Parker excited about Junior Fa

Former world champion, Lupesoliai Joseph Parker, has expressed his utmost admiration for his Tongan opponent, Junior Fa, ahead of their 11 December fight.  

But he has promised to deliver some bad news for Fa when the two top New Zealand-based heavyweights glove up at the Sparks Arena in Auckland.

Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Lupesoliai acknowledged the history between himself and Fa, wth four fights during their amateur days with each having two wins.

“I respect Junior a lot, he’s a good fighter," Lupesoliai said. "But a lot has happened since the amateur days."

Part of that included Lupesoliai's meteoric rise to the top, winning the World Boxing Organisation (W.B.O.) title which he had held onto until he was defeated by Anthony Joshua.

Fa on the other hand had also turned professional and has had 19 professional fights without a loss.

Lupesoliai, who hails from Faleula where he also holds the Laauliolemalietoa title, and Tapatapao, said he is excited about the clash. 

“The professional game is a lot different," he said. "We’ve both achieved a lot and he’s got a good team behind him and I am really excited about this fight.”

Parker, who hasn’t been in the ring since his last fight with Shawndell Winters in February, and is currently ranked third in the world, said he is looking forward to the event in December.

Initially, this year was supposed to be busy with a minimum of three fights, according to Lupesoliai. 

But he indicated that the COVID-19 global pandemic threw the spanner in the works of everyone's plans.

Nevertheless he has been keeping himself busy making videos at home and keeping up with his training regime. 

“I have been keeping in shape," he said. "I was ready to fight straight after my last fight. I am very excited to be fighting. I will be ready to put on a great performance by the end of the year,” he said.

Eddie Hearn has called the fight planned for December a “brilliant fight.”

“Amateur rivalry or not, they are both from New Zealand,” he said. “This is about the pride of the country, this is about each other’s pride, this is about heavyweight pride, this is about the winner going on and probably challenging for a world title.

Hearn explained that for Junior Fa, it’s about an opportunity to leapfrog everybody else in the Top 10 and in order to get into the Top 3. 

“For Joseph Parker it’s not just about pride but it’s about defending his position," he said.

“A lot of people don’t know about Joseph Parker, he’s a very good man. He’s a very honorable man, he’s a very loyal man. He’s also a very funny man, he’s got a great sense of humour, very creative if you’ve seen as well."

Hearn believes that Parker has done a great job putting a smile on people’s faces and keeping them happy during the pandemic.

He added that it is now time to put the camera down and the music videos away, to get in and do the hard yards of sparring and on the road, and prepare himself for a very important fight of his career.

He thinks that a big win in December will put him right up there to challenge for the world titles.

“Joseph Parker has got to protect his position and also protect his position as the king of the heavyweights in New Zealand,” Hearn said.

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