Sport | Joseph Parker

Lupesoliai wants his matai title announced at every fight

Lupesoliai La’aulialemalietoa Joseph Parker will fight Deontay Wilder on December 23 at the “Day of Reckoning”.

When Samoan matai (chief) titles are given in a village in Samoa, it’s considered respectful to use the name in every setting.

As the buildup to the biggest boxing event in the world (Day of Reckoning) continues, Samoan heavyweight boxer Lupesoliai La’aulialemalietoa Joseph Parker says preparing for his fight on the card isn’t the only thing on his mind right now.

“I’ll give you an example. Inthe last fight I said to the announcer: Can you please announce my full name? And I said Lupesoliai La’aulialemalietoa, Joseph Parker. He said’ I think that will be a bit too long’.”

“I said ‘hold on. Michael Buffer has done it, and David Diamante has done it’. All these other announcers have done it and you’re saying it’s too hard.”

“He kept practising and practising and so, before I walked out to the ring, he said: ‘Joe am I saying your name right?’ He said it to me and I said ‘Yes, thank you very much, let’s go’.”

The former WBO belt holder says that’s the only time someone has ever questioned the announcement of his name.

Lupesoliai will take on one of the top heavyweight title contenders in the world, former WBC holder Deontay Wilder on December 23rd.

The ‘Day of Reckoning’ is the biggest boxing event to be showcased and he’ll be looking for his matai title and name to be said in one go.

“Everyone we have come across has shown that respect, and I’m grateful that they can consider how we are so proud of our culture and want to represent ourselves around the world.

Lupesoliai will fight in the curtain raiser event against Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder with Wilder’s last fight in October 2022, a knockout win over Robert Helenius.

Lupesoliai had his last fight just two months ago.

Despite the absent ring activity from Wilder, Lupesoliai can’t wait to match himself up against another top-ranked opponent.

“Listen I hope he comes in the best, which he will be and I hope he comes in fresh and ready.

I want to challenge the best Deontay Wilder and I want to test myself against the best out there and I truly believe that he’s there right at the top.”

The 31-year-old is training under current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, in Morecambe, England.

He feels the love between Fury and his Irish coach Andy Lee, as they try to create a family environment, similar to how he would be in his beloved South Auckland.

“Tyson (Fury), his brothers, and his family have taken me in as one of their own.

“He texts me like ‘uso’ what time are we having dinner or uso what time are training I think it’s very cool that he’s able to show his appreciation of using our language even if it’s just a uso or malo man.”

Fury considers Lupesoliai a close brother, which means he has promised to never fight his Samoan mate, no matter the big money offers.

In partnership with Pacific Grandstand (531pi)