Otago Daily Times

Manager coy about de­tails of Fa in­jury

BOX­ING

- DY­LAN CLEAVER

AUCK­LAND: The fight of the cen­tury will have to wait for a new year.

The ea­gerly awaited al­lKiwi, al­lPasi­fika heavy­weight clash be­tween Joseph Parker and Ju­nior Fa has been post­poned af­ter Fa (30) was side­lined by the of­fi­cial fight doc­tor fol­low­ing a blood test.

A new date and up­dated un­der­card will be con­firmed early next week but it is ex­pected to be in ei­ther late Fe­bru­ary or early March.

‘‘Ju­nior un­der­went a rou­tine blood test on Fri­day,’’ his manager, Mark Ked­dell, said.

‘‘On Mon­day the doc­tor in­formed us he wouldn't be cleared to fight in four weeks. As a re­sult of that test, Ju­nior will have an op­er­a­tion on Tues­day.’’

Ked­dell said he was not in a po­si­tion to give any more de­tails about what the test re­vealed or what the surgery en­tailed, say­ing in this game there were cards you had to keep close to your chest.

‘‘Ju­nior's es­sen­tially had an in­jury and he's go­ing to have a rou­tine op­er­a­tion.’’

While the news was ‘‘dev­as­tat­ing’’, he did not see it af­fect­ing his fighter's chances.

‘‘He's in amaz­ing shape,’’ Ked­dell said.

‘‘He's at his fight weight, he's got a six pack, it's just one of those things.’’

Ked­dell said while Fa would lose some aer­o­bic con­di­tion­ing dur­ing the lay­off, he was coming from a strong base and his power would only in­crease dur­ing the break.

Duco owner and Parker's manager, David Hig­gins, yes­ter­day no­ti­fied spon­sors and broad­cast­ers.

‘‘It's one of those things where you just have to roll with the punches, if you'll ex­cuse the hor­ri­ble pun,’’ he said.

‘‘Box­ing has a long his­tory of this and of­ten the de­lay cre­ates even bet­ter events. You've got to look for sil­ver lin­ings.’’

Hig­gins cited the Rum­ble in the Jun­gle and our own David Tua­Shane Cameron clash as events when de­lays added to the an­tic­i­pa­tion.

The fight was be­ing sold payper­view on Spark.

‘‘It's busi­ness as usual,’’ Hig­gins said.

‘‘All ta­bles and tick­et­ing re­main valid. There is a wait list for ta­bles so those that might not be able to make it, their ta­bles will re­vert to those on the top of the wait list.

‘‘We're also work­ing with Air New Zealand to help those fly­ing to the fight who have been af­fected.’’

The fight is im­por­tant for Parker (27­2) who has strung to­gether three wins of vary­ing qual­ity since los­ing back­to­back bouts against Bri­tons An­thony Joshua and Dil­lian Whyte.

If it was im­por­tant to Parker, it was crit­i­cal to Fa (19­0), who at 30 has not gained the trac­tion in the heavy­weight rank­ings that his un­beaten record sug­gests he should have, due mainly to the non­de­script qual­ity of most of his op­po­nents.

Hig­gins said Parker was in ter­rific shape. — The New Zealand Her­ald

 ??  ?? Ju­nior Fa
Ju­nior Fa
 ??  ?? Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker

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