Sala Parker is always nervous before her heavyweight son Joseph fights. On Saturday her worries might be doubled as her other son, John, prepares for his first professional fight.

John, 22, a promising amateur who was a national middleweight and light heavyweight champion, will fight on the undercard of Joseph's main event against Alexander Dimitrenko at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre.

The younger Parker is returning from five years away from the fight game, and, after watching his big brother sweat through his tough training sessions, has enjoyed putting the gloves on again. He will fight 27-year-old Ratu Dawai from Christchurch over four rounds at a catchweight 85kg.

"Just seeing my brother struggle during the trainings and remembering the times we struggled together made me want to get back to that time," John said. "Joe is a huge role model for me in terms of an older brother and boxer. It's nice to see the way he's progressed."


John's style as an amateur was best described as all-action, said Joseph, 24.

"If I had to compare him to someone it would be a little Mike Tyson. He just went in there for the kill," Joseph said. "When the bell rang it was like he held his breath for three minutes and threw all his punches and when the bell rang again he would start breathing again. That's how exciting he was."

Asked how his mum would feel before the fight, John, who was initially trained by his dad, Dempsey, said: "She sees that we train hard and she sees this is what we love to do."

John said his game plan awareness had developed as a professional. "I'm going to take it nice and slow. If I can see that I can take the knockout and put on the pressure I will, but I'm not going to rush into it."

Joseph said: "As a professional it's about picking your shots, looking for your openings and putting power behind your shots so you can hurt your opponent."

As for whether the pair ever fought as children, John said: "Joe and I never threw a punch [at each other] except for this one time when I clipped him a little bit."

Joseph said: "And then he ran and I couldn't chase him because he was too fast."