Boxing: Heavyweight contender Junior Fa reveals health scare almost ended career

Kiwi boxer Junior Fa will be more honest about his body, after a health scare threatened his rise up the heavyweight rankings.

Two poor performances raised the eyebrows of his American promoters, but luckily there was a reason his body was breaking down that Fa hadn't revealed.

"I'd throw two punches and I'd be gassed out," Fa told Newshub.

Pro boxers need to impress 15 bouts into their career, but Fa's unanimous-points victories over Luis Pascual and Craig Lewis were sluggish.

"It made me question a few things. I wasn't sure if I still, basically, had it!"

Fa eventually confessed to manager Mark Keddell that something was amiss. He'd hidden symptoms - such as fatigue - in recent camps.

"I took a much more macho approach," Fa said. "I thought this was all part of it - this is supposed to be hard."

Tests discovered low iron and haemoglobin. Doctors couldn't believe Fa got through 10 rounds with oxygen struggling to pass through his body.

He had minor gastric surgery and thankfully, biopsies were clear of cancer.

"We were looking at career over, I guess," Keddell told Newshub. "I didn't bring that up with him, but if he'd had bowel cancer, I don't know where that goes to."

The upside is Fa's American promoter, Lou DiBella, who also represents Deontay Wilder, now understands why his unbeaten prospect hasn't fought well.

"If the promoter doesn't have faith and trust in you, then they're going to throw you into a tough fight, and you're either gonna sink or swim," Keddell said.

Instead of the deep end, Fa should get a warm-up opponent by year's end.

"Yes, I need a knockout in this one," Fa stated.

Junior Fa wants to make the statement his body had robbed him of.