Is A Joseph Parker Grudge Fight Close To Being Official?
After years of trying to get a bout together, Joesph Parker could be one step closer to facing rival Junior Fa. A major hurdle to get through, however, could be the financial aspects of a deal.
Parker (27-2), the former WBO Heavyweight Champion, has been rumored to face off against Lucas Browne in Australia sometime in the next few months. That could change if Fa (19-0) is in the picture. The two fought each other four times as amateurs, both earning two wins against one another. A fight between the two has never been able to materialize when the two turned professional.
David Higgins, Parker’s manager, believes that Fa is stalling to up the price and sabotage Parker’s plans.
“Two days ago we offered Junior Fa more than $500,000 [New Zealand dollars] to fight Joseph Parker,” Higgins stated to Sky Sports. “That’s 10 times the biggest fight he’s ever had. The second-biggest fight in the history of New Zealand.
“The only bigger purse has been when Parker fought Andy Ruiz Jr and won the world title. Junior Fa was offered the second biggest purse ever to fight the guy he had been calling out for two years. We can’t get a response. The only explanation is Junior Fa is using Joseph Parker to build his name and then he’s offered $500,000, enough to buy a house, and he runs.”
A silver medalist in the Commonwealth Championships, Parker made his professional debut in 2012. A WBA-PABA and WBO Oriental Heavyweight Champion, Parker beat Ruiz for the vacant WBO Heavyweight Title in 2016. He lost the title to Anthony Joshua in 2018 and has since been climbing up the ladder to get back into contention. The 28-year-old is currently on a three-fight win streak, last beating Shawndell Winters in February via TKO.
A Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, Fa made his debut in 2016. The 30-year-old beat Luis Pascual for the interim WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title in 2018 and has defended it three times. His last fight was a win against Devin Vargas back in November. Although he has had limited fights compared to Parker, his fellow New Zealander has been creating headlines.
Lou DiBella, Fa’s promoter, responded to the claims, stating how the financials do not help Fa.
“The guaranteed money in the offer was $200,000 US. I found the offer, guarantee and upside, to be totally unacceptable for one of the biggest fights in New Zealand boxing history. I didn’t accept it,” DiBella stated. “I will be discussing it further with Junior’s team shortly.
“Under Higgins’ offer, the fight would need to do huge business for the Fa side to see $500,000 NZ between us. They can’t assert how big the fight is and act like Junior is an insignificant participant.”
Higgins has since stated that the purse would be worth it if the fight was to gain a massive audience. He also stated that Fa would be smart to take the fight considering the caliber of a competitor Parker is and if DiBella is confident in his fighter.