No 2 ranked WBO heavyweight Joseph Parker and his manager David Higgins have more than just boxing in common.
The Kiwi pair have carved an eight-year working relationship which has developed into a friendship.
On the face of it winning the WBO World Heavyweight title in 2016 sticks out in terms of triumphs.
However, they both circle a different moment that they are most proud of in their respective careers.
Parker says for him it was the moment he paid-off his parents Dempsey and Sala’s house in South Auckland stood out for him.
“The proudest moment was helping them pay off their house.
“The reason why it was the proudest moment, was because I’ve grown up my whole life and seen my parents work very hard to look after my siblings and myself,’’ Parker told The Boxing Files podcast.
“From a young age that was the goal outside of boxing. My goal was to make enough money to look after my parents.
”The only thing I thought about growing up was, box well, be champion, and get some money to look after my parents.’’
For Higgins, who co-founded Duco Events in 2004, he too circled the moment he brought his mother a house as his proudest moment.
“With my mum, life hadn’t treated her fairly. My father had relocated without really looking after her, she was on her own without family in New Zealand in the welfare system struggling really,’’ he said in episode two of The Boxing Files podcast.
“You can end being a bit invisible so credit to her for getting through it, raising twins on her own.
“For me I saw it as in-just or unfair, as a kid you can’t do anything about it.
”But I was always pretty driven that one day I would do something about that by providing some security in terms of somewhere to live.
‘‘So, yeah, shortly after the [David Tua-Shane Cameron] fight; in fact the year we signed Joseph, I was able to help my mum into a home she is living in today.
“So, it was relief free not having to worry about basic security, like housing a food. So that is one of the benefits that has come out of all of this.’’
Higgins’ business signed Parker on a six year as a 20-year-old in 2012 to promote his fights.
Last year Parker decided to move in another direction when he inked a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn last year.
However, Parker has kept Higgins involved in Team Parker.
‘’[Signing with Eddie Hearn] was the right thing to do,’’ Higgins said.
“In the six years, huge money flowed into boxing…..Joseph is so loyal that had we wanted to be his promoter he would have probably continued with us, but it just didn’t feel the right thing to do.
“There is no way I could have competed with the offers that could have been on the table by Matchroom or ESPN Top Rank etc, I felt like it was right to let go.’’
“Joseph then kindly hired me to assist with management.’’
On the back of Covid-19 and the border restrictions, Higgins and Parker are working with Hearn about getting a release to stage a fight in New Zealand August.
The fight would likely be against another fighter from New Zealand or Australia, with Australian Lucas Browne suggested as a likely option.