Parker v Fa: Junior Fa aims to hijack Joseph Parker's heavyweight hopes with upset win

Junior Fa's team insist the burden of proof lies with Joseph Parker in Saturday's blockbuster heavyweight showdown at Auckland's Spark Arena.

Parker's trainer Kevin Barry and promoter Eddie Hearn have been vocal about the enormous stakes that rest on their fighter's performance, stating anything less than a dominant win against the relatively inexperienced Fa could spell disaster for his career.

Eugene Bareman - one of Fa's lead trainers at his City Kickboxing base - agrees, saying the risk-to-reward scale is heavily tipped in their favour.

"We've got nothing to lose," says Bareman. "There's no pressure on us.

"We're going to get an early lead in this fight, we're going to hold onto that lead and Junior is going to get his hand raised.

"He's good to go via decision, but if an opportunity arises, then we're going to take it."

Parker hopes to finish the fight inside the first six rounds, which aligns with Hearn's demands as a minimum requirement to get his world title prospects back on track.

The Matchroom Boxing boss has already begun marketing for a bout between Parker and Brit Dereck Chisora in late April/early May, and Fa insists that fight should be his to claim, if he emerges with a win this weekend.

"Of course," Fa responds, when asked about hijacking Parker's momentum.

"They've been putting up posts about a possible fight after me, so if I come out victorious on Saturday, then I suppose that fight should be there for me."

Bareman expects an ultra-aggressive approach from Parker from the opening bell, suggesting the South Aucklander may be overlooking the undefeated Fa's threat.

"Of course we've made allowances for Joseph to come on early," he says. "In fact, we think he's probably going to come out early quite hard and we've definitely prepared for that.

"It's natural to look past someone who doesn't have as big a name, who you perceive to not be on the same level as you.

"I can't talk about that too much, but that's what I want Joseph to do, because that plays into our hands perfectly."

In backroom matters, Parker's manager and Duco boss David Higgins says the two camps are close to resolving a dispute over judges.

Fa's manager Mark Keddell had objected to the number of Christchurch-based officials assigned to the fight, fearing bias towards local Barry, whom he believed may still hold some sway.

Barry points out that he’s lived in Las Vegas since 1996, Keddell is also a Cantabrian and likely to have more influence in the southern city, 

Either way, Higgins is confident a resolution is imminent.

"We followed the contract process… a list gets sent to the WBO, they signed it off," he says.

"But then Mark kicked up a fuss about Christchurch, so Mark and I got together, and I think we're nearly there.

"We gave a compromise in that we allowed a judge that was not top of our list and vice versa.

"Bar a couple of little things - like who is supervising in the dressing room - I think we'll get there in the next couple of days."

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