Boxing: South Auckland charity stands behind boxer Joseph Parker after legal battle

  • 15/03/2021

The Middlemore Foundation is standing behind Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker, despite revelations over his alleged involvement in an international drug syndicate.

Last week, Parker lost his two-year battle to keep name suppression in the case of a drug ring convicted of smuggling 20kg of methamphetamine into New Zealand.

The former WBO heavyweight champion is alleged to have helped transfer money on the syndicate's behalf, but denies the claims.

Speaking to Stuff, South Auckland charity Middlemore Foundation says it will back Parker, who's been an ambassador for more than three years.

"We have worked closely with Joseph over the past three years and we have seen the positive impact he has made in south Auckland through our work in the community," says chief executive Sangra Geange.

"We look forward to continuing our association with him for years to come."

Through barrister Michael Heron, Parker revealed the toll this saga has taken on him and his family over the past two years.

"This has been going on for ages now and it takes a toll," he said. "I haven't been charged with anything and it doesn't feel right that my name will be connected to matters I've had no chance to defend myself against.

"It's a terrible position to be in. Things have been said about me that are quite untrue - some of them have already been proven untrue - and I was given no chance to respond at the time they were made.

"It's caused a lot of stress and worry for myself and my family - and it just seems totally wrong.

"Having said that, I need to accept the decision and get on with my life. I have other fights to fight."