Samoa’s Champ: Lupesoliai Joseph Parker

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Alexia Slaven

People are always asking me what I want to be when I grow up. My answer typically varies with mood - journalist, a doctor, political leader, a professional singer - but the theme remains the same. 

I want to be someone who makes a difference in the world, but more specifically, instead of living a life of existence, I would love to commit to a purpose greater than myself - a purpose that evolves as I do.   

When I think of someone who fulfils this quality of purpose, Joseph Parker comes to mind.

People in my school nickname Joseph Parker as, “The Brown Thunder, The Man in Black, Spiderman (Peter Parker), The Tank (because he has incredible power pushing through his punches)” 

He has proven to be a role model for me and others to emulate.  Yup! My generation has Joseph Parker to look up too.  

Very rarely in our Samoan history has one person exemplified as much moral values as Joseph Parker.  He has proven that it is possible to go from nothing to something, and like most stories of success, great things happen if you work hard and follow your dreams.  

If Joseph would have given up on his dream of becoming a professional boxer, he would not be where he is today.  Despite the recent setback in his career, he has always been persistent and makes things happen.  He will always be Samoa’s champ. 

Joseph is humble, quiet and well-mannered by nature, but don’t be deceived.  He automatically transforms into a dominant form of tenacity as a fighting machine when he enters the boxing ring. 

He has shown us that we need to have faith in our ability, even after defeat.  Take for instance, me academically.   It’s no secret that I have failed numerous of times in school.  What do I do next?  

I ask for extra tutorials or search for ways to help me become a better learner, instead of taking the easy way out and quit.  It’s never too late, “prevention is better than cure.”  If Parker can do it, I can too.  I also learnt from Joseph that success is not a solo game, “No man is an island,” as they say.  He represents not just himself during a fight but also his team, family and country.  

How did Joseph become “Samoa’s Champ?”  Once a upon time Joseph Parker’s father,  Dempsey Parker named after the great Jake Dempsey - a professional American boxer, was deprived of an opportunity to box because of a leg injury.   He sought to have Joseph learn the sport at a very young age at the Papatoetoe Boxing club, as a path to a better life.  

Like most parents, Dempsey and Sala Parker supported their son and took in loans to send him around the world.  Joseph takes this to recognition and is grateful to his parents. A big round of applause for all supportive parents around the world!   

Joseph Parker is now an amazing boxer, a go-getter and a great role model for my generation.  He is caring, happy and a gentleman off the boxing ring.  

He started as a kid with a dream and is now a boxing inspiration to all young Samoan boxers.  Parker never backs down and that is why he has achieved great milestones in his life.  

He is a fine example of the outcome of determination and hard work.  

Like Parker, we accomplish our goals not just for ourselves, but also for our loved ones, our people and our beloved country.  Thanks to Parker, I learn that we need not only the brain and brawn, but also the heart to succeed. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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