Joseph Parker will fight Junior Fa on December 11 in Auckland in a battle between New Zealand’s two top heavyweights.
Former world champion Parker and his long-time rival Fa will finally settle a rivalry that saw them fight four times as amateur, winning twice each.
“This is going to be war,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’re looking forward to co-promoting our first event in New Zealand with David Higgins and Duco. There’s plenty of needle with the amateur rivalry and there’s national pride at stake. A win over Fa will catapult Joe back into world title contention.”
“Given the challenges facing major sporting events around the globe right now, getting this fight over the line is absolutely huge, and we are grateful to our partners Matchroom for their backing to make this happen,” said Parker’s manager and Duco’s founder and director David Higgins.
“With both boxers inside the WBO top 10 world rankings and in their prime, this is undeniably New Zealand’s fight of the century.”
Fa’s promoter Lou DiBella said: “I’ve always believed that Junior Fa had the ability to become a world champion and, on December 11, he’ll have the opportunity to prove that against a former heavyweight champion and amateur rival, in countryman Joseph Parker.
“Not only is this match-up one of the biggest fights in New Zealand history, it has high significance on the heavyweight landscape worldwide, with the winner closing in on a world title shot.
“With a win, Junior can become a New Zealand sports superstar and a worldwide boxing star in one night. I’m proud to co-promote this historic fight card with David Higgins’ Duco Events and Matchroom.”
Parker, who won the WBO title in New Zealand against Andy Ruiz Jr then lost it to Anthony Joshua, is now ranked at No 3 with the governing body. Undefeated Fa is No 6.
Fa told Sky Sports about beating Parker in the amateurs: “I just played the game smart, moved because I know Joe is a big puncher and he can also take a punch, so there is no point in me standing there with him.
“I just moved around, stuck behind my jab, shifted around him for the whole fight.”
Parker told Sky Sports: “In the past, I’ve been too safe and not taking the risks that I need. From now on it’s going to be a lot more aggression and you’ve got to throw punches to win. Hopefully it’s going to be a lot of combinations and punches in bunches.”
Sky Sports schedule
Ritson vs Vazquez – Oct 17, live on Sky Sports
Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Thomas Patrick Ward
Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr
Taylor vs Gutierrez – Nov 14, live on Sky Sports
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
Rachel Ball vs Ebanie Bridges
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
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