Otago Daily Times
Manager coy about details of Fa injury
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