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His father Dempsey was named after world heavyweight champion American boxer Jack Dempsey. At the age of three he enjoyed jabbing into his father's palms and while he was still a young boy Dempsey gave him boxing gloves and a punching bag. He is of predominantly Samoan descent, with his ancestry roots going back to the Faleula Village on the main island of Upolu where his mother hails from. His first international tournament was at the Commonwealth Boxing Championships in where he won silver. He was looked after by the Australian National Team Management as his coach Grant Arkell could not afford to accompany him. They traded punches in a closely matched bout that saw the scores remain within one point of each other for most of the match. In the end it was the Croatian who managed to gain the upper hand in the final round and push ahead to an 8: Despite leaving the ring nursing a nose injury, Parker won bronze. He won silver after defeating Jozsef Zsigmond in the semifinals. The then year-old beat Canadian Didier Bence Parker was down 7: It knocked the Canadian down and effectively ended the fight as Parker registered the last nine points. The fight was tied at 7: The judges, however, gave Abdul Haqq the win by a majority decision of three of the five judges,  meaning that Parker missed earning a medal. Parker had little trouble with his opponent, with the referee ending the contest in the first round. In the final he was opposed by Ospanov Doszham from Kazakhstan. Parker was awarded the victory by way of a six-point winning margin. He had previously beaten Erik Pfeifer of Germany on points to secure a place in the finals. Dean Garmonsway, was chosen as Parker's first opponent. A Hamilton physical education school teacher and former Waikato Rugby League representative, Garmonsway had only three professional boxing bouts, amounting to two wins and one loss. Monte Barrett title eliminator. Botha was known to be capable of landing a quality punch or two and had the ability to send fighters to the canvas, though Parker was considered the favourite to win. All the predictions before the fight were the two would unleash early in the contest, and they came true as Parker won the fight with a stunning second round blow. Parker secured the New Zealand National Boxing Federation title with an impressive win marred only by a serious cut he suffered in the opening round when the fighters clashed heads. The fight doctor considered ending the fight after the first round due to the state of the cut above the left eye but Parker's manager Kevin Barry pleaded for a second round and got it. His charge responded with a flurry of punches which lowered former champion Tatupu two minutes into the second round. Tatupu came out strong in the first round and threw some good shots, testing the chin of the then year-old rising star. The two then got into a brawl as they traded punch for punch. The punishment continued in the second round before Parker delivered the killer blow. It was an action-packed contest, with the then year-old Tatupu opening in aggressive style and prompting a belligerent response from Parker after he was searching for an upset knockout win. The pair went toe-to-toe for much of the second round before Parker's superior speed and power made the difference. Parker was the dominant figure throughout the bout and won the interim Pan Asian Boxing Association heavyweight championship for his efforts. The fight, on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko 's world heavyweight title defence against Australian Alex Leapai , was Parker's eighth as a professional. Nascimento, who was a late replacement for durable veteran Sherman Williams, brought a 17—5 record to the contest, which was largely padded by results in his homeland. But in the seventh, which turned out to be the final frame, Parker's power began to show and when Nascimento was unable to defend himself the bout was stopped. Parker knocked Minto down in the fifth round and then opened his arms. After rocking him again in the seventh Minto did not return as his corner threw in the towel, leaving Joseph winning his third title. Having been knocked down twice, Minto knew at the end of the seventh round he had no chance of winning. He also confirmed he had carried a broken nose suffered in sparring the previous week into the fight. He claimed that he'd knock out Parker in the sixth round in a re-match. Parker quoted saying it's not up to him and we are fighters and lets leave it to the judges to decide. Following a three-week camp as sparring partner to World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Florida , Parker announced to fight three more bouts in , re-commencing in Palmerston North on 13 June where he defeated Turkish-born German fighter Yakup Saglam in an emphatic second-round knockout. Saglam had a massive right hook of his own, but could not land any, while Parker's speed and power were too much. He maintained his unbeaten record, notching his fourteenth win and twelfth by knockout while also again retaining his two titles. The New Zealand-born Australian Meehan earned his shot at the promising heavyweight after winning the Super 8 competition and beating Kiwi veteran Shane Cameron. Parker's dynamic hand speed and power destroyed veteran Kali Meehan inside three rounds of their heavyweight clash. After dominating the opening two rounds, Parker put away the veteran with a stunning combination one minute into the third round. He set it up with a straight left and finished it off with a powerful overhand right. Meehan struggled to get up off the canvas and wobbled against the ropes with referee Ferlin Marsh waving the finish for a technical knockout. As expected, he wasted no time in flooring the 2. Parker took just one minute and 17 seconds to floor the big-talking Martz flat on his face with a big swinging right punch to the left-side of his head. Far