Aug 19, 2017 Last Updated 2:11 PM, Jun 12, 2017

Samoan boxer

Published in 2017 January
Tagged under

JOSEPH Parker became the Pacific’s first world boxing champion after beat - ing Mexico’s Andy Ruiz in Auckland, New Zealand for the vacant WBO title. Now honoured as a matai, the New Zealand-born Luoesoliai Laauliaalemalietoa Joseph Parker has been feted in his motherland of Samoa by local dignitaries.

He is also the first New Zealand born world champion. Fijian Alipate Kororovou held the Commonwealth Middleweight title in the 1970s but no Pacific islander has ever been world champion untiol now. Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, was instrumental in ensuring his country paid $USD100,000 for promotional rights during the fight.

The money went towards promoting Samoa as a tourist destination as it ramps up hotel construction and airport refurbishment projects.

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