Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi heavyweight world champion fighting for family

Kiwi Joseph Parker has all the motivation he needs for his unification bout with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on April 1 (NZT).

With the WBO, IBF, WBA heavyweight titles and undefeated records on the line, Parker's love for his family remains his driving force.

The 26-year-old is a long way from his Auckland home, as he trains in the high altitude of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Parker admits he struggles to cope without partner Laine and 16-month-old daughter Elizabeth, but is quick to remind himself of the job at hand.

"I won't lie; being away from them is very hard," he told the UK Sun. "I'm missing out on the growing up, taking first steps and all that.

"It's tough, but I just keep reminding myself I'm doing all of this to give them a better future. You have to make sacrifices to look after your family sometimes."

Parker's refusing to look past Joshua, as a win would trigger the Briton's re-match clause in the fight contracts.

Instead, he's only thought of what awaits him back in Auckland and looks to be all booked up with his little one.

"I've bought a big house for them," Parker told the Sun. "I've already looked online and bought a big playground for them that I'm going to build when I get back after the fight.

Parker vs Joshua: Kiwi heavyweight world champion fighting for family
Photo credit: Getty Images

"So far, it's got two swings and a slide. Next thing I'm going to get is a trampoline.

"It's almost like I'm going to be a child again. I'll be having fun with Elizabeth and playing around.

"I will fly back to New Zealand on the Monday after the fight. Hopefully, I will be flying back as a unified champion and we can celebrate back home."

Parker believes becoming a father has had an effect on him, but not when it comes to lacing up the gloves.

"In some ways, it definitely has," he told the Sun. "I would die for my daughter, I love her that much.

"But that being said, it hasn't softened me in the boxing ring.

"I'm still vicious and I still want to knock people out, only now I'm doing it all for my family."


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