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HomeBoxingFormer heavyweight champion Joseph Parker allegedly connected to international drug ring

Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker allegedly connected to international drug ring

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New Zealand boxing ace and former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has been named to be allegedly involved in an international drug ring.

One of the most iconic names in the Oceanian boxing fraternity, Joseph Parker has squared off against the likes of Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte.

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The Kiwi pugilist of Samoan heritage made his most recent appearance in the ring was against his compatriot Junior Fa on 27th February in Auckland where Parker clinched the WBO Oriental heavyweight belt with a win by unanimous decision.

However, Parker’s name has been linked as a high profile sportsman involved in an international meth ring. So how did we get here?

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A trial in 2019, where Joseph Parker’s name was suppressed

Joseph Parker
Parker was last seen in action against Junior Fa in February. (Image Courtesy: DAZN)

It all goes back to 2019. In a major trial that had taken place that year, three men were found guilty of importing methamphetamine from California.

The perpetrators- Tevita Matangi Fangupo, Tevita Sitanilei Kulu and Toni Rajendra Finau underwent a four week trial at the High Court in Auckland, and all three of them were allegedly getting help from an unnamed high profile sportsman.

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Text messages were found in Kulu’s phone regarding conversations with the drug supplier in California where Parker’s name also came up.

“Alright bro..I got u tho..have all ur money..the dude I was with that’s on my snapchat is going to change it to U.S currency..they wont question him bout all the money..cause he’s the WOB boxing champion so pple know he rich anyways so he’ll be good to change it with no hassles [sic],” the message in Kulu’s phone read. (H/T FoxSports)

While Fangupo, Kulu and Finau were all found guilty of multiple charges, the name of the sportsman was suppressed and had not been charged.

The Crown wins legal fight to make Parker’s name public

Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker allegedly connected to international drug ring - THE SPORTS ROOM
Joseph Parker’s name has been made public 23 months after the first trial. (Image Courtesy: Getty)

The Crown alleged that Joseph Parker was the sportsman who was assisting the three men in importing meth all the way from the US. Although the police were granted a search warrant to probe Parker’s residence, it never took place and The Crown alleges he was not trialed in court either.

In a legal battle than spun over almost two years, The Crown along with stuff.co.nz have won the case to make Joseph Parker’ name public while the Supreme Court has denied to hear Parker’s appeal.

Parker’s lawyers however termed the allegations as trial by media, while his sister claimed irreparable damage to the sportsman’s reputation.

The boxer’s sworn affidavit with the court maintains his innocence and nonparticipation in the meth trade, clarifying that he was “never been involved in the purchase, supply or consumption of methamphetamine.”

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.

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