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Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa moves closer to confirmation

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) appears close to signing a deal to face domestic rival Junior Fa 19-0 (10) in an all-Kiwi showdown.

Earlier negotiations for the fight fell through but discussions have restarted this month.

Parker’s British promoter Eddie Hearn said on Thursday that they are in advanced stages of negotiation with a date in October pencilled in for New Zealand.

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“It would be our first ever show in New Zealand, in that region even,” Hearn told iFL TV.

“Great fight that we’re planning for him out there. It looks like October for that fight, just finalising all the details.

“It would be a major coup for us to get that over the line.”

Parker’s manager David Higgins confirmed the fight was close but said the bout might need to be pushed back to a little later in the year.

“All the key parties – Junior Fa, Joseph Parker, Lou DiBella (Fa’s promoter), Eddie Hearn – everyone wants to see if we can make it happen,” Higgins told Radio New Zealand.

“October is a bit optimistic now, given the limited time left and the latest Covid outbreak, so it’s more likely to be [after that but] before Christmas.”

Parker and Fa are well known to each other. Not only are the pair both from Auckland, they also fought four times in the amateurs splitting the results two apiece.

With Parker ranked WBO number two and Fa WBO number six – and travel restrictions in place due to the global coronavirus pandemic – now would seem like the perfect time to make the fight.

Initial negotiations broke down over the amount of financial recompense Fa was set to receive, but both sides are now reportedly close to settling terms.

“We’ve indicated slightly more money their way, and then there’s been a few concessions the other way,” Higgins continued.

“Without getting into detail, talks are ongoing but there’s still a gap. We’re not there yet.”

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