Listen to our leading heavyweight contender Joseph Parker when he gives interviews and you'll notice he only ever says "we" have trained hard and "we" are ready.
It's never "I" did this or "I" did that, and it's an important distinction.
I believe Joseph recognises that his success, including winning a world heavyweight title, is not only down to his obvious natural ability and temperament but also to the support and energy he derives from the camp he works within.
That camp is led by Kevin Barry and Joseph's own parents, Sala and Dempsey.
It also includes his close friends and trusted corner men.
But when he is in the ring, there's only one voice he listens to: Barry's.
Over the years, I've often read commentators saying Joseph should move on and get another trainer, but to me that's absolute bollocks and I'm speaking as someone who has had the chance to see how they operate together up close over six years or so.
In the corner during a fight, Kevin's is the voice that Joseph listens to, and that is as it should be.
I've had the pleasure of talking to Kevin about it many times and he tells me, "He is in tune with my voice, and even in a crowd of 80,000 people, like there was at the Principality Stadium in Wales for the Anthony Joshua fight, he could still hear my voice."
Between rounds, Kevin says he is the one who listens to his corner because different people see different things. He recognises that it's a team effort and it is his role to respect the knowledge the people in the team bring. Kevin and Joseph first came to my gym in 2013 and, although they have long been based in Las Vegas, when Joseph fights in New Zealand he still finishes his preparation with us.
By the time Team Parker arrives in Auckland, Joseph will already have done most of his sparring leading up to fight night.
His entourage, which generally includes his training partner Izu Ugonoh, usually arrives about two weeks before the promotion.
On a few occasions when Joseph has sparred in the gym, believe me, it's always been full-on. I once asked Kevin if I could take Joseph on the focus pads for a little while.
He agreed but I could tell he was a bit concerned, understandably so, as a mistimed punch to the pads can damage a fighter. Happily, there were no problems and I could see the relief on Kevin's face as I climbed out of the ring and let him get back to his job as
the trainer. I still felt privileged and was very impressed with Joseph's power and speed.
I've had the pleasure of meeting some of Joseph's family, including his brother John, and found them all polite and respectful people.
It matters a lot, because one day – no matter how good you are – you lose and it all ends.
If you go into the game a good and decent man, you come out of it the same way and Joseph's behaviour and demeanour are a great credit to his mum and dad, and indeed to Barry, who acts more like a surrogate parent to his charge than a trainer.
To begin to understand the Joseph Parker story you have to go back to 2003 when Joseph, then a shy, chubby 11-year-old, turned up at a gym in the old Papatoetoe post office with his father and his younger brother John.
At the time, the gym was being run by former Commonwealth professional champion Manny Santos, who sadly passed away in 2013, and Grant Arkell, who still runs the gym today although it has now moved next door to what used to be Sheepy's Bar.
In those early days of the Parker boys, John was the wildly enthusiastic one.
Do a thousand sit-ups? Sure.
Grant swears John had abs before he ever started high school! Joseph wasn't quite as keen, but it was soon clear he had a tremendous talent, and Grant, who has trained many amateur champions out of South Auckland, set about nurturing it.
The first time Joseph fought was in 2003, when he weighed in at 60kg – near enough to half the 111.9 kilos he was when he won his world title in 2016 – on his way to winning a points decision over R. Floyd from Te Awamutu.
Grant says the first time Joseph realised he could really fight came at the North Island Golden Gloves championship in Taupo in 2009, by which time he was considerably bigger, tipping the scales as a 91kgheavyweight. There he fought R. Heaps from Wellington and knocked him out in the first round.
It was only Joseph's 10th bout. "He looked over to the corner with a startled look of 'What have I done?' and attempted to help his opponent up," Grant says. "It was a left hook and a right hand, and it was all over."
In June of the same year, at the national Golden Gloves championships in Palmerston North, Joseph faced the South Island champion, a man named Yamiko Chinula.
On paper it looked like an absolute mismatch as Chinula was a 26-year-old who had three national titles to his name.
Joseph was still only 17, with just 12 bouts behind him. New Zealand national coach Billy Meehan even told Grant not to put Joseph in against Chinula because the southerner was too experienced for the young fighter.
But Grant had confidence in his fighter's ability - and he was right.
Joseph stopped his opponent in the third round and became New Zealand Golden Gloves heavyweight champion.
By this time, a great relationship had developed between boxer and trainer.
