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'You don't have to be mean out of the ring' - Joseph Parker's next opponent

Before Joseph Parker's opponent Bowie Tupou decided to box, he played rugby union and league.

Joseph Parker’s next opponent Tupou talks with ONE News Sports Reporter Stephen Stuart about playing league and union before starting out his boxing career. Source: 1 NEWS

The Australian boxer of Tongan descent spoke with ONE News Sport Reporter Stephen Stuart about his life before boxing and his family.

Tupou played age grade rugby league for Penrith as prop.

He played wing in 2001 for an under-21 Penrith team in rugby union which travelled to New Zealand to take on teams from Christchurch and Invercargill.

"We went to Southland and we got smashed," said Tupou.

All Black great Jonah Lomu was still playing rugby at the time Tupou was playing rugby union.

"He (Lomu) was better than me," he said.

"You don't have to be a mean person out of the ring; you still got to respect other people."

Outside of boxing Tupou said he enjoys spending time with his family.

"I look after my little girl and my little wife and stay out of trouble," said Tupou.

Stuart asked, "Is it easy?"

"Yes it's easy, go to church," replied Tupou.

He holds an impressive record of 25-3 since 2006 and could be one of Parker's toughest opponents yet.

Tupou is set to take on Parker on August 1 in Invercargill.