It seems it's 'now or never' for a hotly anticipated Kiwi heavyweight boxing showdown between Joseph Parker and Junior Fa.
In an exclusive interview with Newshub, Parker's management has revealed details of an improved offer to Fa's camp, and they're now waiting for an answer on a 'take it or leave it' proposal that comes with a warning.
After months of haggling over negotiations, Parker's manager appears to have caved to Fa's demands.
"We've gone the extra mile and we've guaranteed Junior Fa and his side a minimum $500,000 and with a share on top," Parker's promoter David Higgins tells Newshub.
Higgins insists this will be their final offer to the Fa camp, which had previously balked at $300,000 plus a share of pay-per-view earnings.
But Higgins says the latest proposal meets their request for half a million dollars, guaranteed.
"It is the final offer. It's over the odds. It's probably 20 times Junior Fa's biggest ever pay day," Higgins adds.
"It's an honour and a privilege for Junior to cash in on his career to date against Joseph Parker…. if a fear of losing isn't at play he would take the money, win the fight, move on.
"There really is no excuse now other than to step up and bank the money. Who needs it more? Junior. Because he needs the money."
Fa's American promoter Lou Di Bella responded on Tuesday in a cheeky exchange with Higgins.
Di Bella says the two sides are finally on the same page and a deal is close.
"Call me when you wake up, Higgins," Di Bella wrote on Twitter.
"Let's get this #boxing match done this week. #NewZealand deserves its own megafight."
Di Bella urged Higgins to stop using the media to promote the fight, and Higgins' reply was humerous.
"The media can be useful," Higgins wrote. "I've lost trust in the US postal service and some social media such as Tik Tok."
According to Higgins, Parker's making the sacrifice of less money in the interests of getting the deal done.
All locations are being considered for the fight, but the delay from the Fa camp means it won't happen in October as planned. November or December now seem the more likely options.
"I'd encourage [Fa] not to call my bluff because I've taken October off the table. So now it pushes out if it is going to happen," says Higgins.
"And so we're quite serious. We know the numbers. We've done the biggest shows in New Zealand and we know the values. The offer on the table is better than fair, and if they run the time down we'll take the offer on the table again.
Higgins has a concise message for Fa and his team.
"Don't stuff up the opportunity in front of you and forever regret it."
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