Joseph Parker weighed in at 108.9kg, while Fa tipped the scales at 118.1kg. Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. UK / 1:30 a.m. ET The main event ringwalks are anticipated around 9.30 a.m. UK / 4.30 a.m. ET – Watch LIVE on DAZN (click here)
A new date has been confirmed for the blockbuster showdown between Joseph Parker and Junior Fa, with the world-ranked Kiwi heavyweights now set to clash at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday, 27 February, 2021 live on DAZN in the U.S. and over 200+ countries and territories.*
Previously scheduled for December, the bout was postponed after blood tests revealed Fa was suffering from a health issue that required the highly-rated, undefeated prospect to undergo surgery.
The official event Doctor appointed for the Parker v Fa fight night, Dr Dave Renata, yesterday confirmed that Fa’s recent surgery had been successful.
“Junior’s surgery was a success and he is well and truly on track to be fully fit and in very good health for the re-scheduled date on February 27,” Dr Renata said.
Parker’s advisor, David Higgins of Duco Events, said this was great news and the exact result they had been waiting to hear so they could confirm the new date for fans anxious to see the biggest heavyweight clash featuring two Kiwis ever to be staged in New Zealand.
“While the postponement of the fight was disappointing, the most important thing is that both fighters are at their very best – and there are no excuses – when they step into the ring,” Higgins said.
Higgins pointed to the record-setting 2009 showdown between David Tua and Shane Cameron, which was also delayed after Cameron broke his hand during a tune-up fight.
“Interest only grew during the delay and the fight went on to set viewership records that still stand today,” Higgins said.
“And we all saw what happened when a clearly very frustrated David Tua finally got the chance to unleash his fury.”
Former WBO champion and current No. 3 contender Parker confirmed he was most definitely looking forward to relieving some pent-up frustration in what will now be a high-summer showdown between the former amateur protagonists.
“We’d been working really hard to ensure I peaked in December and delivered a performance that would have made the heavyweight division sit up and take notice,” Parker said.
“So it was very disappointing when Junior had to postpone. But these things happen in boxing. The good thing is that Junior is now on track to be 100 per cent fit and ready to go in February. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Fa, (19-0, 10KO) who is ranked No. 6 by the WBO and 11 by the IBF, said he was looking forward to putting his health issue behind him and preparing for the biggest fight of his career.
“It is never ideal when these things happen, however I’m happy and relieved to confirm I’m now well and truly back on track,” he said.
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a long time now, so to once again have a date locked in is great.
“Joseph Parker has held a world title before, so when I beat him, I’ll be a giant step closer to realising my own dream.”
Fa’s manager Mark Keddell said his fighter was fully focussed on being at his peak on February 27.
“The fact is Junior would not have received a medical clearance to fight in December, so there’s no point wasting any more time and energy on that,” Keddell said.
“We’ve dealt with the issue and moved on. Junior is now in great physical and mental shape. If there is any lingering frustration on the part of Duco and Joseph Parker, that’s their problem. Luckily this will all be sorted out in the ring in 11 weeks’ time. And then Mr Higgins will truly get to experience what disappointment feels like.
PARKER: I WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT AT SPARK ARENA
Joseph Parker says he wants to “make a statement” when locks horns with long-term rival Junior Fa for the vacant WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday February 27, live on DAZN.
Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) returns to Spark Arena for the first time since claiming the WBO Heavyweight Championship against Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jr just over four years ago.
Three consecutive knockout wins have rebuilt the South Aucklander’s World Title aspirations since back-to-back losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, and Parker hopes these wins have kick-started his route back to the top of the ladder.
But first, he needs to settle the 11-year old rivalry with his long time amateur nemesis, Junior Fa. With two wins a piece from their amateur boxing days, Parker knows he’s one step away from potential fights back among the Heavyweight elite, but he cannot take Fa for granted.
“Junior’s a tough fighter,” said Parker. “I’ve known this from our amateur days and I always knew our paths would cross again. He’s undefeated and poses a real threat to my hopes of becoming a two-time Heavyweight World Champion.
“But I’ve been up against the best and I’ve performed on the big occasions, and these experiences will put me in a great position to overcome Junior and take the next step towards winning another World Title.”
Ranked at No.3 in the world by the WBO, a fourth consecutive win will see Parker knocking on the door for another World Title shot.
Back at the place that arguably hosts Parker’s most memorable moment of his career, he knows everything is on the line. The Samoan is fighting for his pride, his future and to finally settle the score with Fa once and for all.
“It’s been a long training camp, but I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders,” added Parker. “The sparring has been quality to help me prepare. With Matchroom’s blessing and backing, this gives the fight more worldwide exposure. All eyes will be on during a busy boxing weekend around the globe.
“I know Junior pulled out of the fight last year with health issues, but I’m feeling way better myself as well, the extra time allowed me to have minor surgery on my elbow which has cleared up a niggling injury.
“Junior is getting a lot of confidence from the amateur days but I’m a totally different animal now. We’re going to see the best Junior Fa. He brings height, reach and an undefeated record.
“If I lose this fight, it’s a long way back to the top. I’m not putting extra pressure on myself, but I know the magnitude of this fight. If I let my hands go in there, it will do a lot of damage, I want to get him out of there.
“I’m still young and hungry. There’s plenty of goals to achieve still. I want to be Champion of the World again; I want to provide my family with a comfortable life. To achieve both of those objectives, I need to beat Junior.
“The division is on fire at the minute, it would be great to see the Undisputed fight with ‘AJ’ and Fury but make no mistake, I want another shot. I’m not shy about jumping in with anyone, but I can’t overlook Junior first of all, I want to make a statement at Spark Arena.”
Parker vs. Fa tops a big night of action in Auckland, Auckland-based Heavyweight Julius Long (18-24-1, 14 KOs) meets Hemi Ahio (16-0, 11 KOs) over eight rounds, Hamilton Cruiserweight David Nyika makes his professional debut against Jesse Maio (3-0, 1 KO), Nik ‘The Greek’ Charalampous (19-3, 9 KOs) takes on Panuve Helu (12-2-1, 11 KOs) in a six-round Cruiserweight contest and Jerome Pampellone (2-0, 1 KO) faces Anthony Amouta in a four-round catchweight contest at 87kg.