Joseph Parker’s all-New Zealand showdown against Junior Fa has been rescheduled to February 27 at the Spark Arena, Auckland.
Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) and Fa (19-0, 10 KOs), who fought four times in the amateurs with the scores two apiece, were set to meet on December 12 in Auckland, however Fa was forced to withdraw after abnormalities were found in his bloods tests.
Fa, who is ranked #10 by the IBF underwent successful surgery and says he is ready to face former WBO Heavyweight champion, Parker in the new year.
“It is never ideal when these things happen, however I’m happy and relieved to confirm I’m now well and truly back on track,” the 31-year-old said.
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a long time now, so to once again have a date locked in is great.
“Joseph Parker has held a world title before, so when I beat him, I’ll be a giant step closer to realising my own dream.”
Parker is ranked at three by the WBO in pursuit of his former crown, which could become vacant, with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury on course to meet in 2021.
Oleksandr Usyk sits as mandatory challenger and Joe Joyce rated at number two following his victory over Daniel Dubois last month.
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The 28-year-old has been out of the ring since stopping Shawndell Winters in five rounds in February and although he was initially disappointed by the postponement, Parker admits he is pleased he will finally get the opportunity to face his rival.
“We’d been working really hard to ensure I peaked in December and delivered a performance that would have made the heavyweight division sit up and take notice,” Parker said.
“So it was very disappointing when Junior had to postpone. But these things happen in boxing.
“The good thing is that Junior is now on track to be 100 percent fit and ready to go in February. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
With Parker’s position with the WBO, his trainer Kevin Barry highlighted the significance of the fight for both men, prior to the postponement.
“It’s a life-changing fight for Junior Fa and it’s a fight for Joseph Parker where all the pressure is on Joe in this fight,” Barry told Pro Boxing Fans.
“We know the winner of this fight would be one win away from fighting for the world title.
“So there’s so much at stake in this fight.”