Parker v Fa: Joseph Parker chasing statement knockout against rival

Less than a month out from his highly anticipated return to the ring, Joseph Parker's punching pain-free and ready to send a strong message to the heavyweight division. 

Parker's looking for a dominant victory over rival Junior Fa, as he kickstarts his march back towards world champion status.

The South Aucklander is desperate to set the tone for 2021 with a knockout blow. 

"I have a lot more to give and a lot more to show, and a lot more to offer the heavyweight division," Parker tells Newshub.

"I know what we have to do, our team knows what we have to do - we have to go out there and look good."

That ascent starts against Fa at Auckland's Spark Arena on February 27 

Parker says he's as ready as ever, after the bout was rescheduled so Fa could undergo an operation for blood issues, while also affording him extra time to recover from his own elbow surgery.

"I was feeling a lot of pain in training," he admits. "It was swollen at times... but I think it was a blessing we were able to get the surgery done."

Trainer Kevin Barry echoes those sentiments.

"The postponement of the fight from December 12 actually worked to our advantage," Barry claims. "Being able to punch pain-free in both arms is definitely something we're very happy about."

But Parker's also aware of how beneficial the longer camp was for his opponent.

"I think he'll be better prepared," Parker notes. "He needed the surgery, because it was affecting his training.

"Hopefully now he's able to give his training 100 percent."

Victory over unbeaten Fa would set the platform for Parker's goal of regaining a world title, with plenty of opportunities on the horizon. 

"Once Joe does take care of business... we're thinking there are a couple of very big fights in the UK," says Barry.

While discussions for those fights are in the early stages, Parker first needs to beat Fa convincingly to make a statement to his fellow heavyweights.

"Hopefully, I take care of this guy," says Parker. "I don't care where I fight or who I fight."

Watch the full story above and join us for live updates of Joseph Parker v Junior Fa on February 27