18-year-old Josh Parker of Fairhaven is living proof that with a little hard work and dedication, no dream is too big.

After a hard-fought battle in the finals at the Police Athletic League in Fall River, Parker came out victorious in the heavyweight division of the Southern New England Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament, getting him one step closer to his dream of becoming a professional boxer.

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Josh Parker’s Beginnings

Parker started boxing at just 13 years old. He wanted to lose weight and develop healthier habits, so he followed his cousin to the boxing gym and never left.

“I fell in love with it,” he said.

“He started as a 255-pound 14-year-old, it’s unbelievable to see what he has accomplished,” said his father, Derek Parker.

Parker has trained under the guidance of Mark Wisher since he was 14 and has trained alongside New England greats like Peter Manfredo and Yorgan DeCastro.

He began competing at the age of 16, and as soon as he turned 18, he put his name in for the SNE Golden Gloves tournament.

After winning in the semi-finals by stoppage with a flurry of punches in the second round, Parker moved onto the finals, where he would get his hand raised in front of his family and friends after three tough rounds.

Winning the Tournament

“I just went in there and did what I could, I kept him at a distance, and outboxed him,” said Parker of his unanimous decision. “I immediately thanked my coaches and my family because I couldn’t do it without them. My coaches brought me to a new level.”

Parker hopes to be a professional boxer one day, but first, he has to graduate high school. As a senior at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School, he has forged a career path in plumbing, but whatever he ultimately decides as his career, his father is incredibly proud.

“This kid has got goals and he works hard,” said Parker. “There aren’t many people in Fairhaven that have gotten this recognition, and he deserves the recognition. I can’t be any prouder as a father, he’s my best friend.”

Parker is gearing up to get back in the ring this March, and this time, it’s for a heavyweight title. It sounds like the SouthCoast has a future champion in the making.

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