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Joseph Parker rejects Junior Fa fight after “stratospheric” demands

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 27-2 (21) has knocked back a potential fight with local rival Junior Fa 19-0 (10) after a “stratospheric” financial demand from the Fa camp, according to manager David Higgins.

The fight would seem a natural fit after Parker and Fa split four fights in the amateurs, but Higgins says the purse Fa’s team wanted far exceeded the revenue available.

“Fa is advised, or promoted by Lou DiBella, and my understanding is that the Fa team, which includes Fa, DiBella, and a local manager – the money they want is ridiculous,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

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“We’re talking 10 or 20 times his 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.

“Fa was looking for far too much, for where they’re at. 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.

“I think let’s just give it time and meanwhile we’ll be assessing other options.”

Parker has been a hit on social media during self-isolation due to the global coronavirus pandemic, posting a number of videos of himself miming songs from famous movies.

“I think it’s fantastic on many levels,” said Higgins. “He’s been a very good athlete and he’s continued to train daily. Very disciplined. The videos give him a diversion, something creative to put time and effort into.

“The underlying message is – be safe and be kind to one another.”

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