By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission
Junior Fa has been helping American heavyweight Deontay Wilder prepare for his highly-anticipated fight against fellow South Aucklander Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on Christmas Eve and predicts: “Someone is gonna get knocked out.”
The event called “The Day of Reckoning” in Riyadh will be the biggest and richest boxing extravaganza of the year and both Fa and Parker are on the card.
Former WBO heavyweight title holder Parker has a chance to revive his title prospects in the co-main event against the world’s most powerful puncher Wilder, a former WBC world champion who has 42 knockouts in his 43 victories.
The fellow heavyweight told 1News he is excited about the match up.
“If [Parker] comes in at his best and Deontay comes in at his best, it’s gonna be a good fight,” Fa said.
“Someone is gonna get knocked out,” he added with a laugh. “It’s going to be a firecracker to be honest – Parker’s quick hands, Deontay’s power. It’s a good fight.”
Fa is hoping to revive his own career in Riyadh.
After back-to-back high-profile defeats, the 34-year old has struggled to book a fight in over a year since his first-round knockout win over Tussi Asafo last October so this is his chance to get back in the game.
But before him stands Cuban Frack Sanchez: a title prospect who is known as a high-risk, low-reward opponent.
Despite that assessment, Fa only sees an opportunity.
“For me, he’s actually a big reward, a big risk. big reward… I came from a loss to Joseph Parker and knockout loss to Lucas Brown so I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said.
“He’s got a couple of belts in a couple of sanctioning bodies so this is a huge opportunity for me.”
But Fa obviously has a big appetite for risk with the camp with Wilder in Alabama a trial by fire.
“Sparring with Deontay, you have to be on. It forces you to be sharp because he hits so hard – if you’re not switched on 100% of the time you are in there, there’s a good, possible chance that you might get taken out.
“Sparring with someone like that who possesses so much danger brings out the best of you.”
Fa’s coach Mike Angove of City Kickboxing fame reckons the December 23 [December 24 NZT] bout is a career-changing opportunity for both Kiwi boxers.
“Joe’s been a former world champion and he’s still really young,” Angove said.
“If he can get past Deontay, it throws him back in the reckoning after the Joe Joyce loss so both our Kiwi boys have perhaps the most important fights in their career because they’re at turning points.”