Joseph Parker visits old school
A sweaty Joseph Parker was mobbed by Marcellin College students trying to get up close with the heavyweight boxing star on Tuesday.
Parker took time out of his busy schedule preparing for the biggest fight of his career - the WBO world heavyweight title fight against Andy Ruiz tomorrow - to visit the school.
A former student of the college, Parker was also special guest at their junior sports award, and was joined by his brother John.
‘‘I’m sorry for all the sweat guys,’’ Parker could be heard telling students as they lined up for a photo with him.
The students did not mind at all. Nor did the teachers as they waited in line and posed with the most famous sports star to ever come out of the school.
Faith Ah Wa who took out the college’s junior girls touch player of the year and middle school sports girl of the year was beside herself.
‘‘I can’t believe I shook his hand, he shook my hand,’’ Ah Wa said.
‘‘I was really surprised that he was the one who presented us with our awards.
‘‘I knew he was going to be here but I didn’t know he would be giving me my certificates him- self.
Ah Wa who plays netball, touch rugby, netball and basketball said it meant a lot to her and other award winners to have been presented their certificates by Parker.
The college’s junior boy’s softball most valuable player Marakulis Heka said he was nervous when he was called up to receive his certificate from Parker.
‘‘He’s just great you know. I felt so proud to be accepting my certificate and I’m proud of Parker - he’s really put the school’s name up there,’’ Heka says.
Parker left the college with four words he famously writes on his boxing gloves for big fights: ’’power comes from within’’.
‘‘It’s what I say when I write on gloves or posters... it means, what- ever you have, whatever goals or anything that you aim aim to achieve in life, use the power that comes from within.
‘‘If you actually give it 100 per cent, focus, stay determined than you can achieve anything in life.’’
Parker isn’t the only boxer to come out of Marcellin.
Former New Zealand cruiserweight champion Monty Betham also attended the school.
Parker did not mind waiting around to have his picture taken with every student of the college.