History shows that as quickly as New Zealanders can fall in love with someone on our sporting fields, it takes just one stupid decision to see that support evaporate.