Parker's Whanganui visit a chance to recuperate

Joseph Parker is planning his comeback with talk of getting back in the ring at the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, he's making the most of his downtime in Whanganui this week, while giving back to the community.

It was a standing ovation on landing as the Whanganui community welcomed Joseph Parker.

Parker says, "Sometimes I forget how much support and love we get and so it's good to come down here.  It's my first time here."

His matai status saw tikanga adapt, with the first speech of the pōwhiri at Pūtiki Marae being conducted by a Samoan elder.

"For me, it was a lot of respect letting the Samoan do the welcoming first and then the Māori welcoming after and it just shows the unity that we have."

He had lunch with local kura kaupapa before heading to Whanganui High School.

The visit was originally intended to be for Māori and Pasifika boys and their dads but that changed after making headlines and causing some controversy.

But Parker says it's important for Māori and Pasifika to lead their own change.

"For us to lead in the community is a great and positive change and I think it will help inspire the rest of the Pacific Islanders and Māori to do well."

Parker’s cousin, Poasa Baice says, "No matter what your background is you can always make it. We started from the bottom and Joe's at the top of the world, anyone can do it."

Parker held the WBO Heavyweight title from 2016 to 2018. However, he says his trip to Whanganui will be a good chance for him to have some downtime following his recent losses.

"It's a time for me to recuperate, and reflect on my career and also go back fresh ready to start, ready to train hard and ready to give it another go."

Parker's looking at the end of November or early December to step back onto the canvas.