As former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) prepares for a potential ring return in August, it looks unlikely that fellow New Zealander Junior Fa (19-0, 10 KOs) will be the fighter in the opposite corner.
Parker’s manager David Higgins reached out to Fa’s team to see if a deal could be struck for the two Kiwis to face each other, but at present Fa’s management have priced their fighter out of the bout.
The pair fought four times as amateurs, with two wins apiece. With the rivalry evenly poised, a decider in the paid ranks would make sense, but it appears fans may have to wait a while longer.
“It’s always a possibility,” Parker told Boxing Social. “But you can’t come in and ask for maybe 10, 12, 15 times more than you’ve ever got. The money they are asking for is ridiculous. We are in the middle of a pandemic! Even if we didn’t have a pandemic, it would still be a crazy number to ask for.
“That’s a camp that have been calling us out for a long time. I’m sure he has a good team looking out for him, but you can’t ask for a fight then ask for money that isn’t available. It’s probably more than I would be paid myself! It doesn’t make sense. If the fight happens, there is something to be settled.”
At present, Fa is rated in the top 15 with two out of the four major sanctioning bodies and therefore could be selected as a voluntary defence by either of the heavyweight champions. Despite his lofty ranking, he is yet to face a noteworthy opponent.
Prior to winning the vacant WBO title against Andy Ruiz, Parker defeated solid contenders in Carlos Takam and Alexander Dimitrenko. Parker credits those bouts as ideal preparation for his own world title challenge. Whoever is next for Fa, Parker hopes it will be a boxer who brings out the best in his rival.
“If the fight didn’t happen, it would be good to see him fight more game opponents, just to test him,” Parker said. “Listen, he’s a big man, he has speed, I’m sure he has power, I’m sure he can look after himself, but it would be good to see him in with somebody who can give him a good fight.
“Those fights only help get you better. You learn from them and they make you better as a fighter. I just hope to see him get some of these tests to help him and improve him.”