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10 things you need to know about Joseph Parker

Everything you need to know about the Kiwi boxer ahead of tonight's big fight.
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Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker will fight Mexican Andy Ruiz tonight in a challenge for the WBO heavyweight title.

The boxing match for the heavyweight belt is being held at Auckland’s Vector Arena, and proceedings are expected to get underway at 7.30pm. The main event of the night is set to start at 10.45pm.

Bookmarkers around the world have Joseph Parker as the odds on favourite to take the title – he’s got a clear height advantage over Andy Ruiz, although the Mexican pugilist claims his fighting skills shouldn’t be underestimated.

To keep you clued up, here’s 10 things you need to know about our boxing star.

1 Joseph remains undefeated over 21 professional fights and has 18 knockout wins to his name.

2 His dad Dempsey Parker was named after heavyweight champion Jack Parker, and his brother John, who he’s two years old than, is also a professional boxer.

3 Even as a very young boy, Joseph was interested in the sport. His dad cottoned on to his son’s potential at around age four, when young Joe started jabbing into his hands. He took up the sport aged 11, and pursued it while he was at high school.

4 Joseph is 24-years-old, and hails from Mangere, South Auckland. He’s of Samoan descent and his formal name is Lupesoliai La’auli Joseph Parker.

5 The boxer is 6ft 4″ and weighs in at 111.9 kilograms which is the heaviest weight of his fight career. His opponent Andy Ruiz is 6ft 1″ and weighs 116 kilograms.

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6 As well as a relentless physical training regime, Joseph has also been working with a psychologist to mentally prime him for the championship fight.

7 The boxer has just become a dad for the first time. His new daughter Elizabeth Ah-Sue Sala Parker was born in November while the champ was training in Las Vegas. His baby mama is his childhood sweetheart, Laine Tavita.

8 Joseph also missed his big sister Elizabeth’s wedding while he was away training in Vegas. He’s made up for it though by giving his new daughter her first name.

9 His family are Mormon.

10 And his mum Sala has dished the dirt. She told New Idea that as well as being a great athlete, her son can also sing and is pretty good on the dance floor.

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