'We will rebuild' - Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua shares touching message for cyclone-hit Tonga from Winter Olympics

Tonga's Olympic flag bearer Pita Taufatofua has sent a special message to his people tonight after the Pacific nation was battered by Cyclone Gita earlier in the week.

Taufatofua represented Tonga at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the cross-country skiing event.

"The Tongan people and Pacific Islanders have a very unique personality - they laugh at everything," said Taufatofua.

"They joke about everything, they do it in a way that they can make light of anything – it can be the most worst possible circumstance.

"They'll find some way to turn it into a positive and that is something very unique about Polynesians."

Taufatofua said the heart of the Tongan people and culture will help them get through.

"If there is a specific message to them you know we will rebuild," said Taufatofua.

"We've been rebuilding for a thousand years, we've had cyclones come before.

"What hasn't been affected is the heart of the people.

"Buildings we can repair but the core values and the core strengths of the Tongan people, no cyclone can come through and affect them – that hasn't been touched.

"And that's what is going to get our people through this."

Taufatofua says Cyclone Gita won't affect "the heart of the people". Source: 1 NEWS

Video: 'I will be in his corner' - Joseph Parker's younger brother set to fight in undercard unification bout

Joseph Parker's younger brother John has been named to fight in the undercard of his heavyweight unification bout against Anthony Joshua.

John, 23, said he is humbled with the opportunity and is looking forward to being in his brother's corner for the super fight.

"Joseph has always been there for me in boxing and I have always been there for him," said John.

"We've always helped each other and we have always had that love-hate competitive relationship.

"Anything that I can do he says he can do better."

John is a cruiserweight fighter and has three wins under his belt.

"I will be in his corner (Joseph), I'm not expecting him to be in mine - if he is then even better. I know this fight is important and I don't expect anything from him more than the win," said John.

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker stares down his brother John training at The Wreck Room, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday 1 May 2017. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker stares down his brother John. Source: Photosport

"Mum and dad love it whenever me and Joseph are together because they know that we are bit more tame when we are with each other."

John's trainer Bryan Barry the brother of Joseph's trainer Kevin Barry, said it is crucial John comes away with a win.

"It's really important that John sets the tone for the night, it's important that we get the night off to a good start for Joseph," said Barry.

Parker and Joshua are set to face off on April 1 in Cardiff, Wales at Principality Stadium.

John Parker will be looking to get the night started with a bang for the Parker camp in Cardiff, Wales. Source: 1 NEWS


Joseph Parker 'loving his' gruelling training regime including 5.30am Las Vegas runs with Joshua bout only weeks away

Kiwi heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is sticking to what he knows best, hitting the road with an early morning run in Las Vegas as he prepares for his unification bout with Anthony Joshua.

Sky Sports UK joined Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry this morning as he was preparing for a run.

"Training is going really good, everything is on track," said Parker.

"We've got a good structure and good plan going into camp.

"Everything is all good, everyone is happy - just got to put in the work and prepare for March 31."

Barry believes there is nothing better for building up a boxer's cardio than traditional training like running.

"Joe loves his road work and this is something that we have always done the five years that we have been together," said Barry.

"Most mornings he's up at 5 o'clock preparing himself in his room, he has a little bit of fruit and 5:30 he is on the road.

"He usually runs five miles in the morning (8km)."

Barry has criticised Joshua's new and technical training regimes, saying it will not help with the British champ's aerobic fitness.

"I see videos posted everywhere of him (Joshua) doing the most sophisticated, new age training methods that man has ever seen and yet he's looked very tired in his last couple of fights," Barry told Sky Sports UK.

"Every time he's been asked to go on to the later rounds, he's really struggled so that's a question for his training staff.

"He wouldn't want to be slowing against Joe, because I can promise you this. Joe will be coming on in the later rounds."

Parker and Joshua will take on each other at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on April 1 (NZ time).