Joseph Parker refuses to touch WBO title belt
Superstitions exist in every sport. From keeping socks down in rugby or league to putting the left cricket pad on before the right, through to even wearing the same underwear each match. For Joseph Parker, his particular quirk before the WBO heavyweight title fight against Andy Ruiz involves not touching the ultimate lure.
The WBO title belt, complete with fresh engravings, has made several appearances up and down the country since arriving in New Zealand ahead of the December 10 decider at Auckland's Vector Arena.
Parker got his first look at the prize he will chase when he fronted his first press conference on Tuesday.
Clearly worried about stirring some bad omens or tempting fate, Parker not only refused to touch the belt but even sit near it.
Even brother John, who fights on the undercard, declined an invitation to get close to the prized possession.
Similar views prevail with some around wearing All Blacks jerseys; the belief being it must be earned.
Parker appears to hold similar views about the WBO belt.
Asked what it would feel like to have it wrapped around his waist, Parker said:
"I think it would look fabulous," he grinned.
Parker did have a close look at the belt, saying: "It's bloody amazing ... a lot of detail."
Parker's six regional belts all reside in a cabinet at his parent's Auckland home.
Naturally, this potential triumph would take pride of place.
"Imagine having this at the top of it ... it would be awesome."