The fight was tied at 7:7 after Parker landed a late punch to tie up the scores.

The then 18-year-old beat Canadian Didier Bence 14:7 in a fiery contest, charging home late in the third and final round when it appeared the fight was slipping away.

Parker was down 7:5 on points when he landed a decisive right hand to Bence's head with one minute 15 seconds remaining.

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.

The bout featured on the undercard of Godfather of All Fight Nights, Shane Cameron vs. At the time, Parker was considered New Zealand's most promising boxer since David Tua.

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 21-year-old rising star.

Boxing had been a part of Parker's life since his early childhood after being first introduced at a very young age of three.

His father, who was named after the legendary American boxer Jack Dempsey, brought many boxing accessories and toys for him and his siblings.

After scoring a number of consecutive victories in New Zealand and America, Parker agreed to fight South African Francois Botha.

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.

His father also had a boxing bag and pads at home and used to train Joseph and his younger brother.