Joseph Parker keen to collect 22 pies from school principal

Joseph Parker at Marcellin College

Four days out from the biggest fight in his career Joseph Parker took time out to give back to his old school.

Speaking at Marcellin College was all the initiative of the former troublesome teenager, now WBO heavyweight champion.

“He asked us if he can come to school to help us out in any way,” said Marcellin director of services Anthony Weijermars.

Mobbed by Marcellin College students, Parker did not mind walking around to have his picture taken with every student, reports Stuff.

While at the College, Parker presented students with their sports awards.

Faith Ah Wa who took out the college’s junior girls touch player of the year and middle school sports girl of the year said it meant a lot to her and other award winners to have their certificates presented by Parker.

“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 himself.”

Not always a model student, Parker was more interested in fixing cars and going fishing than doing his homework recalls Year 11 Dean, Dr Swatantra Bassi.

Bassi said it wasn’t until Parker decided to get serious about a sport that the benefits overflowed into the classroom.

Once he found his direction he was totally devoted to it, he said.

“He used to go to the gym early in the morning and he would stay back after school to work out. And from there he kicked on,” Bassi added.

22 pies and counting

Not forgetting his old school teachers, Parker keeps in regular email contact with Bassi; his favourite teacher.

“I felt he was the only teacher that understood me and showed that he really cared a lot.

“He would explain my circumstances to other teachers and they began to understand me better,” Parker told Stuff.

He also regularly emails former principal Dennis Fahey.

As a student, Parker one day persuaded Fahey to buy him a pie at lunchtime.

These days the pair look back at Parker’s cheeky request and laugh.

“I email Mr Fahey every fight as well. He just replied the other day and said the reason why you do so well in your fights is because I bought you that pie,” Parker said.

By Parker’s reckoning he has won 22 fights so has 22 butter chicken pies waiting to be delivered.

Parker left the college with four words he famously writes on his boxing gloves for big fights: “power comes from within”.


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News category: New Zealand.

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