1 Apr 2018

Parker's home town proud of 'Mangere boy'

12:32 pm on 1 April 2018

People in boxing heavyweight Joseph Parker's home town of Mangere in south Auckland say they're proud of Parker's effort in his fight against Anthony Joshua, despite his loss.

Hundreds turn out in South Auckland to watch Joseph Parker take on Anthony Joshua.

About 250 people watched the fight at the Mangere Cosmopolitan Club in Auckland this morning. Photo: RNZ/Nita Blake-Persen

Parker, 26, took on England's Joshua in their highly-anticipated world heavyweight title unification bout in Cardiff this morning.

However, Joshua beat Parker to become the unified heavyweight champion of the world.

It was standing room only at the the Mangere Cosmopolitan Club this morning, where around 250 people turned out to see their home town hero Parker take on Joshua.

They were hopeful he could win, but said it was always going to be a tough fight.

Mangere woman Louisa Te'i said the referee let Parker down and she was disappointed he didn't win.

"I think that he probably is disappointed in himself as well. But we are still proud of him as a Mangere boy, [we've] always got his back and always going to support him," Ms Te'i said.

"So, hopefully he takes something from this and maybe they can have a rematch."

Anthony Joshua (L) of Great Britain and Joseph Parker (R) of New Zealand feel each other out in the first round of their heavyweight boxing unification bout at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, March 31, 2018.

Parker and Joshua during the fight. Photo: AFP

Mark Lyric said his heart wanted Parker to win, but his head was telling him Joshua would take it.

"You don't go in with high hopes but you've always got to keep faith for the brother. They are both good fighters but at the end of the day it was only going to be one," said Mark Lyric.

Mr Lyric said Parker was paving the way for future boxing stars, and showing South Auckland off on the world stage.

Crowds gathered across the city to watch the fight, including the Grey Lynn RSC.

Jeff Ah Kuoi told RNZ's Danielle Street it was an awesome fight.

"Joseph Parker did well to hold his own ... first guy to go without a knockout. [Anthony Joseph's ] got a 20 win, 20 knockout [record].

"He did well, good champions, I'm happy."

The fight between the two champions took place at the Principality Stadium in Wales in front of a sell-out crowd of about 80,000.

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