Published on 13 Jul 2022 9:57 am (UK Time)
Former WBO World Champion and Top 10 Heavyweight Joseph Parker will battle fellow New-Zealander and Amateur rival Junior Fa on February 27 in what will the biggest domestic clash in New-Zealand boxing history. Parker vs Fa will take place on DAZN Globally except for New Zealand where it will be shown on Spark Sports PPV. It will be in front of a crowd of approximately 9,000 people.
Parker vs Fa was meant to take place December 11, then December 12, 2020, but rescheduled due to Fa suffering an injury and subsequently failing a blood test disallowing him to fight. Parker is ranked #3 and Fa #6 with the WBO, as well as this, it is for the WBO Oriental title. With the WBO ordering Usyk-Joyce for the Interim Title (and eventually full title after Fury Joshua 1) the winner of Parker vs Fa will hope to claim the mandatory position to the winner of Usyk Joyce.
Parker vs Fa is the promotional debut of Matchroom in Oceania and New Zealand. It will be Co-Promoted by Duco Events (who represent Parker) and DiBella Entertainment (Who Promote Fa). On the Undercard, Alrie Meleisea (5-0) takes on Lani Daniels (4-2) for the Female OPBF Heavyweight title and Hemi Ahio (16-0) returns.
Parker vs Fa: The Biggest Fight in New Zealand Boxing
After a 66-fight Amateur Career and narrowly missing qualification at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Joseph Parker decided to turn Professional with Duco Events. Parker was matched relatively easy in his first 4 years in the paid ranks until he fought French Heavyweight Carlos Takam. Takam gave him a tough outing over 12 rounds but Parker managed to get the win and claim the #1 spot with the IBF.
After Tyson Fury vacated all of his titles, Parker was ordered to fight Andy Ruiz for the WBO strap. He won a majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 115-113) in his native New Zealand in a close contest. Parker then suffered back to back defeats when he attempted to unify his heavyweight title with a two-belt champion, Anthony Joshua, and WBC Silver Champion Dillian Whyte 4 months later in 2018.
Parker became the first man to take AJ the distance but lost a wide unanimous decision. He then lost a decision to Dillian Whyte in a fight where he was floored twice and never really found his momentum. In an attempt to get back in the heavyweight mix and land significant fights, Parker signed a Co-promotional with Matchroom Boxing who have given him two low-profile fights in the US.
He now fights Junior Fa in his first real test in well over 2 years. A winner over Fa could see him overtake #2 Joyce in the WBO rankings and be in a position to fight Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant title should Anthony Joshua be forced to vacate. As well as this, a win here would put him in the position to land major fights in a red-hot, stacked division.
Junior Fa had an impressive amateur triumph that included a Bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a 2-2 rivalry with Joseph Parker and two seasons of the WSB before turning Pro in 2016. Since turning over, Fa has amassed a 19-0 record yet to be tested against any decent level of opposition.
He has picked up the Interim WBO Oriental Title and #6 WBO ranking which makes his stakes in Parker vs Fa very significant as a win over the WBO #3 Parker could see him take Parker’s ranking if not better it and become #2 over British Heavyweight Joe Joyce.
Fa is a soft-puncher in the heavyweight division but possesses fast hands, good shot selection and pressurises his opponent punching in combinations. Fa targets the body well and mixes up his attack but the question on the night will be if Fa can stand up to the growing power of Parker and if Fa can match the pedigree of the Former World Champion.