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Kiwi heavyweight boxer Patrick Mailata has touched down back in New Zealand after spending time in England sparring with boxing superstar Anthony Joshua as the British champ prepares for his unification bout with Kiwi WBO champion Joseph Parker next month.
Mailata surprised his coach by gifting a signed pair of boxing gloves by IBF, WBA and IBO champion Joshua.
Joshua, the British heavyweight champion did his bit to help South Auckland heavyweight Mailata fund his Commonwealth Games preparation, gifting the Kiwi his boxing gloves and signing Mailata's training gears.
"I'm selling these (signed boxing gloves by Joshua) and look he gave me his spare pair," said Mailata.
The New Zealand heavyweight said what he learnt in the British camp was priceless memories and lessons.
"Never felt like you were in the gym with a world champ. Just felt like you were in there with one of the boys and that was the vibe right throughout the whole camp," said Mailata.
Joshua told Mailata that he had some raw power after they went toe-to-toe in training in Sheffield last week.
"I've always wondered how hard I could hit but to hear that from someone of that calibre is a massive compliment."
Before leaving England to return to New Zealand, Mailata passed on some key information about his old training partner Joseph Parker.
"He (Joshua) thought Samoa was an island that was inside New Zealand so I kinda had to tell the brother that we're our own separate and there's plenty of other little islands around."
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