Boxing: Joseph Parker v Junior Fa heavyweight fight postponed

The Joseph Parker v Junior Fa heavyweight blockbuster fight has been postponed.

Newshub understands Fa has pulled out of the bout, after abnormalities were found in blood tests. 

On Tuesday, the undefeated heavyweight prospect will undergo surgery, described to Newshub as "not a minor procedure". 

"The doctor gave us a call on Monday 2pm and gave us some bad news," says Fa's manager Mark Keddell

"He basically said that's that, so I advised Junior that, under those conditions, it would be a bad idea to fight.

"We could see something was brewing and then, on Thursday, we did some testing with the speed of the bar and there was a massive drop off.

"David Renada the doctor said, 'no, you're not getting cleared... it's done, it's over'."  

The two camps are already looking at a rescheduled date - possibly in March - although Fa will be sidelined for at least four weeks after surgery and won't return to training until January at the earliest. 

"You have to be philosophical," says Parker's manager David Higgins. "It's boxing, it happens, it's happened before. 

"Joseph will be frustrated, but the main thing is we need to get both boxers 100 percent fit.

"It means that Junior will be at 100 percent and there will be a longer build-up. The buzz will build up, so you have to look at the positives." 

Fa has a history of debilitating health issues, dating back three years, when tests showed worryingly low iron and haemoglobin levels.

He had minor gastric surgery, which helped get the 31-year-old back to full fitness, and he has since propelled himself into the top 10 of the heavyweight division. 

"I don't want to go into what the problem is, but it's not the same as last time," Keddell says. "It has a similar impact as last time." 

The Parker-Fa fight has been in the works for several years, with the two sharing squaring off four times in amateur ranks, splitting two wins a piece. 

Fa is 19-0 as a professional, with 10 knockouts. His last bout was in November 2019, when he earned a comfortable decision win over former US Olympic boxer Devin Vargas.

Parker is unbeaten through his last three fights, after dropping his first professional loss at the hands of WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and then a close decision loss to Dillian Whyte two months later. 

Parker, the former WBO heavyweight champion, is 27-2 in 29 professional fights. The 28-year-old holds career wins over Carlos Takam, Hughie Fury, Francois Botha and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jnr. 

Most recently, Parker easily dispatched American veteran Shawndell Winters with a fifth-round knockout in February.