Former heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker’s name has been linked to “an international drug ring operating in a large-scale methamphetamine operation,” according to reports from Stuff in New Zealand, after nearly two years of Parker’s legal team trying to keep his name from being publicly connected:
During a major 2019 trial, in which three men were found guilty of various charges relating to importing methamphetamine from California and the wholesale supply of the Class A drug in Auckland, the Crown said Parker was connected.
Parker was never charged by police. Despite police being granted a warrant to search his house, they chose not to execute it. The Crown’s evidence against Parker has never been tested in court. He has always denied the allegations.
Despite that, the Crown alleged at trial that Parker bought methamphetamine and talked to one of the convicted trio about finding a supplier. He was also identified as being a source to exchange New Zealand dollars for US currency to enable the group to buy drugs.
Parker has always maintained and continues to maintain his innocence, filing a sworn affidavit that read, “I have never changed or transported money for the defendants. I have never been involved in the purchase, supply or consumption of methamphetamine.”
The 29-year-old Parker (28-2, 21 KO) is a generally well-liked and well-respected guy in the boxing world overall and, as best I can tell, as a sporting celebrity in his home country. His team have been deeply concerned that his reputation will be damaged, and he “could miss out on lucrative fights.”
Parker, who just fought and beat Junior Fa on Feb. 27 in Auckland, has been rumored to be up for a fight next with Derek Chisora, which was possibly going to be announced early this coming week.