Parker v Fa: Bizarre gloves saga continues on eve of Kiwi heavyweight showdown

Bickering between respective camps has continued on the eve of the long-awaited heavyweight boxing showdown between former world champion Joseph Parker and local rival Junior Fa in Auckland.

While the fighters themselves appear to have an amicable relationship dating back to a shared 2-2 record as amateurs, their training and management teams have been at loggerheads throughout the build-up to their encounter.

Much of that has centred on which gloves would be used in the bout, an issue that threatened to derail early negotiations.

Parker prefers to use a specific brand that he's always worn, but Fa's representatives have insisted they both wear the same gloves into the ring.

That suspicion over gloves has erupted again after the weigh-in for Saturday's event, with both camps pointing fingers and calling names during what should have been final formalities.

After the weigh-in, both teams met with local and international professional boxing representatives to sign off on the agreed factory-made gloves.

Each fighter brings three sets of gloves, but only one is ever used. Fa's trainer - Eugene Bareman - asked Parker for one of his spare sets as a souvenir and duly received them.

But Parker's trainer, Kevin Barry, reportedly objected and insisted the gloves be given back, sparking renewed anxiety over what he was hiding.

"These are meant to be factory gloves," Bareman tells the NZ Herald. "I should be able to go into a shop or order them online, if I wanted a pair to cut open and see what was in them.

"It's just highly suspicious behaviour."

Fa's manager, Mark Keddell, says: "What are they hiding that they then wanted them back so desperately?"

Parker's manager, David Higgins, insists the incident was perfectly innocent. 

"Kevin didn't want to give them a $500 gift the day before the fight," he tells the Herald. "The gloves were inspected by officials and signed off by Eugene - the rest is bullshit."

But the disagreement may still force the two camps into another meeting on the morning of the fight to iron out their differences.

Join us on Saturday for live updates of the Parker v Fa heavyweight showdown