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Nor'West News: April 17, 2018

6 Tuesday

6 Tuesday April 17 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi News NOR’WEST NEWS Local News Now Fire rages, homes at risk PUBLICAN: Dean Calvert (left) turns back the clock as he poses in front of a photo at the Valley Inn Tavern from when he was a 22-year-old pro boxer. (Above) – Joseph Parker fighting Anthony Joshua in Cardiff. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER Former champ hooks up with Parker • By Gordon Findlater VALLEY INN Tavern owner Dean Calvert got closer than most to Joseph Parker in the build up to his world heavyweight title unification fight with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff, Wales. The former New Zealand titleholder travelled with his father George and brother Bryce to London ahead of the fight where they spent time with Parker in the build up. Mr Calvert, 47, comes from a boxing mad family. Their love for the sport has seen them travel to a number of high profile fights around the world, including the Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas in 2015. However, the world title fight between Parker and Joshua on Easter Sunday was unlike any the family had travelled to see before. They were made to feel like part of the Parker family in the build up to his biggest fight to date. Mr Calvert’s main connection to the Parker camp comes through Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry, who also trained Mr Calvert in the early 1990s. “We got made to feel like part of the family. His mum would come down to breakfast every morning and say hello and give us a hug and a kiss,” said Mr Calvert. “We were lucky enough to be invited on his team walk the morning of the fight. It’s something he does the morning of his fights; just goes for a 15min walk to relax.” Mr Calvert won four New Zealand titles in his career as a welterweight. He also won the Jameson Belt in 1992. The belt is awarded to the best boxer at the national championships each year. Mr Calvert’s first boxing trainer was his grandfather FAMILY: Dean Calvert, Joseph Parker, Bryce Calvert and George Calvert in the UK. Ryan Mitchell. This was before he worked with Barry who was training David Tua at the same time. Mr Calvert had 70 amateur fights before going on to register a professional record of eight wins from eight fights. He took what was originally set to be a short break from fighting at 24. However, Mr Calvert never returned to training. “I do regret it sometimes, but then I’ve had a lot of other great memories since doing other things.” After boxing, Mr Calvert worked for his family cleaning business for 17 years before buying the Valley Inn Tavern in 2004. “I like the social side. It’s a good place to catch up with friends and the locals.” Although Mr Calvert was lucky enough to be at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium 10 rows back from the action, he says the Valley Inn Tavern is as good a place as any to watch the fight. “We were chock-a-block for the Parker fight. We had a couple of hundred people here, every time he’s fought it’s been like that.” Outside of boxing, the tavern owner managed to find time for some business research. “We organised a good pub crawl one day.” “I bought a few menus to have a good look at. We’ve got a few more vegans asking for meals at the moment so the main thing I looked at was a few different options for that.” As for the future of his favourite boxer, Mr Calvert believes at just 26, Parker has the determination to bounce back. “He was talking to us on the plane on the way home and he’s just determined to get back in there and get back to the top.” Taking Care of Business Buying or selling commercial or residential property, leases, employment contracts, building contracts, we take care of it for you, so you can take care of business. 3 locations: New Brighton, Styx Mill & Kaiapoi www.pierlaw.co.nz

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