from the one or two round finishes of his more recent fights, Parker was made to work for his victory by a staunch and determined Bergman. The challenger offered very little on offense but displayed some impressive mettle in soldiering through a number of Parker onslaughts, the champion tenderising the body relentlessly in what proved to be the ideal workout against his first southpaw opponent. After twice sending Bergman to his knee in earlier rounds for the count, one particularly brutal liver shot crumbled the American, the referee having seen enough as he waved off the fight. The winner would be required to fight for the world title against the reigning champion, Anthony Joshua of Britain. Prior to the fight being announced, Parker and his handlers twice avoided fighting Takam the previous year because of the risk involved. Two judges scored it —, and one at — Solomon Haumono was finally signed off on 23 May It was hyped as a Trans-Tasman grudge match with Parker's IBF world heavyweight mandatory position on the line which attracted the attention of the Australian media and public. Pre-fight Parker predicted he would need the formative rounds of twelve to get a feel and once he found his range a tiring Haumono was visibly struggling before he was dropped by a right uppercut and failed to beat referee Bruce McTavish 's count, being another routine victory for Parker via a fourth-round knockout. Parker was in control from the opening bell and made his first inroads in the third when he landed a right and left to Haumono's head, though he responded by winging Parker on the jaw, a blow that was brushed off. Haumono thought he had beat the count and was fit to continue, though it was only a matter of time before Parker ended proceeding before a capacity crowd of 5, Trainer Kevin Barry commented that the Dimitrenko bout was a preparation for his eventual heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua. Dimitrenko held a respectable 38—2 record, with those two losses coming against his only genuine top-class opposition; Kubrat Pulev in and Eddie Chambers in He then used his speed in round two and knocked Dimitrenko down twice following right hands. Dimitrenko was knocked down a final time in round three; as he was falling, Parker hit another body shot, which the referee appeared to miss. The fight was called off 1 minute and 36 seconds into round three. The organisation had granted permission to Parker fighting Andy Ruiz for their belt with their championship committee voting unanimously in favor of the title fight. He pointed out that WBO rules stated that the two best-classified contenders' will challenge for the title. He also said his experience dealing with Parker and his team has so far been a pleasure. Two of the judges scored it — in favour of Parker as the third judge scored it a — draw. Parker said it was a dream come true. Ruiz started off the better boxer and was the main aggressor throughout the fight. Parker picked up the pace in the middle rounds winning most of them but Ruiz got back into the fight during the championship rounds. Both boxers showed great respect for each other throughout the bout. Ruiz spoke of his unhappiness stating he felt he won the fight or even deserved a draw and wanted a rematch. Parker was in favour of a rematch in the future, however on 29 December, David Higgins from Duco, ruled it out. Hughie Fury In December , David Haye was made mandatory challenger for Parker's world title, however he chose to fight cruiserweight Tony Bellew in a heavyweight grudge match on pay-per-view. This pushed Hughie Fury to become next in line for a title shot. The date of the then proposed fight between Parker and Fury came up for discussion and was pushed forward to 6 May after Fury and team appeared reluctant to travel to New Zealand for the fight scheduled for April. It saw WBO President Francisco Varcarcel take to social media to give Fury until 25 February to finalise the bout, otherwise, he would lose his position to challenge Parker for the world championship. The location was due to Parker enjoying fighting in front of his Kiwi fans. This was due to his criminal past, dating back to around when he was incarcerated for 10 years for drug-related offenses. Varcarcel stated the fight was now off and the problem laid within the Fury camp. After announcing the claim it gave Parker the rights to fight whoever he wanted when we wanted as a voluntary defense out of the top Dominic Breazeale , the American, ranked 6th with the WBO, announced on social media his interests in fighting Parker on late notice. Cojanu was involved in his training camp in Las Vegas towards the fight. Parker out-pointed Cojanu in his first defence of his world heavyweight title. The judges scored it —, —, and — in a fight where Cojanu taunted him repeatedly. American referee Mike Ortega deducted a point against Cojanu in the fourth round due to repeatedly pushing down the neck of Parker during the clinches. But Parker's ability to keep disciplined in a fight that involved trash talk, flying elbows, clinches and head holds got him the win comfortably. After the fight, Parker said, "You can all see why we bring Razvan in to camp, we look for the best. Whyte said he was not impressed with Parker's performance and wanted to go head-to-head with him later in the year. Bellew, lashed out at Parker on social media, saying he could end Parker's reign as champion very quickly. Whilst Whyte hit back at Bellew's comments, saying he must wait in line. A contract was signed by both parties and would take place at Manchester Arena. It saw Peter Fury exchanging a foul-mouthed argument with David Higgins at the final press conference in London. It started off with Higgins approaching Fury, unhappy with the appointment of British referee O'Connor for the fight. Higgins was then ejected from the press conference by security officials.
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