Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa Preview Feb. 27th
Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker steps back into the ring this Saturday, February 27th when he takes on fellow New Zealand native Junior Fa in Auckland. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America and the UK on DAZN with the card beginning approximately 1:30 am ET in North America due to the 16-hour time difference. Parker last fought in February of 2020 when he stopped Shawndell Winters in the fifth round. The unbeaten Fa last saw action in November, 2019 with a 10-round unanimous decision over Devin Vargas for the interim WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Parker vs Fa Betting Odds
- Junior Fa +600
- Joseph Parker -900
The 29-year-old Parker won the WBO title in December, 2016 by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by majority decision. He then lost it via unanimous decision to Anthony Joshua in March of 2018 with his other loss being a somewhat controversial 12-round unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte in August, 2018 for the vacant WBO International and the WBC Silver Heavyweight Titles. Parker’s still relatively young for an experienced heavyweight and has a fine record of 27-2 with 21 Kos.
Parker owns above average power with a current knockout ratio of 72.4 per cent but has gone the distance in five of his last eight fights. However, he’s stopped his last three opponents after going the distance against the previous five. Parker’s well known for his power but his speed should also be taken note of as he has pretty quick hands as well.
Parker’s biggest problem is leaving himself open for counter shots. He doesn’t mind taking one or two punches to land one of his own though and so far his chin has more or less held out and certainly passed the test as it’s been tested quite often. But to be honest, Parker’s power has gotten him this far in his pro career rather than his boxing skills.
He went the distance five times in a row from 2016 to 2018 against Whyte, Joshua, Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and Ruiz before winning his last three contests by stoppage against Alexander Flores, Alex Leapai and Winters. Parker still needs to improve his stamina so he can fight the full three minutes of every round if he’s forced to. He won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship by stopping American Brian Minto in seven rounds in 2014 and also won several other regional heavyweight titles in his part of the world such as the WBO Oriental Title and the OPBF crown.
Parker has also beaten the likes of some pretty good opponents in Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Jason Pettaway, Frans Botha and Sherman Williams. He turned pro in 2005 after an excellent amateur career and has 165 rounds under his belt since . He also has decent size for a modern-day heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches with a 76-inch reach.
Parker’s not the most athletic and mobile of boxers in the ring though and generally has trouble against fleet-footed and mobile opponents. He also needs to instill a killer instinct. He waited too long to go after Whyte and virtually had him out on his feet just as the bell rang to end the contest but waited too long to let his hands go.
As for Junior Fa, he’s 31 years old and possesses a perfect record of 19-0 with 10 Kos. He has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 52.6 per cent but has been on the canvas himself as a pro. He’s boxed 82 rounds since making his pro debut in 2016 and also has good size at 6-feet-5-inches tall with a wingspan of 80.5 inches. Therefore he’s an inch taller than Parker and has a four-inch edge in reach.
Fa is relatively unknown outside of New Zealand and Australia even though he’s fought half a dozen times in America. He’s taking a big step up in class on Saturday as his toughest opponents so far have been Devin Vargas, Dominick Guinn, Newfel Outah, Craig Lewis and Daniel Tah. Since turning pro he’s also won the vacant New Zealand Heavyweight Title.
He also enjoyed a fine amateur career as he fought as a super heavyweight in the 2008 Oceania Olympic Qualifiers, won a gold medal at the 2009 New Zealand Amateur Championship, won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and won a silver medal at the 2012 Oceania Olympic Qualifier. In addition, Fa was named the male boxer of the year in 2019 at the new Zealand Boxing Awards. But perhaps most important of all, he beat Parker twice as an amateur.
Fa should be full of confidence since he beat Parker twice in the amateurs and on the other hand Parker should be quite motivated to avenge those defeats. Several years have passed since those encounters though and Parker has proven himself as a pro while the book is still out on Fa. This fight was pushed back a few months as Fa underwent surgery in October for undisclosed reasons and Parker had surgery on his elbows. So it’s unclear how this will effect the pair. This should be a close fight but Parker has the big edge in pro experience. However, he needs to be aggressive and let his hands go more than he usually does. If so, I’m expecting him to win.
Parker’s experience and solid chin should be the difference.
Play: Parker -900 @ BetOnline.ag
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