Fa out: Fight talks break down

Talks for a blockbuster Samoan and Tongan heavyweight clash between Lupesoliai Joseph Parker and his old amateur rival Junior Fa have broken down due to what Team Parker say are Fa's “ridiculous” purse demands.

Sky Sports UK reported that Lupesoliai’s camp rejected a proposed fight in Auckland because Junior Fa requested a payday worth at least 10 times greater than his previous largest, according to the Samoan’s manager Segiali'i David Higgins

“Fa was looking for far too much, for where they're at,” Higgins told Sky’s Richard Damerell. 

“I guess it's a mark of respect for Joseph Parker. They are worried about what would happen, frankly.

"Their camp had made noises about fighting Joseph Parker, but they should back up their words. We wouldn't see them getting nothing either. Fa would get his biggest-ever payday by several multiples by fighting Parker, but their demands were stratospheric, given the current circumstances.”

Higgins said the financial demands from Fa’s camp were far beyond what he and Lupesoliai’s team expected.

"We're talking 10 or 20 times [Fa’s] biggest ever purse. Parker would have been willing to fight for less than Fa (requested), and Parker is a former world champion. That's called pricing yourself out,” he said, adding that they will be taking their time and assessing other options ahead of a next bout.

Lupesoliai is currently at home with his family under New Zealand’s COVID-19 preventative lockdown measures.

The 28-year-old is doing his best to stay fit at home, and has been keeping busy putting together funny videos for social media making light of the experience. 

He enlisted family members for recreations of movie scenes from Love, Actually and Grease, helped out league star and neighbour Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with a request for some toilet paper, and teamed up with fellow heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and others for a rendition of The Foundations’ song ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’.

"Since we are all locked down, we wanted to come up with an idea to put a smile on people's faces or give them something to laugh about," Lupesoliai told the BBC Sportshour Podcast. 

"I do some great work with my videographer Kerry Russell, who is in my bubble. We come up with ideas and start filming.

"I reached out to lots of my friends and family, and those guys came back straight away. It was about having fun for us, but giving back to others.

"Tyson Fury was the first to get back to me."

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