Boxing: Joseph Parker and Junior Fa face off days out from showdown

Joseph Parker says is out for a knock out finish in his Stonewood Homes bout against Junior Fa on Saturday.

The former WBO world heavyweight champion said in a press conference today he plans to knock out his fellow Kiwi ‘in round one, two, three, four, five or six’ at Spark Arena.

“I want to get him early,” Parker, who has 21 career KO wins, said.

Fa said he’s confident he can hurt Parker, who has never been knocked out in his previous 29 bouts (27 wins, two defeats).

“If I hurt him I can take him down,” Fa said.

Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry said everything was riding on this fight for Parker who has fought just once in the last 18 months.

“If we do not deliver on Saturday night it will be very very hard to get in a position to fight a top 5, top 10 fighter let alone a world title shot,” Barry said.

Parker said yesterday he is feeling in the “best shape of his life” having made the most of the delayed fight, originally scheduled for last December, before blood tests revealed Fa was suffering from a health issue that required surgery.

Parker went on to have surgery himself and have bone fragments removed from his elbows and now feels better prepared than he believes he would have been two months ago.

“I’m fighting at 100 per cent now, fighting fit, I’ve had a good camp there’s ups and downs in camp, good days and bad days, but right now, I’m feeling great,” Parker said.

“I feel like I’m in the best shape, I have a good structure here in New Zealand, I don’t feel like I’ve over-trained and I don’t feel like I’ve under-trained. I feel like I’ve trained to the point where my body feels great. I feel like I’m on task to put on a great performance.

“[Fa and I] had four fights in the amateur days and we’re two apiece so this is the decider. This is when I have to show everyone that I’m better than him.”

It’s been an upward battle re-climbing the ranks forJoseph Parker after losing his WBO heavyweight title to British star Anthony Joshua in 2018.

Parker’s manager David Higgins revealed yesterday he’s in talks with UK promoter Eddie Hearn again and said a win on Saturday could secure Parker a big fight against an undisclosed opponent.

“There’s quite an exciting opportunity quite imminently next,” Higgins told Gold AM’s Country Sport Breakfast. “…I’m like the guy at the top of the mast of the boat that has to survey the horizon and there’s some exciting things in store for the winner of this fight.”

Higgins said while Parker’s next big fight could be held in New Zealand, it was more likely he would return overseas.

“There’s so much money in boxing in the UK and the US, they’re running mega shows in the UK with no crowds,” Higgins said. “It would be tricky to do that here so for the next fight, you could mount a big fight here [but] the other option is to quarantine in the UK and be on one of those big cards there.”

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