We are just days away from the all New Zealand battle pitting Joseph Parker (27-2) against Junior Fa (19-0). The action takes place at the Spark Arena in Auckland with DAZN streaming the card in the United States and several other countries around the world. 12,000 fans are expected in attendance for one of the biggest fights in the country in recent memory.
The fight between the two rivals has been discussed for years and is finally coming to fruition. This will serve as the rubber match of sorts as they have an even record in the amateur ranks.
"These guys fought four times in the amateurs with two wins each. This is a huge respect, take all fight. The stakes could not be higher for either man," said Parker's trainer Kevin Barry.
Parker holds the #2 ranking and Fa the #6 ranking in the WBO so there is a lot more on the line than just personal pride. Parker would like nothing more than to regain the WBO title that he won in 2016.
He lost the title in 2018 against Anthony Joshua and then dropped a close decision to Dillian Whyte. However, since those back to back losses Parker has reeled off three wins in a row with them all coming by knockout. Barry expects the streak to continue on Saturday night.
"Joe needs to be more aggressive in this fight. He is coming off of three knockout victoires and he needs to keep the momentum going," Barry explained.
Barry knows that a victory will likely lead to a big fight for his charge but he refuses to look ahead, knowing that a win over Fa is the key to their future plans.
Joshua may end up giving up his WBO title to pursue a fight with Tyson Fury which could lead to a fight for Parker against mandatory challenger Olesandr Usyk for the vacant title. That would only be possible if he is successful against Fa.
"After we take care of business against Junior Fa on February 27th, there will be some exciting options immediately available for announcing. But first Joe must show why he is world class and better than Junior Fa," Barry told BoxingScene.com.
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