Joseph had the X-factor and the desire, and he had the support of a dedicated trainer. In 2010 Joseph and Grant were invited to the world amateur champs in Azerbaijan.
There is a tendency among the public to assume that because astronomic sums of money are talked about in boxing when world-class professionals fight in title bouts, money is splashing about everywhere in the sport.
This is absolutely untrue and, with Azerbaijan on the horizon, there was a big problem for Parker and Arkell. Fighter and trainer had to find their own fares.
"I had money for my fare," Grant explained. "I tried very hard to get sponsors, but to no avail. What could I do? I reluctantly let Joseph go on his own using the funds I had. It was just enough for him to go. I rang the Aussie coach Mark Wilson, who I knew was going, and I trusted him to look after Joseph.
"I had planned to keep in touch with Joseph by phone and, in fact, I rang him every day, so I virtually coached him over the phone.
After Joseph won his first bout against a Turk, he rang me and said he had drawn Yuniel Castro Chavez, a well-respected Cuban.
"What shall I do?" he asked me.
There were more instructions relayed by phone and I remember telling him to spar with the Aussies and reminding him that he was good enough.
Grant couldn't sleep that night and was roused at 4am by the call he had been waiting for.
It was Joseph. "I lost," was all he said. "Are you all right?" Grant asked, only to be met with laughter. "Yeah sure," Joseph replied before bursting out laughing again.
"I won nine one, unanimous points." It was not only a huge unanimous-points win in an amateur contest, it was also the only victory over a Cuban ever achieved by a Kiwi boxer.
Nobody had really given Joseph a chance, except Grant, and he proved them all wrong. Joseph lost the final, but it was a tremendous achievement for a 19-year-old.
Over a period of 10 years, Joseph had 31 fights, 28 of them under Arkell's guidance, but in 2012 it was time to turn professional.
Grant has never grizzled about Joseph moving on, and that says much about him.
It wasn't about what Joseph could do for him, only ever about what he could do for Joseph.
"I wish him well of course, but there are a lot of Joseph Parkers out there," Grant said.
I'm sure by that he means that there are other young men he can help, because otherwise I'd have to disagree – there aren't an abundance of Joseph Parker-type fighters out there just waiting to be found. Joseph has something that makes him that little bit special and he's certainly proved his worth by becoming a world champion.
It's not the ones that could have done it, it's the ones that have done it that we need to celebrate.
Today's venues are a long way from the chilly halls in Taupō and Rotorua that Joseph started off in, having long since graduated to massive bouts but Barry says his fighter remains a grounded young man who is more comfortable away from the wilder pre-fight moments: "Joe has always had the great gift of controlling his emotions.
"He's a very chilled individual who doesn't waste his energy getting all worked up before a big bout. Trash-talking and that sort of thing is just not who he is.
"Joe's had a small group of friends as part of his team from the beginning. These are friends and relations who have always been a big part of his journey. They are also the people he is closest to and the people he likes to have around in the dressing room both before and after fights. He has a set routine that he feels good with. Everyone starts the day together at breakfast, that's followed by a team walk and then they lunch together," Barry says.
"During the tapering-off period of around 10 to 14 days prior to a fight, Joe is surrounded by family, with his mum and dad attending all sparring sessions, supporting their son. They can have as much access as they want and need. There are no restrictions. We're all working together as a team and have the same goals, all being there for Joe and we all support each other."
All fighters have to have a dark side, especially in the heat of battle, and Joseph is no exception. If they haven't, they are in the wrong business.
Every fighter has the desire to win and self-preservation is a human instinct. There is no doubt that Joseph is generally placid by nature and he's certainly well in control of the physical power he possesses, so I asked him how he got himself in a mood where he was ready to take his opponent's head off:
"When you get into the ring, it's war. That other person is trying to knock your head off, so you've got to get into the right mindset. If you don't you could get seriously hurt. But you don't carry that outside the ring or take anything that happens in it personally." I wasn't totally surprised when he told me he didn't really enjoy all the hype that surrounds boxing, particularly at world title bout level.
"I wouldn't say I enjoy it, but the lead-up to a world title fight is exciting. There's no feeling quite like it. You're fighting at the highest level. There are also amazing opportunities to meet people, and to hear and see how what you do means a lot to people. That's an amazing thing to experience."
He might not like it that much, but he is still desperate to experience it again. "I want to fight for world titles again. I know where I am and that I need to climb to the top again."
This extract was edited for length
Taking the Punches, by Mike Edwards
(HarperCollins NZ, RRP $37) is out now.