Joseph Parker and Junior Fa Ready for War Ahead of Their February 27 Showdown
A fight that is a bit under the radar is the heavyweight showdown between former WBO World Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) and Junior Fa (19-0, 10 KOs). The two are set to face each other on February 27 at the Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand live on DAZN. It’s an all-Kiwi battle! Parker and Fa are very familiar with one another. They fought as amateurs, going 2-2 in four fights.
To view this bout in the United States, fans will have to be up in the wee hours of the night. Card coverage starts at 1:30 AM ET while the main event is expected to start at 4:30 AM ET.
Originally, they were scheduled to fight on December 11, 2020. Unfortunately, the bout was postponed due to irregularities in Fa’s blood test. He had surgery in October of that year, but details of the illness and surgery remain a mystery. Interestingly, Parker used the downtime to fix some lingering physical ailments. In December of 2020, he had two separate surgeries to remove bone chips from both elbows.
QUIET CONFIDENCE VERSUS BOLD PREDICTION
It was a contrast in approach during a February 22 press conference in Auckland. For Fa, his attitude was very analytical. There was no bragging or boasting. While respecting Parker’s ability, he believes he will overcome whatever Parker has to offer.
“If I can hurt him, I’ll take him down. I feel much better than I did a few months ago [and] fully prepared for this fight.
I feel like I’m peaking at the right time. I’m feeling good. I can’t wait for the night.
He can hit, I can move. I can dodge punches. He has strengths, he has weaknesses. I have strengths, I have weaknesses. I feel like we have a good plan that we’re going to execute on the night to make sure that I come out on top.”
If Fa was calculated and deliberate with his words, Parker was assertive and forthright. The former heavyweight champ was not shy about his expectations and what he plans to do.
“I feel like I’m in a good place to put on a great, great performance. There’s no secrets going into a fight. A fighter wants a knockout, that’s what I’m going to be looking for.
That’s what he’s going to be looking for too but I know I possess the power to knock him out. That’s my plan, that’s what I want to do. One, two, three, four, five six, I want to get him early.”
Both are claiming to be 100% ready. While acknowledging mutual respect, that goes out the window once the bell rings.
LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION
This fight has world-level ramifications for both men. Ranked 3rd by the WBO and 5th by the IBF, Parker is close to another possible world title opportunity. With the goal of once again becoming a world heavyweight champion, he cannot afford to lose.
Fa is ranked 5th by the WBO. He wants to reach the level that Parker has already attained. To fulfill his dream of winning a world title, beating Parker is a must.
Domestically, this matchup is big. Parker and Fa are two of the more popular athletes in New Zealand. It will receive top billing in the country. For the winner, onward and upward. For the loser, they will be in serious rebuild mode.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.