Joseph Parker’s brother John competes for the third time this weekend since almost losing his boxing career to a brain aneurysm back in 2018.
WBN covered the story at the time as John, then 24, was told he could not compete on two huge UK cards, including Joseph Parker vs. Dillian Whyte.
John dropped off the bill at the last minute with what turned out to be a severe problem.
A brain aneurysm – which could rupture at any time – was detected – which finding early may well have saved Parker’s life.
Medical staff informed John the condition would probably end his ring career.
“It’s small enough that I can do everything daily without a problem, but if I want to box again – which I haven’t decided just yet – I will most likely have to have an operation,” John told stuff.nz.
“It’s between two operations; one is where they drill a hole through my temple, and they clip it for good. The other option is they can thread a wire through my groin, and they clamp it, which they will have to do every so often.
“The neurosurgeon I saw was confident he could do a good job, but there is always that risk [but] the last thing I want is to be paralyzed or something and to be a burden on anyone.”
Parker revealed he was initially told his boxing career was over.
“I want to get back into shape. So when it comes to operating or not, I’ll be healthy and fit and will react well to the procedures.
“When I found out, I was like ‘can I still fight?’ They were like, ‘Nah – this is serious.’
“So I went back in and told Joe. He was like ‘are you all right?’ Yeah, man, stuff this – I’m not going to let this aneurysm get me.”
True to his word, John was back fighting again by last October and has since scored two early knockouts to improve his record to 5-0.
This weekend, ex-world champion Joe takes on Junior Fa in an all-New Zealand battle. John will aim to take out Egelani Taito in the first of two bouts in just over a month.
We wish him well.