On Saturday night in Auckland, Joseph Parker (27-2) and Junior Fa (19-0) will collide in a highly anticipated all New Zealand showdown. The fight takes place at the Spark Arena and will be streamed live in the United States and in several other countries on DAZN.
The match up between the former amateur rivals has been hyped for several years but negotiations were difficult and an agreement wasn't agreed upon until this past fall. The fight was originally scheduled for December 11th but was postponed after blood tests revealed that Fa was suffering from a health issue and had to undergo surgery.
Parker and his trainer Kevin Barry have held their entire training camp in New Zealand and they have noticed that the fight is getting a lot of attention throughout the country.
The country has done a good job controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight will be staged with fans in attendance. Barry expects an electric atmosphere on fight night.
"There is a lot of hype in New Zealand around the Parker versus Fa heavyweight clash. It is great for New Zealand to have two highly ranked heavyweights in both the WBO and IBF," Barry told BoxingScene.com. "With Joe ranked #2 with the WBO and Fa #6, the winner of this fight will be in a very solid position moving forward. Being able to stage this fight during the pandemic and at a 12,000 seat capacity indoor stadium, Spark Arena in Auckland is totally a blessing. The fans are aware of this rivalry. Joseph Parker is a former WBO heavyweight champion who is of Samoan heritage against Junior Fa, an undefeated contender of Tongan heritage which makes for a big rivalry."
Send questions or comments to email@example.com. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter