Boxing: Kiwi heavyweight prospect Junior Fa wants fight against Joseph Parker next year

Promising Kiwi heavyweight Junior Fa believes a showdown with former world champ and amateur rival Joseph Parker is inevitable, and something he wants to happen sooner rather than later.

Fa is currently in the depths of training camp with Deontay Wilder in Alabama, where he's helping the WBC champion prepare for his December bout with Tyson Fury.

The 29-year-old is scheduled to fight Argentine Alexander Flores on the undercard of Parker's clash with Alexander Flores next month, but it's his compatriot in the main event who he really has his eyes on.

"That's a fight I know will happen," Fa told Newshub from Wilder's training base in Tuscaloosa. "And I'm hoping that it happens next year."

"When it does happen, I'll be ready. I'm basically ready now – it's just a matter of timing.

"Me and him will definitely share the ring at the right time."

By all accounts, the Aucklander has gone from strength to strength during his three-week stint in the ring with the heavy-hitting Wilder.

Regular rounds against one of the world's premier pugilists have provided the ultimate acid test of Fa's abilities, and have seen his confidence soar. 

Minor gastric surgery to correct his low iron and haemoglobin count earlier this year has done wonders for his endurance limits, and has galvanised his belief that he has what it takes to compete with the division's elite.

"Before the health scare, I knew I was good but then I kind of questioned myself a bit.

"Since I've treated that and feeling a lot better, getting all this good feedback just solidifies my decision to give boxing 100 per cent.

"And I know that one day I'm going to make a great living for myself and my family.

With those health concerns now in the rear-view mirror, Fa has elevated his game in all aspects and left both Wilder, his trainer Jay Deas, and his fellow sparring partners impressed by his rapid improvement.

His ringtime with Wilder has helped Fa curate the finer details of his craft, which extend beyond the squared circle.

"Just my ability to pick up the smaller things that you're supposed to do in the ring - remaining concentrated throughout the rounds. It's tough to explain, but just making sure you're fully switched on in the ring the whole time.

"Also the things behind the scenes - when he's doing interviews, when he drags himself into training when he's really tired, but he can still switch on. Those are things I can take back and learn from."

"It's definitely been great for my mental game because I know I'm doing well in the ring.

"He also throws out tips at me here and there. The other day he suggested a different way of breathing which has helped him in the past."

Perhaps nobody is better positioned to testify to those improvements than veteran Malik Scott. One of two others sparring with Wilder, Scott was in camp with Fa to help him prepare for his most recent fight against Luis Pascual and made the recommendation to have him included in this camp.

"His conditioning is ten times better than it was when I was boxing him in New Zealand," Scott said. "His weight is down.

"It's challenging boxing Deontay. He's fast, he hits hard, but Junior is giving up good work. This is a great experience for him, he's embracing this moment and he's looking for big fights in the future."

Boxing: Kiwi heavyweight prospect Junior Fa wants fight against Joseph Parker next year

Scott has no doubt that "young lion" Fa has the potential to make an impact on the burgeoning global heavyweight scene.

"Junior is a very legitimate prospect. There are a lot of guys with big names out there that he could beat right now.

"Him having that desire makes him a dangerous fight for anybody."

The 38-year-old known as 'The King' has also spent time in camp with Parker, who he considers a close friend. He's understandably reluctant to offer any predictions, but says it's a fight he'll be front and centre for.

"JP is my brother as well, he's like family to me," said Scott.

"May the best man win. They both got good abilities and talented and they both have history together in the amateurs. I'll definitely be there ringside.

"This game's about timing and match ups and who wants it most. Junior is in a position where he's hungry and he wants to go to that level that Parker is at right now."

For now, Fa's focus rests with helping best prepare 'The Bronze Bomber'. Entering the final week of sparring, he says the intensity is starting to ramp up markedly as Wilder switches to "search and destroy" mode.

"We're right at the peaking stage of camp. Compared to the first week of sparring, his concentration and his punching power and sharpness has definitely gone up.

"This week's going to be very full on - a hard week of sparring."

Not that Fa's complaining.

"When they first invited me into the camp, I guess then I knew they knew I was good – but I also knew they didn’t know how good I was.

"Now I'm going into the future with a greater positive outlook on myself and my talents in boxing."