Boxing: Junior Fa joins WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder for Fury build-up

Deontay Wilder and Junior Fa
Deontay Wilder and Junior Fa Photo credit: Images - Photosport

Heavyweight boxing contender Junior Fa is heading back to the United States to help 

WBC champion Deontay Wilder prepare for Tyson Fury next month.

Fa has been recruited for a third straight training camp, after impressing Team Wilder with his work ethic.

The Auckland-based Kiwi was part of Wilder's sparring group for two of his previous three camps, with the American dispatching Dominic Breazeale and then earning a split draw against Fury in one of the best fights of 2018. 

Fury and Wilder met face-to-face in Las Vegas on Tuesday before their February 23 (NZ time) fight at the MGM Grand, with 'The Gypsy King' promising a slugfest.

"You [Wilder] are going to sleep in two rounds," Fury boasted. "I keep having the same dream about round two. 

"I am playing poker and I get dealt the number two card. He is getting knocked out in round two, 100 percent.

"I'm not coming here for a points decision. I've had too many of them - nine of them.

"I'm coming here for a knockout. I've had 21 of them and from the heart, that's what I'm looking to do."

But that gameplan means a change in the style that has made Fury an almost unstoppable force. 

The Brit has made many of the world's best heavyweight look average, frustrating the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Dereck Chisora and Wilder himself with a technical, yet awkward style that is tough to mimic. 

Fa can't see Fury going away from his comfort zone and engaging in a war with the most powerful puncher in the heavyweight division. 

He told Neshub he expects business as usual when he arrives in Alabama for fight camp.

"Wow, that's kinda interesting," Fa said of Fury's new tactic. "But I think our preparation will still be the same. 

"Our role as sparring partners is to go in there, be busy and throw a lot of punches in numbers at him - much like Tyson Fury does.

"Fury is not that big a puncher. Normally, he will stop a guy through volume, rather than one punch, and it's hard to change that in two months."

The 30-year-old Aucklander may not be that far away from his own world title training camp.

Fa has quietly climbed the WBO rankings to sixth, although champion Anthony Joshua may vacate in order to take a fight with IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulec.

That could leave Fa just a win or two away from the No.1 spot and he revealed to Newshub a big fight was in the works.

"I leave that up to my team," Fa said. "They know I'm desperate for bigger fights and they are working hard to make that happen. 

"I've got to keep working hard myself, and continuing to grow technically, physically and mentally as a boxer.

"Hopefully, it's something big and I know we are looking at something in March, which means this camp is just perfect for me in terms of timing."

And working with the cream of the heavyweight crop would leave 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in pristine condition for the biggest fight of his career. 

"Technically and mentally, I pick up things from Deontay that I might not get at home. I mean, he is the heavyweight champion of the world for a reason. 

"Seeing how he conducts himself in such an intense environment as a heavyweight title fight camp - I just learn so much."

Fa last fought on November 16, scoring a comfortable decision win over former American Olympic boxer Devin Vargas in Utah to extend his undefeated record to 19-0. 

Join us on February 23 for live updates of the Wilder v Fury heavyweight title fight