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Joseph Parker and Junior Fa locked in negotiations

Joseph Parker

By Allan Fox: Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and #6 WBO Junior Fa are stuck in negotiations that are moving at a glacial pace. It’s unclear when the two of them will get a deal done to get this fight scheduled.

Fa was given a big offer from Parker’s management, but he’s not accepted it as of yet.

Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) had hoped to return to the ring this summer in August or September, according to Sky Sports, but that looks impossible now.

With him and the 30-year-old Fa (19-0, 10 KOs) unable to come up with a deal, their fight may wind up taking place in the fall instead. That’s too for Parker because he’s watching his career dragged to a halt over a battle that few boxing fans outside of New Zealand care about and for a good reason. Fa has been fighting weak opposition his entire career, and that’s kept him as an unknown.

Joseph Parker

Fa vs. Parker will be significant in New Zealand

Parker and Fa are both from New Zealand, and it makes for an exciting fight for them and the fans, Even though Parker now calls Las Vegas, Nevada his home, he still has a big fan base in his native country of New Zealand.

For Parker, 28, it means a lot to him to fight Fa, as he twice lost to him in the amateur ranks by narrow decisions. As a professional, Parker has done a lot more than Fa, who has been facing lesser opposition since he turned pro in 2016.

It’s unclear what the hold up is with Fa’s management because they should have begun putting him in with world-class opposition years ago. The fact that they’re matching Fa against contenders suggests that they see flaws in his game that will be exposed by the top 15 fighters.

The good news is that if the Parker-Fa fight gets made, boxing fans will get a chance to see whether Fa has the talent to compete at the highest levels in the heavyweight division.

Parker’s manager Davis Higgins says they offered Fa $500,000 this week, and he’s not agreed to it. Higgins doesn’t understand why Fa wouldn’t accept the deal, given that it’s the most significant offer he’s ever had.

“Two days ago we offered Junior Fa more than $500,000 [New Zealand dollars] to fight Joseph Parker,” said Higgins to skysports.com. “That’s 10 times the biggest fight he’s ever had. The second-biggest fight in the history of New Zealand. We can’t get a response.”

The offer was too low

Lou DiBella, the promoter for Fa, says the offer wasn’t right for such a big contest like this one. DiBella will discuss with Fa to see what he wants to do next. Lou isn’t saying what kind of offer they’re looking for for a fight with Parker. That makes sense.

Joseph Parker

DiBella isn’t going to expose his hand by revealing what kind of money Fa is looking to get for the Parker fight. He’s just going to wait until Higgens makes an offer to their liking before he agrees to it. You can guess any number, and there’s no way of knowing what DiBella and Fa are looking to get.

DiBella says that the guaranteed offer from Parker’s Team was only $200,000 with upside. That offer was too low for DiBella to agree to it.

Unless the Parker-Fa fight is capable of making many millions of dollars, it might be better for Parker to move and look to fight more recognizable contenders in the heavyweight division.

If the Parker vs. Fa fight isn’t going to make a tremendous amount of money in New Zealand, then it’s time for Joseph to move on. He can’t afford to invest the remainder of 2020 in trying to get this fight done.

Parker needs to decide what he wants to do

In the time that Parker is wasting in negotiations, he could have already scheduled a more meaningful match against a top heavyweight with speed and talent. Does Parker want to stick it out in the negotiations and increase the offer to Fa, or will he move on?

Fa is a very slow, heavyweight with moderate punching power and not much in the way of mobility. It appears that Fa’s management aims to match him against exclusively weak opposition to build his resume with a lot of wins over fluff opposition.

Eventually, Fa will get a #1 ranking with one of the sanctioning bodies, and he can get then get a big cash-out payday against the likes of Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.

Just getting a fight against one of those champions will set Fa up for life with the money he gets from that one match. Fa is now 30-years-old, and he’s going to need to start fighting better opposition if he wants to get moved to the #1 spot before he ages out.

Joseph with a three-fight winning streak

Parker is coming off of a fifth-round knockout win over Shawndell Terell Winters last February in a DAZN show in Frisco, Texas. He looked good against the lesser opponent that he was matched against in the fight. It wasn’t supposed to be a competitive match, though.

Parker wanted to get another tune-up bout under his belt. For Joseph, this was his third straight tune-up since losing to Dillian Whyte by a 12 round decision in July 2018 in London, England.

Before that, Parker lost to Anthony Joshua by a 12 round decision in Cardiff, Wales. That was a strange fight in which the referee Steve Gray continually pulled Parker away from Joshua when he would attempt to get in punching range.

Parker has beaten these guys in his last three fights:

  • Shawndell Terell Winters
  • Alex Leapai
  • Alexander Flores

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